Alice Merritt, a graphic designer based in Catford, London, shares the DIY hacks she learned renovating her incredible Edwardian terrace.
For Alice Merritt and her husband Rhys, finding a period property they could renovate was a crucial part of their house search. The couple each grew up in households where property development and renovation were very much ingrained in their respective family’s ways of life, so their interest in transforming an old house has been innate.
“We both adore period homes,” explains Alice. “Growing up my parents always renovated period properties and Rhys’s parents built their own houses in Australia, so we both grew up unafraid to take on big projects.”
Both Alice and Rhys have a penchant for period details, which London houses are not short of, and it was in Catford, south east London, where they spotted a place that felt instantly right.
“We were looking for a project that was still liveable with plenty of period features. As soon as we walked through the door, we both knew this was the house,” says Alice.
“The house was built in 1901 and still has a lot of original features intact. It’s part of the Corbett estate which was built by Archibald Corbett between 1860 and 1911. I love that there’s history and a story behind it. And, actually, for a terrace, the hallways are relatively wide, which is great. Plus, it has a beautiful staircase which feels really grand.”
Both Alice and Rhys are designers (graphic and product, respectively) and their creative talents are evident in the way that they’ve designed the interiors of their Edwardian home.
Stand out features include a leafy mural on the bathroom ceiling which feels like looking up at Kew Gardens’ famous glass palm house (an especially nice view from their free-standing bathtub) and incredible antique finds which give the rooms unique character. Here, Alice explains the creative process behind designing such a house, and some of her favourite DIY hacks she learned while renovating.
What was your décor inspiration when starting your renovation?
“I didn’t base the house’s interior design on one set idea but had seen a room on Pinterest that had been painted in one solid colour from skirting board to ceiling and knew that I’d like the chance to try that out, which we did in the living room.
“It wasn’t until we bought this house and I set up an Instagram account for it that I found my love for interiors. I have always loved maximalist style and period features but I also have a huge appreciation for Scandi and Boho style. That’s probably why our interiors land somewhere in-between. Half the time I don’t really know what I’m doing until it’s finished and I’m like, ‘oh so that’s my style’. I think the main thing for me is just trying new things and experimenting with different styles. I would definitely describe our home as eclectic.”
Any DIY hacks you’re proud of?
“The kitchen island has a gold leaf worktop which feels like a real achievement and I love the bathroom ceiling mural. Gold leafing is something anyone can have a go at. Just start with something small and build up. When it comes to most DIY projects my advice would be to just give it a go – what’s the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t concern plumbing and electrics then just watch a YouTube video and try it out!”
Can you pick a favourite room?
“This is a hard question to answer because every time we do a new room that one becomes my favourite. Comfort is important to us and so our aim has been to make every space feel comfortable in its own way. But, if I had to give one room a special mention it would have to be the bathroom. It’s the nicest bathroom we’ve ever had and I just LOVE baths.”
Alice’s favourite interiors Instagram follows:
Bryony and Tom, Welford House
“Bryony is my Instagram crush. I adore her vintage style and she has THE BEST antiques!”
The Palm Location House
“This location house in south east London has a stunning mix of antique and Boho styles. I’m just jealous of every room!”
Jen Devaney, One Alchemy House
“This house is simply incredible. Jen is an interior designer and how she doesn’t have 100k followers already I just don’t know. Her kitchen is so beautiful.”
Alice’s go-to homeware brands:
“My absolute go-to when it comes to buying anything for the home is see if you can find it second-hand first. I love antique shops for more specialist items, but charity shops, auctions and Ebay are brilliant for picking up something pre-loved.”
“Mrs Robinson is an independent store near us in south east London and it sells amazing lights, furniture and accessories.”
“For general bits and bobs around the home you can’t beat H&M.”
Images: Alice Merritt
Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.