Inside interior designer Lisa Brass’s beautifully renovated Georgian house

White walls, natural finishes, a pared-back vibe: Scandi meets Sussex in interior designer Lisa Brass’s beautifully renovated Georgian house

When interior designer Lisa Brass found she needed more space for her burgeoning Brighton antique store Design Vintage, she took the plunge and relocated back to the Chichester area where she grew up.

Black shaker-style cabinets with brass handles form one side of the kitchen, contrasting with contemporary units opposite. Metal-framed crittall doors lead to a utility room.

After finding a converted barn overlooking a lake that would make the perfect shop, Lisa and her partner Stuart then needed a new family home. They settled on a detached Georgian house dating back to 1804 in need of complete renovation. Untouched for over 25 years, with maroon floors, yellow walls and a pervading smell of damp, the property screamed money pit. However, its location – just ten minutes from West Wittering beach – and proximity to the new shop persuaded the couple to take it on.

Large white linen sofas gather around a coffee table, inviting you to sit and relax. Throughout the house, pale wooden floors and furnishings create a sense of calm. For a similar sofa, try sofa.com

Lisa gave the house a Scandinavian makeover, painstakingly stripping back the floors to reveal their beautiful natural tones and giving a white oil finish throughout.

A vintage wooden table occupies the heart of the kitchen, and stools create an informal feel. Locker-style cupboards painted white house Lisa’s cookery books, while pasta, rice and cereals are stored in kilner jars to keep everything accessible.

The ground floor was opened up by knocking down the wall between the living room and kitchen and installing Crittall metal-framed doors in the divide. The doors were sourced from Ebay and carefully restored by Stuart, who trained as a carpenter. The original sash windows were closely copied by a local joinery firm and fitted with a slimline double-glazing system and painted a crisp black. ‘I wanted to retain the original character of the house,’ says Lisa.

In the bathroom, a coat of dark paint and shiny new taps breather fresh life into an old roll-top bath. For similar, try victoriaplumbing.co.uk

The choice of white walls throughout (apart from in the utility room off the kitchen) creates the perfect backdrop for Lisa’s trademark blend of Scandi and rustic furnishings. ‘I wanted to fill my home and shop with hand-picked pieces that would age beautifully over time.’

Adding a wood-burning stove to the living space means that despite the high ceilings and large windows the room still feels cosy in winter.

A spare bedroom became a spacious second bathroom with a freestanding tub, patterned encaustic tiles and large picture window. Although the room has a decadent feel, the roll-top bathtub was an Ebay bargain that Lisa painted and restored with a new set of taps. The mirror, medicine cabinet and rustic bench are all vintage finds.

A vintage armoire makes a decorative feature of Lisa’s bedlinen. For a similar unit try made.com

Lisa’s Design Vintage pieces are available at designvintage.co.uk. This is an edited extract from Scandi Rustic by Rebecca Lawson and Reena Simon. 

Feature by Rebecca Lawson and Reena Simon. Photographs by Benjamin Edwards