Interior Design

Interior Style Hunter interviews Sarah Latham from Latham Interiors

18th August 2016
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Sarah Latham heads up Latham Interiors, a specialist interior design company specialising in Georgian and Regency properties. These properties need specialist knowledge to work on them, and Sarah and her team are very experienced. I particularly liked a Georgian Country House that they recently completed, most of the images in this article are from that project.

What is your design signature/style?

Elegant, English, suiting a Georgian Townhouse or Georgian Country House.

What type of people do you love to work with as clients?

People who have bought their dream house. Many of my clients have worked hard, been successful and the purchase of a Georgian property is a long awaited aspiration. They want to do right by the property and create a home they are really proud of. I share their appreciation of this period of architecture and understand what it is that my clients are aspiring to achieve.

My favourite clients care and as a result really interact with us. They appreciate me and my teams ability to achieve what is ultimately a huge undertaking.  They come to truly respect the dedication and thoroughness we adopt in delivering the home that they dream of right through to the finest detail. As a result, they, and we all enjoy the process of getting there.

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Can you tell us about a particularly exciting/challenging project?

I worked on a fabulous Georgian Country House that had elements designed by Sir John Soane, the architect of the Bank of England and one of the most respected architects of the Georgian style. Sadly the wings he built had been added to by the Victorians and since demolished entirely. This meant that the house had plenty of quirky elements such as staircases that had been moved around and doors and fireplaces had been taken from the wings into the main house during the Edwardian period.

It was a fascinating journey of discovery. The clients wanted a quintessentially English style of interior that, in my view, was fitting and the best way to ensure that the house stood the test of time. Coco Chanel said “Fashion fades, only style stays the same” and that was what was called for in this historically important house.

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Does your home reflect your professional style?

I live in a Victorian townhouse. Over the years I have added more contemporary elements. I like to experiment with my spaces and it’s fun to work with new and different materials. The house I live in is very different to my clients houses.

The challenge I am trying to overcome is relatively small rooms, so we have extended the kitchen and incorporated lots of natural light. Light oak flooring also combines with punches of vibrant colour. The living room and bedrooms remain more classic – I  believe bedrooms should be calm and restorative. We have created a master suite with walk-in-wardrobe, TV room and luxurious but contemporary bathroom.

Bathrooms are rooms that I think you can make as contemporary as you like, even in a Georgian house that is otherwise done in a classic, English style. Everyone enjoys a luxurious bathroom and the Georgians didn’t have them at all in the original houses.

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If you had £10,000 to spend on a piece of furniture/accessory/art/decor item, what would it be and why?

Depending on the area I may have broken the budget but I love De Gournay and Fromental silk wall coverings. They come with elements that are hand embroidered too. We are currently installing a hand painted scenic wallpaper in a clients bathroom which depicts an Indian scene with elephants. This is completely exquisite. I would love to install one of their contemporary takes on a Chinoiserie paper such as Fromental’s Sylvanor

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What’s next for your business/brand?

We are growing the business in Bath and Somerset. We launch a show flat there in September which clients can visit by appointment. We have undertaken a number of projects in the area but now its time to step it up and bring our Georgian specialism to the heartland of that period.

Which new/up and coming designers do you currently have your eye on?

I’m very impressed by Sophie Paterson Interiors, if nothing else than for her huge success on Instagram!

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If someone reading this was about to begin their own home redesign project, what would be your best advice to them?

Start with writing yourself a good brief, setting out your requirements for each room and the way you want to live. Then space plan each area. You can do this using a squared pads and taking a square per half meter and marking on your furniture layout. Then you can plan where you want sockets, switches, wall, ceiling, table and floor lamps.

It’s tempting to jump straight to the colour scheme but planning out the way a space will work needs to come way ahead of that. Also think about what order you undertake the works. If you aren’t in the fortunate position to renovate the whole house at the same time then please, please, please leave the hall, landing and stairs to the last. Many people want to tackle this first as it’s the first thing that people see, but then when other rooms are being renovated the trades and all their equipment, not to mention baths and showers and other large items that are being removed from the house come bumping and knocking their way through the hallway whilst your stress levels rise.  

You can get in contact with Sarah through her website Latham Interiors.

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  • John French

    Thanks for the great interview on a subject and style that I am very passionate about. Where do you think people go wrong when they attempt to style and decorate a Georgian or Regency style home?

    • I think that sometimes period properties can be a little too formulaic, remember that these homes have evolved over centuries and might include elements of those periods. As always, it’s important to ensure that your personality shows through in your home.