For Cassie Williams, a well-designed home is all about texture. Interior designers advocate the creation of comfortable, welcoming spaces through layering: wood, metal materials, sheets, sheepskin and dried flowers are stacked together to create rooms that are beautiful, functional and personal. It’s a good strategy: Whether you own an extension townhouse or rent an apartment in the city, you can throw everything in without breaking the bank (or annoying your landlord).
It was clear from her home that Cassie took her own advice. From the playful floral wallpaper in the cloakroom to the wood and brass accents that bring life to the kitchen, each room is a masterclass in slow and thoughtful design; this is a family home that is stylish, comfortable, and functional.
Add space with extension (opens in new tab) When she and her husband Jon bought the house, she was on the to-do list – it just took a while to see it bear fruit. “When we bought it 12 years ago, we knew we would remodel the attic and extend to the back,” Casey said.They complete the attic makeover (opens in new tab) Four or five years later, bathrooms and bedrooms were added. Then, in 2020, they started adding two floors, expanding the kitchen and adding another bedroom on the first floor. “This area is very expensive, and there’s a big gap between three- and four-bedroom houses,” she explained. “It makes economic sense to create space here instead of looking for new places.”
Owner Cassie Williams, owner of interior design studio Truffle Interiors (opens in new tab) (@truffleinteriors (opens in new tab)), her husband Jon is a construction project manager, and their son Jenson
the property Four bed terrace built in 1915 in West Malling, Kent
project costs £193,000
The key to the whole project was to improve the layout downstairs. The couple saw the potential to use part of the large garden. “When we had Jenson, the need for more space became apparent,” Cassie said. “We love entertaining and when you’re in the old kitchen you can’t see what’s going on anywhere else. It feels isolated.
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 the building plans they made while building the loft and submitted it for approval. Their builder impressed them with the work he had done in the area. “He’s very interested in old houses, so we’re sure he’ll do well.”
The kitchen is now the heart of the home, framed by vaulted ceilings, roof lights and Crittall style doors. “I wanted a cozy kitchen that felt warm and inviting, and in the end, we became very neutral,” says Cassie. “I chose the same shades for the tiles, floors, units and bench, and the designer said, ‘Are you sure?’. I wanted a hanging chair from the start, so we added extra during the build. Support. It’s a lovely corner to sit and have a prosecco while someone cooks.
From doors to bar stools, black played a role in bringing the scheme to life. “The reclaimed barn wood on the island has a lovely texture,” says Cassie. “It’s also practical – kids can sit on it and kick it, but that’s okay.”
Concrete-effect countertops, rustic splashback tiles, and reclaimed wood paneling are paired with antique brass accents through lights and cabinet handles. Cassie features wood panels, metal textures and plants for the shelving.
For the dining area, Cassie sourced a reclaimed wood table and matching bench, adding cushions and fur to dress up the space, adding warmth and texture.
Cassie has zoned the space using rugs, floor changes and screens that separate the lounge from the rest of the room. “In an open-plan life you sometimes have noise crossovers, but we’ve found that is rarely annoying,” she said. ‘It’s mostly about being together. I linked the lounge with the kitchen area by the look. I like texture, not color – I want to keep things neutral.
The garden extends the living area with a comfortable corner tray bench and BBQ grill. “It’s comfortable to sit outside in the summer,” Casey said. “The gardening team installed the pergola and built the BBQ area.”
“I love dark rooms, but didn’t have the courage to try them in an extension,” Casey said. “I painted the baseboards and ceiling the same color, so it felt like a cozy place.”
Upstairs, the rustic design continues with the roll-top tub and reclaimed vanity in the bathroom. “The bathroom features a roll-top tub,” says Cassie. “It has to do with the age of the house.”
In the guest room, the couple added feature wallpaper, retouched the original fireplace and painted the bed black. “A little pampas grass, some nice cushions and boom – we’ve got a lovely bedroom,” Casey said. “My husband has family in West Country and we liked the idea of being able to entertain them in an attractive spare bedroom.” The master bedroom in the attic is next – the plan is to be cozy and dark.
By contrast, Jenson’s room is bright and interesting, with painted mountains on the walls and a study-like bed. “Jenson likes to make dens and sit under the bed with disco lights,” says Cassie. “We read books there before he goes to bed at night.” Cassie added bookshelves and black chalk strokes.
For Cassie, the key to the project was to remain sympathetic to the house’s age. “From recycled furniture to restored fireplaces, we can incorporate original features, and we’ve been trying to do that,” she said. “But the most important thing is the social space – we love the breakfast bar where we can cook and chat while Jenson plays with his toys. It’s perfect.”