This New Build House Was Transformed Into A Gorgeous Home By Interior Designers

By Carole Annett

5 months ago

A new build house can become a home

Carole Annett meets the design duo – Studio November – who’ve transformed a new build home in Oxfordshire.

Case Study: Studio November Transformed The Style Of This New Build Home

‘The essence of House No.4 was inspired by the hues of Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece The Starry Night,’ explains Christopher Cooke and his partner both in business and life, Samin Sahabi – together they founded interior design practice Studio November. ‘It traces back to a cherished memory from our son’s early years – it featured in his favourite music book.’

Desk in a bedroom

‘We found the property in Oxfordshire by chance,’ remembers Samin, who met Christopher while studying interior architecture at university (he studied architecture). The home sits on a small, niche development, one of ten houses. The duo embraced the new-build concept. ‘We basically said, “Let’s turn it from a white box into something cosy, lovely and different,”’ says Samin.

Chair and tables in a living room

The aim was to create a fusion between a modern home and an English country house. ‘While we love frills and tassels and everything you traditionally find in an English country home, we wanted to push the boundary by adding our own stamp – a little bit more of the contemporary,’ explains Christopher. ‘That sits really nicely with us.’

Sofa with footrest

The styling is eclectic, achieved by taking inspiration from a wide array of sources including Swedish interiors, Persian rugs and William Morris. The rooms also incorporate antiques alongside high street finds, achieving a warm and welcoming feel. Two colours headline the house’s palette, both by Farrow & Ball: ‘Studio Green’ and ‘Babouche’, an ochre shade. ‘“Studio Green” has a darkness that I really love,’ says Samin, ‘it grounds everything. Linking the colour through the house, whether on a piece of furniture or a skirting board, helps to achieve coherency, which is important.’

Colourful stairs in yellow hallway

‘Babouche’, the name taken from the hue of Moroccan slippers, greets visitors in the hallway, and forms a backdrop for one of Samin’s favourite embroidered fabrics, by Pollack, an American textile company distributed by Altfield in the UK. ‘It was the first fabric I bought for the house,’ she says. ‘I love it’.

The corner of a bedtime and a decorated bedside table

In order to maximise light and fill a void in the corner of the staircase, a curved curtain rail beckons visitors upwards. Hanging above, a canvas artwork by Mary Scott, one of myriad objects with a story. Christopher explains: ‘Scott buries individual pieces of canvas before creating a collage. We love her work and commissioned a piece for this space.’ The duo have also incorporated art from celebrated Iranian artist Reza Abedini and Swedish weaver Märta Måås-Fjetterström into their home, as well as Christopher’s own work.

Children's room, blue wallpaper and reading nook

The home is a great example of what Studio November can achieve – and the practice’s storytelling is resonating with clients. ‘They love that we’re not obsessed with one style, and are exploring ourselves as well,’ says Christopher. And it’s inspiring to see what can be achieved when you look at things from a new perspective.