written by:
photos by:
March 31, 2016
Originally published in Designers at Home
as
Balancing Act
Orla Kiely furnishes her renovated Victorian house with her signature prints.
Textile designer Orla Kiely's home

Textile designer Orla Kiely’s renovated London Terrace House is punctuated by her distinctive palette and motifs.

Photo by 
1 / 5
Orla Kiely living room London

Light My Fire

“I didn’t want to compromise the Victorian nature of the house,” she says. Although the original fireplace was in good shape, the flooring needed to be replaced. Kiely didn’t want to use new wood, so she sourced the weathered ebony-colored boards from an architectural salvage yard. “I wanted the floors to really feel like they were part of the house,” she says. Kiely found the rug at Heal’s and the chandelier and art are vintage.

Photo by 
2 / 5
Textile designer Orla Kiely's home

Sitting Pretty

The ground floor was originally two rooms; now it’s been transformed into one continuous space. To compensate for a low ceiling, Kiely’s team dug into the ground to create a true sunken seating section leading to the garden. Built-in sofas, an Eames rocker, a stool by G Plan, and concrete tiles outfit the space. Kiely chose a neutral charcoal finish for the Malm fireplace to balance the green linoleum floor and her own Rhododendron wallpaper in Sunflower.

Photo by 
3 / 5
Textile designer Orla Kiely's home

Kitchen Confidential

Kiely and architect Maxim Laroussi designed the kitchen unit. “I originally didn’t want an island, but I liked what we did because it feels like a piece of furniture. It’s cozy to cook around,” Kiely says. Panels of orange and olive Formica accent the 1950s-inspired piece, which houses a cooktop by Smeg. A checkerboard of closed cabinets and open shelves offers storage against the far wall for Kiely’s collection of dishes, knickknacks, cookbooks, and small appliances, like the KitchenAid stand mixer and radio by Vita Audio. The floor is green Marmoleum, selected because it feels warm underfoot. Kiely’s own Stem dish towels and ceramic storage jars add more lively color to the room.

Photo by 
4 / 5
Textile designer Orla Kiely's home

Home of the Brave

In the ground-floor eating area, the design team wrapped the walls in rich walnut to instill warmth often found in mid-century homes. “Sometimes one bold move is enough. Be brave with fewer statements,” Kiely advises. “Go for the big thing rather than lots of little things.” Kiely’s Upholstered Dining Chairs from her House collection surround a Danish vintage dining table. Her Gloss vases adorn the hallway console, which is also from her House line.

Photo by 
5 / 5
Textile designer Orla Kiely's home

Textile designer Orla Kiely’s renovated London Terrace House is punctuated by her distinctive palette and motifs.

Like her line of fashion, housewares, and furniture, Irish-born designer Orla Kiely’s four-story, 3,000-square-foot home in southwestern London, is vibrant, warm, and layered with pattern and color. “I know what I like and what works for me,” she says.

The interiors could be none other than Kiely’s—nearly every room is festooned with her signature prints—yet it’s more than just a one-note samba, thanks to her careful consideration of how each element plays off the others. Kiely honed her eye studying textile design at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and knitwear design at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1997, she established her eponymous company. Now her pieces are available at retailers like HD Buttercup, Target, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie.

Alongside designer Susan Minter and architect Maxim Laroussi, Kiely gently recast the house while keeping the original detailing intact, including the moldings, ceiling roses, and bay windows. “It’s a Victorian house, and we didn’t want to make it into something else,” she says. The team removed walls, clad surfaces, replaced flooring, and incorporated bespoke furnishings of Kiely’s own design. “Sometimes you have people who say, ‘I don’t want to live in my work,’ but, in the end, I love what I do and how it looks—so I’m happy to have it.”

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016