Real home: this interior designer's home is a masterclass in layering texture

Notebooks at the ready – this extended terrace is packed with stylish ideas to steal

Kitchen-diner with soft off-white units and island, black metal wire bar stools, Crittall-style doors, herringbone wood floor, black and cane sideboard and natural textural details
(Image credit: Chris Snook)

For Cassie Williams, a well-designed home is all about texture. The interior designer advocates building up a cosy, welcoming space through layering: woods, metallics, linens, sheepskins and dried flowers piled up to create a room that’s pretty, practical and personal to you. It’s a great strategy: whether you own an extended townhouse or rent a flat in the city, you can throw everything at it without breaking the bank (or upsetting your landlord).

And it’s clear from her home that Cassie takes her own advice. Each room is a masterclass in slow, thoughtful design, from the playful floral wallpaper in the cloakroom to the wood and brass accents that bring the kitchen extension to life; it’s a stylish, comfortable and practical family home.

Adding space with an extension (opens in new tab) was on the to-do list as soon as she and her husband, Jon, bought the house – it just took a while to see it to fruition. ‘When we bought it 12 years ago, we knew we’d convert the loft and extend out the back,’ says Cassie. They completed the loft conversion (opens in new tab) four or five years in, adding a bathroom and bedroom. Then, in 2020, they embarked on a two-storey extension, expanding the kitchen and adding another bedroom on the first floor. ‘This area is quite expensive, and there’s a big jump between a three- and a four-bedroom house,’ she explains. ‘It made financial sense to create space here instead of looking for somewhere new.’

Before shot of the back of the house

(Image credit: Cassie Williams)
Profile

The owners Cassie Williams, owner of interior design studio Truffle Interiors (opens in new tab) (@truffleinteriors (opens in new tab)), her husband, Jon, a construction project manager, and their son, Jenson
The property A four-bed terrace, built in 1915, in West Malling, Kent
Project cost £193,000

Key to the entire project was improving the downstairs layout. The couple saw potential in using part of the good-sized garden. ‘The need for more space became obvious when we had Jenson,’ says Cassie. ‘We like to entertain, and you couldn’t see what was going on elsewhere when you were in the old galley kitchen. It felt segregated.’ 

Before shot of kitchen with cream units, stone floor and boho bar stools

(Image credit: Cassie Williams)

The plan was to open up the living space and turn the lounge at the front of the house into a study. The couple tweaked architectural plans drawn up when they did the loft, and put in for approval. Their builder impressed them with the jobs he’d done in the area. ‘He has a keen interest in older houses, so we had faith he’d do a good job.’

Kitchen-diner with soft off-white units and island, black metal wire bar stools, Crittall-style doors, herringbone wood floor, black and cane sideboard and natural textural details

Kitchen, Collins Bespoke (opens in new tab), colour-matched to Farrow & Ball’ (opens in new tab)s Ammonite (opens in new tab). Wood flooring, UK Flooring Direct (opens in new tab). Clock, Nkuku (opens in new tab). Hanging chair, Rose & Grey (opens in new tab). Sideboard, J N Rusticus (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

The kitchen is now the home’s hub, framed by a vaulted ceiling, rooflights and Crittall-style doors. ‘I wanted a cosy kitchen that felt warm and homely, and in the end, we went really neutral,’ says Cassie. ‘I picked out the same shade for the tiles, floor, units and worktop, and the designer was like, “Are you sure?”. I wanted a hanging chair from the start, so we added extra support during the build. It’s a lovely corner to sit in and have a glass of prosecco while someone is cooking.’ 

Extended kitchen with rooflights, Crittall-style door, herringbone wood floor, white kitchen and island with wooden panelling

Doors, Newlite Windows (opens in new tab). Floor tiles/splashback, Fired Earth (opens in new tab). Bar stools, Rockett St George (opens in new tab). Panelling, Bert & May (opens in new tab). Pendant lights, Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). Striped vase, Next (opens in new tab) 

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Black plays a part in bringing the scheme to life, from the doors to the bar stools. ‘The reclaimed barn wood on the island has a lovely texture,’ says Cassie. ‘It’s practical, too – kids can sit at it and kick it, but it doesn’t matter.’

White kitchen with Shaker-style units, white worktop, brass handware and panelled splashback

Panelling painted in Ammonite (opens in new tab), Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Worktop, Caesarstone (opens in new tab). Brass rails, deVOL (opens in new tab). Wall lights, Nkuku (opens in new tab). Jars, Wondrwood (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

A concrete-effect worktop, rustic splashback tiles and reclaimed wood panelling pair with antique brass tones through the lights and cupboard handles. Cassie made a feature of the shelving with wooden boards, metallic textures and plants.

Dining area of open-plan space with wooden table, cane chairs, rug, hanging planters and pampas grass in a tall vase

Table, Design Vintage (opens in new tab). Chairs, Graham & Green (opens in new tab). Neon light, Bag & Bones (opens in new tab). Rattan vase, Next (opens in new tab). Rug, Dunelm (opens in new tab). Lights, Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). Hanging baskets, Garden Trading (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

In the dining area, Cassie sourced the reclaimed wood table and matching bench, adding cushions and furs to dress the space and add warmth and texture.

Living room with white panelled walls, blue velvet sofa and footstool, round wall mirror, brass floor lamp and jute rug

Sofa, Graham & Green (opens in new tab). Chair, Next (opens in new tab). Mirror, La Redoute (opens in new tab). Walls painted in Flaxen (opens in new tab), Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). Light, Abigail Ahern (opens in new tab). Lamp, Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). Side table, Rockett St George (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Cassie has zoned the space using rugs, changes in flooring and a screen to divide the lounge from the rest of the room. ‘With open-plan living, you can sometimes get noise crossover, but we’ve found that’s rarely bothersome,’ she says. ‘It’s mostly about being together. I tied the lounge in with the kitchen area by following the look. I’m a fan of texture, more so than colour – I wanted to keep things quite neutral.’

Rear extension with Crittall-style doors leading to patio area with black painted pergola, pallet L-shaped seating and festoon lights hanging above

Seating and coffee table, made from pallet boards. Festoon lights, Next (opens in new tab). Deck chair, Folk Interiors (opens in new tab). Rug, Cox & Cox (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

The garden extends the living area, with a comfy corner pallet bench and a barbecue. ‘It’s lovely sitting out here in the summer,’ says Cassie. ‘The garden team fitted the pergola and built the barbecue area.’

Home office with grey walls, white painted wooden floor, purple pattern rug, traditional fireplace and round mirror

Paint, Mole’s Breath (opens in new tab), Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Rug, Trend Carpet (opens in new tab). Mirror, West Elm (opens in new tab). Desk, made by Jon. Chair and light, Abigail Ahern (opens in new tab). Vase, Next (opens in new tab). Curtains, Zara Home (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

‘I love dark rooms, but wasn’t brave enough to try them in the extension,’ says Cassie. ‘I painted the skirting and ceiling the same colour so it feels like a cosy place to be.’

Bathroom with white tiled walls, black painted wooden floor, dark blue roll-top bath, jute rug and wooden accessories

Bath, Cast Iron Bath Company (opens in new tab). Bath tray, Grace & Olive Home (opens in new tab). Wall tiles, Fired Earth (opens in new tab). Print, Rockett St George (opens in new tab). Floor painted in Railings (opens in new tab), Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Towel rail, Rose & Grey (opens in new tab). Side table, Ineko Home (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Upstairs, the rustic scheme continues with a roll-top bath and reclaimed vanity unit in the bathroom. 'The feature of the bathroom is the roll-top bath,’ says Cassie. ‘It’s sympathetic to the age of the house.’

Bedroom with white walls, beige curtains, black metal bed frame, blue floral cushions and dried floral wreath

Bed, hand-me-down. Knot cushion, Chickidee Homeware (opens in new tab). Ceiling light and bedside tables, Rockett St George (opens in new tab). Walls painted in Flaxen (opens in new tab), Cox & Cox (opens in new tab). Wreath, Not on the High Street (opens in new tab). Curtains, Zara Home (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)
Costs & contacts

Build work £145,000
Kitchen £20,000
Furniture & décor £20,000
Professional fees £5,000
Bathroom £3,000

Builder MSB Contractors, 07743 831832
Carpenters N Ledner Carpentry & Joinery (opens in new tab); H3 Carpentry (opens in new tab)
Garden Kent’s Best Landscapers (opens in new tab)

In the guest room, the couple added feature wallpaper, touched up the original fireplace, and painted the bed black. ‘A bit of pampas grass, some nice cushions, and boom – we had a lovely bedroom,’ says Cassie. ‘My husband has family in the West Country, and we liked the idea of being able to host them for stays in an attractive spare bedroom.’ The master bedroom, in the loft, is next – the plan is to go cosy and dark. 

Kid's room with white walls and green mountain paint effect, wood bunk bed with canopy, white and black boho rug and cloud pendant light

Mountain shapes painted in custom olive, Dulux (opens in new tab). Canopy, Amara (opens in new tab). White rug, Wayfair (opens in new tab). Bed, Ikea (opens in new tab). Ceiling light, Ebay (opens in new tab). Lockers, Mustard Made (opens in new tab). Black and white basket, Next (opens in new tab). Green rug, H&M Home (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Jenson’s room, in contrast, is bright and fun, with painted mountains on the walls and a den-like bed. ‘Jenson loves making dens, and sitting under the bed with his disco light,’ says Cassie. ‘We read there in the evening before he goes to bed.’ Cassie added the bookshelves and black chalk paint.

For Cassie, the key to the project was staying sympathetic to the house’s age. ‘From the reclaimed furniture to the restored fireplace, where we could tie in with the original features, we’ve tried to do so,’ she says. ‘But the main thing was the social space – and we love that we can cook and chat at the breakfast bar while Jenson plays with his toys. It’s perfect.’

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Ellen Finch
Ellen Finch

Joining as features editor in 2017, Ellen now looks after the day-to-day running of Real Homes magazine as deputy editor. She also commissions and writes many of the real case studies you'll see on the site, and loves speaking to people about their homes and get the details on the hacks they've tried and loved. She's currently gearing up to buy a home of her own in 2023 – hopefully with a garden to plant veg and wildflowers – and has a special interest in sustainable living, clever book storage, and cats.

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