New to London, Jo Boissevain has only recently moved into her Peckham townhouse, but has already managed to make her mark in the new home. As you set foot in the South London house you are welcomed into a large hall that oozes style. The painted floorboards, art and original Victorian features create a space that’s a visual feast for the eyes.
Jo has always had an interest in interiors, passed down from her Dutch father who was an architect. Her parents travelled extensively round Europe and Jo absorbed the continental influences, being particularly inspired by Scandinavian design. The writer is excited by the juxtaposition of simple clean lines with flourishes of colour and texture.
‘I will often spice up a room with splashes of bright colour, creating a look I like to call ‘London funky’ she tells us, as she shows us round the two-story house. There is also a Bohemian element to her home achieved using natural rustic materials that can be seen in the dining table, kitchenware and textiles.
This mix of clean lines, earthy details and pops of colour make the house warm, inviting yet personal. Married to artist Dirk Larsen, Jo has always had a helping hand when it comes to deciding what colours work in their space. ‘Dirk has a wonderful understanding of colour that is imprinted in his brain and he always gets it right – with a little help from me,’ she says, smiling.We can certainly see what she means; each room is beautifully thought out. We’re particularly drawn to the fuchsia pink draws in the bedroom, which were passed down from her grandmother.
From paintings to 3D sculptures, Dirk’s original pieces adorn the walls among work by other artists. We’re fond of the original Andy Warhol Mao print that sits above the marble fireplace.
Following the tour of the house we sit down to lunch in their dining room which boasts a large fireplace with shelving on either side, full of books and trinkets. ‘I’m often introducing new colours in my kitchenware that update my home,’ she says over a homemade pasta dish. Afterwards she shows us some of her more recent finds, crockery and rugs influenced by African tribal prints.
The use of grey tones is very apparent through the house. ‘It’s very Dutch to use different tones of grey, which come from the Dutch Calvinist tradition,’ she says. ‘I love how the Dutch use grey as a foil and then contrast it with rich colours such as dark greens and scarlet. It just works so well.’
The light spacious bathroom is the ideal space to unwind in after a long day. The natural material of the wood, marble and the use of potted plants create a room with a sense of clam and peacefulness.
Jo and Dirk have created a beautiful home that manages to feel design led while still maintain a snug, homely feel. Time to book a flight to Amsterdam!
Photography: Amanda Nelson