See the interior of expat model-turned-stylist Angela Radcliffe’s gorgeous UK home
“We are intentionally looking for a wreck and fixing it. Wreck is not the word that comes to mind when you admire the glamor of New Zealand model Angela Radcliffe’s bright five-story Victorian home in Notting Hill, London.
When Angela (née Dunn) and her husband Colin, an architect and interior designer, took possession of the house about four years ago, it had been converted into five apartments. After a year of work, including digging out the basements to allow for additional ceiling height, the building is now a luxurious five-bedroom home.
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This is the kind of makeover you might expect to find featured on Great designs, but for Colin and Angela, it’s really business as usual. “Normally we buy a home and do it as a project to sell and move on,” says Angela. Even if they never stray too far. While she doesn’t expect them to trade their nomadic ways for this forever home anytime soon, she does think Notting Hill is her neighborhood forever.
“We have always lived here. I think we probably owned at least eight of these houses and rented eight more while we were renovating the ones we bought. But you know, we started small. My husband and I get bored pretty quickly. We always love change, that’s why we renovate homes and move on.
This particular house, which the couple share with their 18-year-old son, Maximus, has been in the house for about three years. It’s a year or two longer than expected thanks to Covid-19. The London closures have allowed the family to appreciate their familiar neighborhood even more.
“You know the chemist and the guys at Portobello Rd for the fruit and veg and stuff. I feel like I grew up with the community here.
Which isn’t to say the blockages were easy and the lack of travel was particularly difficult for a Kiwi who still has plenty of family and friends in New Zealand. “I’m just devastated about it. My mother, Jane, is 85 and has been coming here twice a year since my father died. She has a big influence on my life.
Angela’s New Zealand roots can be seen in her home, in her love of open-plan living and indoor-outdoor flow. “I’m very excited to host outdoors – that’s the Kiwi in me. And not just for entertainment. Just Colin, Maximus and I are barbecuing outside literally every night.
The house project was more of a reconstruction than a renovation, Angela says, and involved removing the entire back wall – scary when it comes to a row of terraced houses – replacing the stairs on all five floors and remove all interior walls. “Our main goal was to create light. It’s always because it’s quite difficult to do in London.
Although the couple generally tried to “empty the house as much as possible” for every renovation undertaken, for this house, they dug the basement as well. “By doing this, we were able to add a ceiling height to each floor. “
Although she is still a model, Angela’s main job these days is her styling business Radcliffe & Sciamma which she owns with her partner Caroline Massenet Sciamma. The pair styled everything from photoshoots to the red carpet, hunting down top stars, but part of the job Angela finds most rewarding is helping those who might have successful careers but don’t have it. time or desire to do their hair. “It’s about giving women confidence, whether it helps them in their careers or in other areas of their lives.”
Although the skills needed for fashion styling and interior design are not far off, Angela considers her husband to be the true design visionary for their home. “It’s easy for him. He walks into a room and totally visualizes the space. It’s not that easy for me. I learned a lot from him.
“But you know, even before I met Colin, interiors were a passion for me, always a hobby. I am also creative and have a good eye which I think I got from my mom. She is very elegant and very fitted.
It seems that the creative talent is in the genes, the son Maximus does not hesitate to give his opinion either: “I always ask him what he thinks of where I put something, and I totally trust in his judgment. He always says everything is too crowded. He likes to keep it simple, so that the right pieces shine.
The works of art in the house are a mix of those the family will take with them on their next project, but also those that will be sold with the house when the time comes. “Sometimes the person buying the place will just want to buy the whole look.”
When it comes to creating this look, Angela is surprisingly relaxed, believing an interior that appears to be cleverly organized. “Looks like we take him seriously, but not at all. These are just things we love along the way. As I always say to my stylist clients: you just have to find your style and follow it.
“I guess I’m like that at home too. Take out the things that I love to watch and use. Some people might walk into this house and think it’s not very user-friendly, but for us, it’s super user-friendly.
Although circumstances have made this house the home of the family for longer than expected, there will be more moves and renovation projects. “I love the challenge and my husband loves it even more than me. With fashion and interiors you really have to stay on the lookout for new ideas and trends, so we are always experimenting in our own home. I think it keeps you young.
Q&A with Angela Radcliffe
My decoration style is: I like to mix the Italian and French classics of the 20th century with the contemporary.
A smart idea for other owners: Try to let in as much natural light as possible. It’s a challenge in London.
Best decoration advice: Keep it simple and not too many models. Do not over-dress the rooms.
Best Budget Advice: Lay out your showcase pieces so you don’t need so much to satisfy the house.
My favorite device: A Nespresso machine in my room for morning coffee.
The first thing I do when I get home from work is: Pour a glass of rosé over ice!
Favorite household chore: Table setting for dinners.
The house is ecological because: Colin always tries to source eco-friendly products from sustainable suppliers, such as ethical timber merchants.
If there was one thing we could do differently, it would be: Dig for a wine cellar.
The home renovation that sparked the most debate: The size of the opening to the rear garden – UK planning laws are very difficult.
Favorite outdoor spot: It’s half and half, both inside and out – when it’s hot outside and the folding doors are open and the striped awning is down.