Real home: a contemporary space inspired by travel

See how the owner's love of travel inspired the decor of this welcoming home

modern dining room with blue chairs, copper open shelving, a floor lamp and exposed bulb pendant lights
(Image credit: Jody Stewart)
Project notes

The owners: Georgia Broome, an interior designer and blogger, her husband, James, a software developer, and their daughters, Olivia, seven, and Charlotte, four
The property: A 1950s semi-detached house near Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Project cost: £105,336 

Ask Georgia the origin of a piece of furniture in her home and the answer
will be something obscure – an Ethiopian grain table, for example, or a retro French print. Travel is an integral part of her life. Brought up in France after moving from Brixton, she grew used to continental life before relocating to Dubai and then Toronto with her husband James. Each country has a place in her home through a treasured piece of furniture or accessory she brought back with her when
the family moved to Oxfordshire. 

Read on to discover her home – then browse more real home transformations.

a modern kitchen with grey cabinets, white wall tiles and copper handles

 Walls painted in Night Jewels 5, Dulux. Units, Ikea. Grey floor tiles, Topps Tiles. Worktop, Minerva. Unit handles, Ebay. Unit feet, Superfront. Copper sink, Olif. Mixer tap, Amazon

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

The transfer from Canada came as Georgia and James’ eldest daughter Olivia was due to start school. Their house search was largely based around the school they chose in a village in south Oxfordshire. Georgia originally discounted the house they now live in. ‘It had a shoddy side extension above the garage, the roof needed redoing, and the loft conversion wasn’t up to regulations,’ she explains.

It was the house’s original 1950s parquet floor that grabbed her attention. ‘It had me the minute I walked through the door,’ she laughed. ‘It was the house that no one was willing to buy and it had sat empty for two years. We had a chance to make it a lovely family home again.’

modern dining area with blue chairs, copper shelves, and art prints

 The Crate & Barrel bench at the dining room table is from a shop in Dubai. ‘It was in the hall of our flat in Dubai and our porch area in Canada. When we moved here, I took it to a local spray paint company and they matched it with the blue Eames chair. and stool, Cult Furniture. For a similar table, try the Fjord, Copper shelves, Oliver Bonas. Ceiling lights, Creative Cables

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Georgia and James had rented while they lived abroad, so the house was their first proper family home. Georgia took inspiration from international living styles when she started planning the renovation. ‘Dubai has en suites, utility rooms and modern layouts, while Canada is all about what they call mud rooms – porches on steroids where you can put buggies, scooters and snow gear,’ she explains. ‘My list for this house was to have a big mud room, an en suite, a utility and a playroom.’

Although Georgia and James didn’t extend their property, the interior layout needed tweaking. The original sitting room ran from the front to the back of the house, so they placed a stud wall in the middle and opened up the back room into the kitchen to create an open-plan layout

Green tropical laundry room with vibrant wallpaper and coloured cabinets

 Wallpaper, Etsy. Units, sink and tap, Ikea. Bug print, Ebay. Washing machine, Candy

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

‘Having grown up in France sat round the table as a family, eating breakfast and dinner together is something we do every day,’ she says. ‘It’s where we do homework; I sit and blog and order my Tesco delivery; we spend the majority of our time here.’ In fact, Georgia runs her interior design business from a desk space she set up alongside the kitchen sideboard.

a cosy living room with a grey sofa, gallery wall, red rocking chair and a cosy rug

 Walls painted in European White, Dulux. Sofas and plant, Ikea. Rug, Ebay. For a similar red chair, try Heal’s

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

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The stud wall between the kitchen and the living room helps keep the latter as a cosy, relaxing space. ‘It’s the heart of our home, with all our posters, pictures and things from the places we’ve lived around the world,’ Georgia says. From the map of the French empire on the wall to the aforementioned grain table that Georgia picked up from a street market in Italy at 16, it’s certainly a reflection of the family’s lives. That’s not to say it isn’t practical. ‘To keep it functional for a young family, it has two Ikea sofas that can take a battering, and the covers can be taken off and put in the washing machine,’ Georgia adds.

The retro touches Georgia has added around her house help to counterbalance its functionality. The kitchen is dominated by a framed list of bus routes from Brixton, which Georgia and James took regularly in their years as a young couple. French school posters picked up from vintage markets are scattered around the house. Georgia’s childhood bed is now used by Olivia, and the desk she used as  a teenager is in the spare room.

a modern bedroom with white walls and a statement star blanket

 Light, Creative Cables. Bed, Bedlinen, wardrobe, curtains and rug, all Ikea. Cushion, H&M Home. Walls painted in Night Jewel 5, Dulux

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Because James works from home, it made sense to turn the existing loft conversion into a home office. ‘A huge percentage of the budget went into bringing it up to current Building Regulations standard,’ Georgia says. However, it does get a lot of use. ‘I have my sewing table up there as well as all the furniture I’m upcycling – there’s lots of pots of paint,’ she laughs.

modern bathroom with a freestanding bath, grey wall tiles and a French print

Bath and tap, Victoria Plum. Chair, Cult Furniture. Tiles, Topps Tiles. Blinds, Direct Blinds

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

It’s clear that Georgia has a natural flair for design, but she says her family influenced her love of interiors. ‘My mum’s a curtain maker and always designed her houses,’ she says. ‘We’ve moved a lot and travelled a lot, so I’ve grown up really inspired by my environment.’ 

pale blue childrens room with children's beds, patterned pouffe and

Georgia says that her daughters’ main request for their bedroom was for lots of colour. ‘Then Olivia was going on about pineapples, so I found the fun chandelier on Ebay and added other bright yellow touches throughout the space.’ 

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

She wants that for her daughters, too. ‘I don’t want to compromise because I have young kids, but I don’t want to spend my life telling them, “Don’t touch this” or “Be careful”. It’s about getting that balance: inspiring them, but letting them live in it, too. It still needs to do the job a house is built to do.’

modern office in a loft with white walls, two desks and rooflights

 Chairs, Herman Miller and Habitat. Flooring, Carpetright. Walls painted in Brilliant White, Dulux. Brick wallpaper, Wilko. Windows, Velux. Sewing machine, John Lewis 

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)


  • Interior design Home Made Productions,
  • Architect Michael Nye Design, 07721 001661
  • Builder Adam Packer, 07766 304932
  • Bi-fold doors Mxleans Glass Oxford, 01865 715165,

More gorgeous homes to browse:

Ellen Finch
Former deputy editor

Formerly deputy editor of Real Homes magazine, Ellen has been lucky enough to spend most of her working life speaking to real people and writing about real homes, from extended Victorian terraces to modest apartments. She's recently bought her own home and has a special interest in sustainable living and clever storage.