At home with Kate Watson-Smyth
When Kate and her husband, Adam, downsized from their four-storey family townhouse in London to a much more modest Victorian worker’s cottage, they were met with an extensive renovation project.  
With the process now complete – and another project in northern Italy already underway – we stopped by to see and hear more.  
Watch our interview with Kate above or keep scrolling for the highlights. 
‘This was an old worker’s cottage, and we wanted to keep the spirit of that.  
‘We went for dark wooden floors that look as if they’ve been there a long time and terracotta tiles on the kitchen floor, again with the idea that it’s perhaps how it might have looked (if it had been jazzed up for the twenty-first century!). 
‘We wanted warm, soft colours and lots of natural materials – nothing too modern, or bright or harsh.’ 
‘When I first discovered Corston, unfortunately, I wasn’t doing any renovating. So, when we moved in here it was the perfect opportunity, because we needed door handles and switches and sockets – everything needed moving and replacing.’  
‘I opted to go with the Bronze finish partly because it’s a little bit different and it’s a really warm dark brown colour. But we also discovered that the two original fireplaces in the sitting room have a bronzy colour to them and I managed to find Bronze radiators, so it all led in that direction.  
‘Bronze is brilliant because it goes with other metals. If you’ve got a chrome tap, it’s not going to have a fight with it. In the kitchen, we have a black tap and a copper worktop, and the Bronze goes really well.’  
‘When it comes to architectural details like handles and switches, it’s really important to find classic, well-made, solid designs that aren’t going to go in and out of fashion. 
‘By all means, change the colour of your walls, your wallpaper, even some of your furniture, but the architectural stuff you want to get right at the beginning and keep forever.’ 
‘While you don’t necessarily have to have the same finishes in every room, I do think it’s good if you can have a cohesive sense throughout the house.’ 
‘What’s next now this house is finished (if a house is ever truly finished)?  
‘We’ve bought a place in Italy, which was a long-held dream – and the reason we downsized. It’s also a doer-upper, so we have a whole new set of challenges, which again, will involve light switches and sockets and door handles, and this time we’ve gone for the Antique Brass finish.’  

Photographs one, eight, ten and eleven: Simon Bevan @sibev