Last week we were welcomed into the gorgeous home of the lovely Susie Lawrence, otherwise known from her inspiring Instagram account as @editbysusielawrence. Susie’s home is a feat of subtle yet playful colour, varying from dusty rose pinks to dramatic charcoal green-greys. Set in the heart of the Chilterns, we arrived to find a fire crackling and the lovely scent of woodsmoke wafting through the house. The fact that Susie’s home affords a panoramic view over forests only adds to the enchanting quality of her daughters’ bedrooms which evoke a kind of Wes Anderson magic. Susie has a fantastic eye for detail and clearly a knack for styling the pieces which find a place in her home. We hope you feel inspired too!
Hi Susie! What were the inspirations for the decoration in your home?
We wanted to create different spaces for us to enjoy together as a family and separately as children and as adults… although in reality we usually all end up in the same room at the same time! I needed the space to feel calm and clutter free yet child friendly and relaxed.
What kind of furniture are you drawn to?
Furniture with character or furniture that blends in to the scheme. It depends where it’s being placed.
Are there any creative figures who inspire you in your daily life?
Architecture wise I love John Pawson. He also wrote one of my favourite cookbooks, ‘Living and Eating’. Interiors wise I love Isle Crawford, she designed the Crown in Amersham where we stayed for our wedding. Currently I love seeing Lola Donahue’s beautiful art and Kingston Lafferty Design’s work pop up on Instagram. Lots of exciting things in Ireland at the moment. I’m trying to convince my husband to move there.
How would you sum up your home style in three words?
Calm, warm, and relaxed.
What is your dream piece of furniture?
Was there particular thought given to the layout of the kitchen?
The kitchen really is the heart of the home and great for having people over. We wanted to create a clear line visible from the seating areas so the main kitchen and island are minimalist and the working kitchen (oven, dishwasher, main sink etc) is tucked away out of sight. This way, when we are entertaining the washing up and mess can be hidden. We wanted the sitting room to feel snug and warm so we used darker colours and layers. It’s mostly used in winter and autumn.
Probably our Buster and Punch hardware in the kitchen. After we renovated we had a tiny budget for the kitchen so we used Ikea cabinets, had them sprayed by our joiner and smartened them up with beautiful hardware. We also added a second sink.. partly for aesthetic balance and partly to stash drinks on ice for parties!
What’s your favourite design element?
Absolutely colour. It has such power to transform a space on so many different levels.
Best advice on designing a remarkable space?
Take time to work out what you really like. That might mean you end up with a space that has multiple influences, styles, furniture etc.. and all the better for it. Go slowly. If it’s a space for someone else then start with the bones, the light.
How do you approach choosing furniture for a room?
Consider the finish.. does the space need something warm rather than cold? Make sure you double check the size.. sofas for example can be deceptively deep.. Do you genuinely love the piece or do you think you like it more than you actually do just because you’ve seen it splashed all over Instagram?!
Proudest DIY moment?
All the paintwork. I remember when I worked in my last role in construction commenting that the decorators had the easiest job. I would like to retract that!
What are you currently looking for?
A dining table. We would love a Saarinen tulip but this space needs something warmer – a light wood probably – and while the children are young we want something that we don’t need to be precious about. I would love a round dining table too, they can be so much more sociable.
Can you tell us a bit about the wonderful decor in your daughters’ bedrooms?
The colours were the starting points… one wanted pink and one blue! I wanted to avoid Barbie pink and scout hut blue and so I finally settled on the more terracotta-esque Sucia Rose by Colour Courage and the magical blue/green shifting Inchyra by Farrow and Ball. The accessories are mostly from Smallable and H&M Home and prints mostly found via small businesses on Instagram like Wonder and Rah, Max Made Me Do It and and Disko Kids. There’s still a lot to do!
What do you like most about using darker colours?
I love how colours pop against the dark background and how they can bring a surprising amount of warmth and depth.
What is the first thing you notice when walking into a new interior space?
Definitely the colours used but generally I do a sweep and I drink in everything.
Best bargain find?
The people selling our current house said we could have any furniture we liked so we asked for the two Ercol armchairs.
Do you have a favourite piece that follows you wherever you move?
A small children’s chair that I bought from a local antique shop that I will keep forever. You can turn it over and use it at two heights – for toddlers initially. It’s very sweet. That and the Tretchikoff print that was in the London flat that my husband lived in as a young child.
What did you most enjoy about decorating your children’s bedrooms?
They are still very much works in progress. I’d love to source a vintage wardrobe for my older girl and get some great rugs, more art and a couple of lamps etc. I absolutely loved having fun with their schemes. I especially like how defining their sleeping areas with darker colours has grounded their little beds in the double rooms. Sourcing children’s furniture and accessories and deciding on paint colours is so much fun!
Favourite places to meet friends and family?
I love to meet my husband after work in Bermondsey maybe for a quick drink in the B Street deli before moving on to Jose Pizarro’s.. Equally I love to hop in the car on a Friday morning and have brunch with friends in pretty Old Amersham.
To see more of Susie’s home, follow her on Instagram as @editbysusielawrence.
If you’re inspired by Susie’s home, click here to browse a range of vintage pieces you might find in her home!
Photos by: Lorraine