It is often said that ‘mother knows best’. In the case of this 1920s home in Dorking, Surrey, it would be hard to dispute this – especially when you discover that the mother in question is an award-winning artist and a designer who has helped her daughter transform a simple family home into a masterpiece.

TEST The kitchen space was once three rooms and a corridor, but is now open-plan light and airy

The kitchen space was once three rooms and a corridor, but is now open-plan light and airy

TEST Pops of colour add to the general brightness of the rooms

Pops of colour add to the general brightness of the rooms

TEST Kate has mixed designer items with affordable pieces from shops such as IKEA and Made.com

Kate has mixed designer items with affordable pieces from shops such as IKEA and Made.com

TEST The ‘simple yellow’ of the Tesco bar stools in the kitchen is echoed by lamps in the living room and the painted doors of a downstairs storage cupboard.

The ‘simple yellow’ of the Tesco bar stools in the kitchen is echoed by lamps in the living room and the painted doors of a downstairs storage cupboard

TEST A light and well-equipped home office makes Kate’s one day working from home much more pleasant. ‘It’s a really nice place to work,’ she says

A light and well-equipped home office makes Kate’s one day working from home much more pleasant. ‘It’s a really nice place to work,’ she says

TEST The stylish white-topped oak desk in the home office space once served as Kate and Jason’s kitchen table. The white bookshelves are from Ikea and the on-trend grey sofa was £100 from Homesense. A white leather rocking chair, to the left of the picture and on the previous page, was from Habitat

The stylish white-topped oak desk in the home office space once served as Kate and Jason’s kitchen table. The white bookshelves are from Ikea and the on-trend grey sofa was £100 from Homesense

TEST The original stair case was stripped back to put the natural oak centre-stage

The original stair case was stripped back to put the natural oak centre-stage

TEST A central landing allows light to flood into every room and is an attractive focal point of the home

A central landing allows light to flood into every room and is an attractive focal point of the home

TEST Although many of the rooms have been knocked through to create open-plan living, there are still intimate spaces such as this dressing room on the first floor

Although many of the rooms have been knocked through to create open-plan living, there are still intimate spaces such as this dressing room on the first floor

TEST Amber’s room is painted in a ‘simple white’ but livened up with bright and cheerful fabrics. Kate, rescued the miniature wrought iron day bed from a florist’s shop, where it was being used for display. Original oak mullion windows throughout the house are a reminder of its 1920s origin

Amber’s room is painted in a ‘simple white’ but livened up with bright and cheerful fabrics. Original oak mullion windows throughout the house are a reminder of its 1920s origin

TEST Kate, rescued the miniature wrought iron day bed from a florist’s shop, where it was being used for display.

Kate, rescued the miniature wrought iron day bed from a florist’s shop, where it was being used for display

TEST Bright dashes of colour and touches of humour, such as the flamingo’s head protruding from the wall, prevent the rooms feeling at all austere – despite the liberal use of white paint on the walls

Bright dashes of colour and touches of humour, such as the flamingo’s head protruding from the wall, prevent the rooms feeling at all austere – despite the liberal use of white paint on the walls

TEST It’s clear from the layout of all of the rooms, including those of the children, that there is a designer’s influence at work. Here, two playful gingham lampshades and classic bedside tables add symmetry and order to the space, while not being overly formal

It’s clear from the layout of all of the rooms, including those of the children, that there is a designer’s influence at work. Here, two playful gingham lampshades and classic bedside tables add symmetry and order to the space, while not being overly formal

TEST Kate’s love of colour and preferred palette is reflected in her shoes

Kate’s love of colour and preferred palette is reflected in her shoes

TEST Kate and Jason’s son Joe chose most of the items in his room, including the Obama poster

Kate and Jason’s son Joe chose most of the items in his room, including the Obama poster

TEST The simple bathroom manages to be both stylish and functional

The simple bathroom manages to be both stylish and functional

TEST Light floods into the pretty bathroom

Light floods into the pretty bathroom

TEST Dark, painted woodwork in the central stairwell makes quite a statement and contrasts with the ‘light and bright’ approach elsewhere

Dark, painted woodwork in the central stairwell makes quite a statement and contrasts with the ‘light and bright’ approach elsewhere

Custodians of History

Inspired by her family home’s centuries of history, and her lifelong interest in property, Claire Whisker has drawn on the skills she has learned during the ups and downs of her seven-year-long house renovation to create a successful new business...

Two become one

When Emma Spencer moved into her sixteenth century home, its unusual layout was a dead giveaway that it had originally been two separate cottages. With a complete interior remodel, Emma has respectfully updated this characterful building, adjusting its layout to...

Change it up

Neil and Sharon Maidment’s reconfigured family home is the result of a very successful partnership with OPEN architecture, who opened their eyes to a new layout they never imagined was possible Words: Fiona Patrick Photographs: David Merewether The green modular...