Interiors: Something old, something new

The living room

The living room - Credit: Archant

A love of natural fabrics and an interest in combining old and new were interior designer Debra Kacher’s starting point when furnishing her family home in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The living room

The living room - Credit: Archant

She has lived in the 1929 Arts & Crafts style house for the past 14 years and shares it with her husband, two sons and their English cocker spaniel.

The property is full of original period features and Kacher’s decorative scheme is sympathetic to these, while bringing the interior into the 21st century.

“I was very interested in the juxtaposition of old and new,” she says. “I remained faithful to the house’s design by using natural materials and shades of wood, because there’s a lot of original wood in the house. I’ve also tried to play to the leaded light windows because they’re so much part of the character of the house.”

Like similar houses in the area the property was designed by architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, and Kacher has extended her fidelity to the period character of the house to the garden.

The structured back garden with lots of topiary

The structured back garden with lots of topiary - Credit: Archant

“I interpreted a garden design straight from Baillie Scott’s book. He liked to have structure and pattern in gardens, so I used a lot of topiary to create a pattern that had some symmetry to it,” she says.

The south-facing garden receives a lot of sun, which reflects back into the rooms at the rear of the house through the leaded windows. Patterns of light and darkness are used throughout the building and colours were chosen to create a sense of warmth in the rooms, with an emphasis on purple, grey, white and neutrals.

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Texture is also a major consideration for Kacher, who set up her own business dk Interiors six years ago, having worked for other design companies before that.

“I like to use natural fibres so in the living room the curtains are wool cashmere, the sofa is linen, the cushions are silk. The linen’s great for dogs, it’s a very hard-wearing practical fabric, although we do put a blanket down when he sits on the sofa.”


Kitchen - Credit: Archant

Since getting the family pet six years ago and seeing what an important part of the house it had become, Kacher is always keen to tell her clients, many of whom also have dogs, that her interiors are not just for humans.

And they are not just for adults either. Her son, a university student, had a great deal of input in the layout and design of his bedroom, with very specific instructions about how he would be using the space – mainly for computer games and homework.

Kacher then chose the colours, fabric and furniture, hence the Eames-style chair, moulded Perspex desk and cashmere throw that now feature prominently.

Moulded perspex desk in her son's room

Moulded perspex desk in her son's room - Credit: Archant

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