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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
Shop the look:
Channel Lisa’s Scandi-meets-Sussex cool with soft colours, relaxed linens and natural finishes.
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