These days, the stucco-fronted house, one of the world’s best homes, which backs on to London’s Regent’s Canal, is a fully fledged family home but it has evolved in an unhurried and piecemeal manner. Initially Guy Hills, founder of fabric specialist Dashing Tweeds (opens in new tab) and his wife, corporate lawyer Natasha Good, bought two apartments within the building. Over time, and as their family expanded, they acquired the top floor and recently reconfigured the whole space with the help of Guy’s brother Adam and sister-in-law Maria Speake, founders of architectural salvage firm Retrouvius (opens in new tab).  Former fashion photographer turned self-labelled ‘modern-heritage tweed designer’, Guy is no stranger to left-field, relaxed interiors. ‘I actually commissioned Maria to design my very first live/work space more than 20 years ago,’ he says. ‘My brief was to create an urban beach house, so she knows that we enjoy an element of surprise.’  It’s just as well because there is something to delight the eye at every turn in this space, whether kitchen cabinetry repurposed from the National Museum of Scotland, 1950s sliding doors from a French hotel or a bathroom basin bookended by a pair of former jurors’ desks. ‘We’re not precious about our home, so pieces that already have a well-etched patina are ideal for us,’ says Guy. 


Salvaged pieces co-exist happily with family heirlooms, while unexpected color pops easily rub shoulders with the unexpected. Hallway ideas include bright green painted joinery, an intensely striped stair runner, and taxidermy-inspired bird-laden wallpaper that sets a playful tone. ‘Maria has reworked these interiors for us several times over the years,’ says Guy.


Throughout the house, repurposed lighting adds impact. Among the kitchen ideas for creating an eclectic look is a pendant made from recycled Czech chemistry funnels wired and suspended from a flex in the kitchen, while the island is studded with upcycled etched-glass doors. All of the delicate glass brings a lovely elegance to the space. ‘We started out with a passion for saving things,’ says Maria who, along with husband Adam, unearths pieces from factories, schools, labs, former churches and government buildings, ‘but we quickly realised that we needed to establish a design arm if we wanted to repurpose efficiently. That said, my greatest pleasure is still blending found objects with existing items. I believe that’s what makes a vibrant interior.’ Oak-fronted drawers salvaged from a museum were combined with new joinery for a unique look in the kitchen. The vintage oak parquet flooring was laid in a smart ladder pattern.

Dining room

Sustainable dining room ideas include a reclaimed dining table and dining chairs upholstered in salvaged leather, while a 1950s Italian glass chandelier adds a dash of glamor. The piano stool is upholstered in Dashing Tweeds fabric.

Garden room

An informal living area and crafting room leads out to the garden. One of the living room ideas was to customise the doors with beautiful leaded glass.

Home office

The basement floor now houses an office space and a cocktail zone fitted with an onyx sink and a vintage shelf.  Home office ideas include vintage red leather folios, which add richness to the bookcase.

Main bedroom

A cozy scheme has been evoked in the main bedroom. Bedroom ideas to enhance the homey feel include a tweed throw and shelves filled with books.

Main bathroom

Bathroom ideas included using Sienna marble on the bespoke vanity and walls to evoke an art deco look.

Dressing room

‘I love that the geometry of the parquet relates to the weave of Guy’s tweed fabrics,’ says Maria.

Children’s bathroom

In the children’s bathroom, the time-worn feel of the zellige tiles and leather cupboard fronts, which were salvaged from the British Library, bring character to an otherwise practical space. Interior design/ Retrouvius (opens in new tab) Photography/ Paul Raeside/ Otto Text/ Emma J Page