For the fourth instalment in our Meet The Homeowners series of the Rockett St George book, Extraordinary Interiors, we spoke to the creative talent Niki Jones who has transformed her home into a dramatic and show-stopping family home. Alongside The Vawdrey House, Niki Jones took on the project to renovate her Victorian Home in Tunbridge Wells, Kent which had been divided into two dwellings in the 1950s, posing a significant design challenge for Niki and her husband when they decided to restore the home to its former glory.
A dreamy combination of dark walls and our luxe gold Midas Bar Stools. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
Take it from us, Niki’s effort and hard work has completely paid off and she has created a home where the Victorian traditional features have been completely restored and are celebrated rather than hidden. Niki does not follow the status quo when it comes to her interiors, believing that weird is wonderful and that you should pour your heart into your interiors. So Niki has opted for vibrant colour pops, vintage furniture mixed with contemporary style and deep, dark walls that scream individuality. Her home is really showstopping and so we just had to talk to Niki to find out more about herself, her home and her favourite RSG pieces…
A light and airy hallway, with dark skirting that adds architectural definition. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
1. Let’s start at the very beginning tell us about yourself and your career?
I’m a Strategy Director in a creative agency. My love of using both sides of my brain and my passion for people and ideas in a fast-paced, challenging and surprising environment means I’m very much where I love to be career-wise.
2. Have beautiful interiors always been a passion of yours? When did your love of interiors first develop?
As long as I can remember I’ve always loved creating interior spaces that make you feel special. As a child, I was often changing my (very tiny) room around, making the space work differently, planning and organising and I remember lying in bed at night creating off-the-scale-exciting bedroom designs with swirling slides, secret doors and sky beds.
Niki has injected individuality into her interiors by curating unique pieces and items such as this feather dressing. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
3. You and your family live in a beautiful Victorian House in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. When you first bought the home, it was split into two dwellings in the 1950s – a significant design challenge. What inspired you to take on such a big project?
I don’t think we knew what we were getting into if I’m honest! We knew stuff needed doing but it’s amazing how as you do more work, more work needs doing! It was an incredibly exciting house to move into because it had so much natural character and history. It’s a very unique space and I knew we would be the only people in the world with a house quite like ours.
The dark walls in Niki’s living room are made playful by the clever use of bold colour pops in the cocktail chair and hot pink candles. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
4. What’s most important for you to achieve from your interiors?
To create a unique space that’s full of juxtaposition – that makes life so much more interesting! I love the surprise that comes from putting the unexpected together, whether that’s through colour, curious artefacts, secret doors, mashups of texture or styles. Stylish yet sophisticated, new vs old, glamorous yet urban, dark against bright. I think this also boils down to my home needing to be reflective of my personality – I don’t ever want to be predictable or safe but I definitely want to be interesting and challenging.
5. We love the pops of colour throughout your home, from the bright blue door in the kitchen/dining area to the luscious pink velvet banquette seating in your reception room. What advice would you give to someone who wants to add colour into the home?
Be brave, be expressive but don’t rush it. It’s easy to feel intimidated by choice and if like me you find it quite hard to decide on wall colours then ensure you have loads of time. Live with colour swatches all over the walls but at the end of the day go with what your instinct tells you. Paint colour is never forever so why not have fun and experiment?
We love the generous dose of natural light in Niki’s kitchen/dining area. It makes the room a welcoming and bright space for the whole family to hang out in. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
6. What piece of art, artefact or furniture in your home has a special significance to you and why?
The 1960’s Rocker Chair in our sitting room that my folks bought from Heals for their first flat together in Dulwich. I love the simplicity of the design, it looks gorgeous with a sheepskin rug on it and I’ve never seen one like it anywhere else.
The 60’s rocker is a characterful feature in the room and one that has great sentimental value to Niki. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
7. Now that renovations are complete, describe your home in three words?
Dramatic. Playful. Intimate.
8. Give us your top tip to create a home that is extraordinarily unique?
Go for impact. Be as expressive and bold as you can. Create something that makes you feel that heady mix of uncomfortable and excited at the same time. And if the builders and grandparents hate it, then bingo…. like with our pink front door!
A brightly coloured fireplace that instantly draws the eye – an act of creative genius! As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
9. Who inspires you the most and why?
My lady friends…their strength, humour, empathy and loyalty.
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love!
This is hard as I love so many!
Quick Fire Questions
- I am happiest when… it’s Friday night and we’re watching a family film together under blankets with popcorn.
- My favourite magazine is… LivingEtc.
- My dream holiday would be… in the Maldives in one of those floating apartments with waterslides into the ocean below.
- My ideal day would be spent…. a long lunch going into the evening at the Jockey Club, Ibiza with friends old and new.
- My personal motto is… Everyone’s weird and that’s what makes us loved.
- My guilty pleasure is… My drinks cabinet.
- The last film I saw was… Guardians of the Galaxy.
- My favourite book is… A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
- In five years’ time, I want to be… doing something I never imagined 5 years earlier.
- The three things I can’t live without are… Family, Pret soya lattes and avocados.