Real Homes: 9 Ways to Create a Christmas Party Home That Exudes Style

Interior designer Justin Coakley loves a traditional Christmas look, having grown up in South Africa where December is high summer and the day is spent by the pool. “It’s cold cuts and salads and ice cream for the pudding. It’s 35 degrees and the last thing you want is a hot dinner, ”laughs Justin. “I love English Christmases. Get warm and light the fire when it snows. In fact, I prefer it.

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The owners Justin Coakley, content creator, interior designer and stylist (@design_at_nineteen), lives here with his partner, Zunaid, a doctor, and their whippet, Aalto
The property A 1930s four bedroom terraced house in South West London
Project cost £ 151,000

This year, he and his partner, Zunaid, will be welcoming their friends and family to enjoy the 1930s terraced house in the southwest that they bought in 2017 and completed a thorough renovation, resulting in makes the perfect location for accommodation. We take a look at how Justin’s love for neutral colors is the perfect backdrop for a festive display that exudes style.

1. Less is more for a sophisticated look

Neutral colored living room and sofa by designer Justin Coakley, dressed for Christmas

Painted walls in Westminster, Sanderson. Carlton sofa in white Lazio fabric, BoConcept. Cushions, Western elm and Kirkby design. Side table, Western elm. Photos, Nina Bruun for Paper Collective

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

A renovator can be a daunting prospect, but it can also be the key to affording a property in the area of ​​your choice – and you can really practice your design skills there. “The sad thing is that the previous owner of our house, in an attempt to modernize, tore off all of the period elements,” explains Justin. “That’s why I decided to go more contemporary inside. He had also dismantled all the chair rails, which may in fact be a blessing in disguise. If you want to hang large modern works of art, the rails can be a bit of a nuisance if the ceilings are not high enough.

2. Rework the rooms to create space

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

Justin discussed the landscaping with an architect friend and a licensed land surveyor, and they rejected the idea of ​​expanding as it would eat away at the garden and not give Justin and Zunaid the best return on their investment. Instead, they worked with what they had, removing a wall between the living room and the dining area and replacing it with black framed glass doors for an open-space feel. Fireplaces have also been omitted in the dining room and the second bedroom for more space and to make it easier to play with the arrangement of the furniture.

3. A signature color unites the pieces

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Wicker chair, Cox & Cox. Pharoah side table and rug, Western elm, Stove, Morsø. Crown, Design at nineteen and Larry Walshe London. Street lamp, Tom dixon. Pictures, Paper Collective. Herringbone Floor, Ted Todd Floor

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

A wood-burning stove in the living room creates a warm atmosphere, but the clean, clean lines of the fireplace give it a contemporary touch. Without a fireplace, this means that there is more room for a large mirror or a work of art. This extra large seasonal wreath was the work of Justin in collaboration with luxury florist Larry Walshe London (@larrywalshe). The black shelves match the frames around the glass door. The use of black lines is a signature detail from Justin to bring a touch to the clean color palette and create a bond throughout the house.

4. Go natural for a breathtaking festive touch

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Tiles, Earth on fire. Console, Western elm. Stair runner, Fiber flooring. Staircase planning, Design at nineteen and Larry Walshe London

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

Justin and Larry also worked together on the stunning piece on the stairs, which takes the traditional garland to the next level with a cascade of soft-colored dried flowers – appealing to Justin’s love for nature and a neutral palette. “I’m pretty minimalist; I don’t really like clutter. For me, a space should be calming and serene. I love, I love, I love the color… but in others. ‘

5. Use dark frames for contrast in a sleek white kitchen

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Furniture and worktops, Wren. Appliances, Neff. Suspended luminaires, Buster & Punch

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

A kitchen open to the dining room makes it more convivial and does not remove the cook from the guests. “The previous owner knocked down the kitchen wall and had a very basic kitchen there,” explains Justin. “I designed it to be less than an inch of its lifespan and maximized as much storage as possible. We installed a large, extra deep center island so that it has closets in the front and back. When we have guests, I can chat with them while they are at the table.

6. Flower table decorations are suitable for any occasion

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Trestle table, John Lewis & Associates. Holland Dining Chairs, Western elm

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

For a simple yet striking Christmas table setting, Justin placed plant pots filled with flowers in the middle. To create them, he painted small terracotta pots with Protek paintwork in three different colors with gold on the rims. When dry, he arranged the flowers (with the stems cut short to fit) and eucalyptus in chicken wire hidden inside. Jars flow down the center of the table in alternating colors, with candles, tea lights, and rugs placed around them.

7. Go up to save space

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Woodwork and shelves, PureView carpentry. Roof window, Velux. Blind, Sewn. Cushions, Ferm Living from Card shops. H&M Home and Hay design. For a similar rug, try the Peru, Pink & Gray

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

If you don’t extend, going up may be the solution to earn extra coins. A loft conversion with a master suite transformed Justin and Zunaid’s house from two bedrooms and a storage room to a four bedroom, two bathroom house. “The conversion turned into a one-year project rather than taking three or four months because work stopped during the lockdown,” explains Justin. But the builders did a fantastic job despite the circumstances. It is a relaxing space with benches in the dressing room. But Justin also thought about future buyers, designing the loft in such a way that it could be divided into two and a fifth bedroom created.

8. Wood details are a classic choice

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Paneling painted in Stone IV, Paint and Paper Library. White bed and tree with lights, John Lewis & Associates. Bedding, Bedfolk. Night tables, Home essentials. Lounge chair, Saddle. Lamps, Ferm Living To Card shops

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

Justin found his years of experience as an interior designer left him overwhelmed with choice. “Being part of the job and knowing all the options available to me, the hardest part was committing to a defined style. I chopped and changed.

However, the house is finally finished and ready for Christmas guests. “There’s nothing I can do about it anymore,” said Justin. “We never had a proper housewarming or party because it was always in a state of renovation, and when we were done it was still locked out. But now we can finally sit back and enjoy the space and appreciate it for what it is.

9. Choose a walk-in shower for a spa feel

The home of designer Justin Coakley in neutral decor elegantly dressed for Christmas

Faucets And Shower, Crosswater. Bowl, Villeroy & Boch. Washbasin cabinet, Soak. Mirror, House Doctor at Light & Bay. Stool, Tormar. Wall and floor tiles, Ca’Pietra. Light on mirror, Houseology

(Image credit: Future © Chris Snook)

The beautiful bathroom was only the scene of one major issue in an otherwise smooth (if prolonged) renovation process. “We ended up ripping the bathroom out and having it completely redone because the first builder hadn’t installed it properly,” Justin recalls. “We hired him because he was half the price of anyone else – which turned out too good to be true! ”



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