West End Victorian conversion – “Inside my house”
“Inside my house”
Colin Lipsey’s West End Victorian conversion
With an eye for colour and creativity, Colin Lipsey’s Victorian conversion is not only one of the West End’s most beautiful homes but the inspiration behind his new business.
One look at Colin Lipsey’s West End home and you know this is a man who knows how to make an impact. From his assertive yet well considered accents of colour to his skilled use of textures, Colin clearly knows how to make a room pop. “I’m an event designer so I’m used to making a statement,” explains Colin.
Colin’s company Display Works, which he set up with business partner Patrick Canning almost 30 years ago, specialises in retail display and visual merchandising but with interiors a shared passion, the duo recently added a new string to the company’s bow – roomworks.org, which gives clients’ homes a makeover working with the furniture and accessories the client already owns. “It’s been inspired by my own experience of having lived in my home for over 30 years and constantly reinventing the look and feel. I’m the original ‘don’t move improve’ advocate,” says Colin.
And if the home which he shares with long term partner Mark is an example of the job he’ll do for clients, they’ll be in very experienced hands.
“I used to be worse than I am now, changing colours and reorganising things all the time but I’m a bit calmer now and maybe change things every six months or so – not major items, just moving accessories or changing the furniture and pictures around and working with what we have.”
As the property is a Victorian conversion, it can’t be structurally altered although over the years it’s enjoyed a number of Colin’s more significant creative makeovers with the kitchen being replaced twice, the bathroom redesigned and a dressing room created from the smaller bedroom upstairs.
“We used builders that had been recommended to us for the bathroom and dressing room and fortunately one of our best friends is a kitchen designer so it wasall pretty straightforward. He had a lot of great ideas about maximising the space, removing a cupboard and lowering the floor to give more height in the kitchen,” says Colin.
“The living room also once had a raised platform which split the room by about a third and this was where the dining table was but we got rid of it as it was looking dated.”
With a mix of new and inherited furniture, including Sofa Workshops’ seating and a treasured wall unit left to them by an old neighbour along with candlesticks bought in Oslo and vases found in Toronto, the property has a classic but contemporary feel throughout, thanks in part to Colin’s confident use of accent colours.
“All our big ticket pieces are in a neutral colour to allow us to change the colour of lamps, cushions, throws, etc. and the walls have similar neutral colours but each space has its own pop of colour. In the living room it’s yellow, the bedroom and kitchen are both lime green, the hall is pink and orange and the shower room is turquoise. It sounds awful when you say it all at once but I think it works.
“We also have black sisal flooring throughout which was a major decision as we thought it might make the flat feel smaller but in fact it actually feels bigger now.”
Living room: I think it’s sensible to have basic neutral colours for sofas, carpets and walls to allow other accessories to contrast or tone and to allow you to create calming and relaxing spaces in your home. The sofas are from Sofa Workshop with two sets of covers; black for winter and beige for summer. The living room looks onto a bowling green and gets the sun most of the day so it’s very calm and peaceful. Our favourite piece is a mahogany wall unit left to us by an elderly neighbour. We call it Mrs Gibb after her.
Kitchen: We love eating in our kitchen which we couldn’t really do before as it felt too cramped and small. Since the re fit it feels a lot bigger and much more comfortable.
Bedroom: Our comfy bed is from Feather and Black and has been a great investment. We collect accessories from everywhere from abroad to home and shops from Conran and Heals to Next and Ikea.
photos Susie Lowe
SOOOOOOO Jel of this pad! I live in the West End and love it here.. hope to be able to buy and decorate my own place within the next year if I stay in Glasgow.
Ooh to dream.. 🙂