Bursting into tears isn’t the usual reaction when you first view a property, but was what exactly what happened when Helen Orrock and her husband walked into a run down Victorian house. “The house was ruined in the 1960s. It had lost all its period features and the décor was quite… eccentric!” Helen says, describing newspapers and magazines used as wallpaper, and a rather dated pink bath. Fortunately Helen could see beyond the challenges.
Having updated and renovated several houses in the past, Helen was especially keen to be faced with the delights and challenges of working with a period property. “I could see the contemporary space we could create. There’s such a beautiful view from the back of the house, so we put in floor to ceiling windows to capture it. There’s so much light throughout the house – it’s those lovely Victorian proportions.”
In a feat of structural engineering, and with a lot of effort, Helen and her team managed to knock down almost all the ground floor walls to create a huge open plan kitchen, dining and living room.
With a consistent colour palette and series of textures she loves, Helen has created a kind of capsule wardrobe – but for her house.
I’m inspired by the Scandi influence, and I keep things to white, greys, blacks and soft neutrals. I love Nordic textures like sheepskin and wool
There’s no denying Helen’s love for her home. She has fully realised her vision for the space in the most inspiring way. But she says home isn’t about the place.
“Home is a feeling we create as a family. It will just be a house again when we leave; home is transferable. How you decorate and style it helps, but ultimately it’s living in it that makes it your home.”
You can find Helen on Instagram @theinteriorslady