Cover Dutch supermodel Lara Stone and her property developer husband David Grievson (Portrait photography: Matt Easton)

Take a peek inside a Victorian house in Hampstead, which is now home to Dutch model Lara Stone and her property developer husband David Grievson. They tell Tatler Homes more about their newly renovated abode

A bright and inviting orange sofa beckons, the minute you enter the home of Dutch supermodel Lara Stone in London, where she resides with her son Alfred and her property developer husband David Grievson. “It makes me happy every time I see it,” quips the supermodel.

Situated in Hampstead, an exclusive and idyllic neighbourhood with cobblestone streets, this charming Victorian home was completely redone by Grievson and his team to become a truly home sweet home for the family of three.

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Grievson, who runs property design company Coburn, describes himself to Tatler Homes as “one of those kids who was always rearranging my bedroom”. “I have always been interested in how spaces work. I started Coburn because I know what a daunting challenge taking on a building project can be,” shares Grievson. His company now offers the full gamut of services, from project management to construction and interior design.

So it felt natural for him to lead the makeover of the couple’s new home, which now also serves as a showcase for the firm’s interdisciplinary capabilities. He adds: “When it is your own place, the golden rule for me is that at a minimum you should be able to sell it the day you move in and not lose money. Of course, I backed myself to do better than that!”

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The existing house was the residence of the same family for 36 years, and was in need of a major makeover. It was also subdivided by the previous owner to allow their two grown children to take up a floor each, creating extra dividing walls for kitchens and bathrooms; however, these partitions blocked out daylight from entering the front and rear of the house.

Describes Grievson: “The house itself is beautiful, a classic Victorian double fronted red brick villa with a great London garden. Unusually for London all the floors—apart from a small cellar which is now a plant room—are above ground, and this was a huge positive for me. It was also much bigger than any of the others we had been considering, but because it required a lot of work I think it had put people off.”

To create a bright and inviting space, the couple decided to return the house to its original layout and restore the ceiling height. The mezzanine levels were removed, and the former garden shed and outdoor toilet were transformed into a boot room. 

At the same time, the couple wanted to preserve the historical elements of the house, which was built in the 1870s. “I wanted to respect [the history of the home] whilst making it function like a modern house. That meant retaining or matching as many of the original features as we could and ensuring the finishes were contemporary but harmonious. London is not short of Victorian houses, so there is a wealth of inspiration and researching finishes is something I can get obsessive about!”

Throughout the home, off-white and cream walls offer the perfect backdrop for an array of pieces and art in sprightly hues, such as the orange Loveyourhome sofa that the model loves. Furnishings were carefully selected to convey this harmonious blend of the old and the new, punctuated by vibrant paintings including the work of UK landscape artist Lucy Kent, who is a friend of Grievson.

Other stand-out pieces in the abode include the 130-year-old vintage dining table, that was from an accountant’s office in Glasgow. Recalls Grievson: “I had to shorten the legs to make it a proper height to sit at, and also took the full weight of it when carrying it downstairs in my old place, which might be my greatest ever feat of strength. It has so much character and is so tactile, and I hope I’ll still be sitting at it when I’m an old man.”

The couple considers the master suite among their favourite rooms in the home; the partition walls that separated two bedrooms and a bathroom were taken down to create this cosy space, which connects to a bathroom as well as a dressing room that Stone herself had designed and planned.

“[Our bedroom] is such a peaceful space. We live on a quiet road, with views onto the heath from the bathroom and my dressing room, and it’s amazing to be in London and yet somewhere so quiet I can be woken up by birdsong,” she says.

The year-long renovation process was a labour of love, with a beautiful yet functional outcome that speaks of the family’s personal passions and lifestyle. Adds Grievson: “I love how we’ve been able to tick so many boxes we’d never really imagined having in a London house.” 

  • PhotographyIngrid Rasmussen (interior)
  • PhotographyMatt Easton (portrait)
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