Case study

Traditional Modern Home

Location - lewisham, London

Topology were asked to transform the adjoining living rooms, dining room and master bedroom of our client’s home in Lewisham. The property already had great bones, including high ceilings, beautiful fireplaces and traditional mouldings throughout, but the interiors were in need of a refresh and lacked the clients true personality to suit the young professional couple and their two children. We project managed the whole design from concept to completion – you can read all about the process below.

The brief was to achieve a homely but modern aesthetic, with traditional nods and a neutral base. The client loved the look of the Hoxton, Soho Home and the like. 

The Project

The budget for this project came to just under £65k as it was done with premium products and included the following – 

  • Installation of crittall like doors (steel versions, rather than crittal branded itself) 
  • Traditional paneling across 3 rooms
  • A bespoke wine / bar cabinet with integrated electricsa
  • A bespoke dressing table
  • Repairing and staining the original wood flooring
  • Painting throughout
  • Updating the furniture, lighting and accessories in every room

This design included more expensive elements such as crittal, as well as bespoke pieces, so we found budget saving solutions for other areas such as the flooring, in which we repaired and updated the original wood floor, as opposed to replacing it. We also updated the existing joinery where possible with a fresh paint colour and handles to give a new look and feel rather than ripping out & adding in new. 

Topology designed in collaboration with Hansford joinery, the bespoke wine / bar cabinet and dressing table. For the wine cabinet, we removed the existing alcove joinery and fitted a dark anthracite and oak bar cabinet, complete with interior lighting to dimly light the client’s excellent selection of fine wines. To ensure symmetry in the room, we updated the existing alcove joinery on the other side with the same paint colour to match. 

The addition of paneling in the two living rooms and bedroom reinstated the traditional features of the property and emphasised the height of the ceilings. To supply and install it cost around £3000. 

For a more modern addition, we sourced crittall doors for the living room, dining room and door leading out to the garden. This created a nice flow throughout the home and allowed more light to flood the rooms throughout the day.

When we first met Annie and Jason, they felt their current interiors didn’t reflect their style and wanted to make their home feel more like their own. They talked us through the changes they wanted to make and we then met with contractors who quoted for the larger jobs required and sanity checked the ideas to ensure they were feasible within the budget.

The Design Stages

After the site visit and formalities are complete with the client, we always undergo a series of ‘design stages’. This makes the process collaborative and fun, allowing the client to ‘sign off’ decisions along the way. First up we started with a layout for each room, which was tweaked until Annie was happy. 

We then put our design ideas down for each room into what we call a ‘design concept’. This includes the suggested colour scheme, metals and woods, as well as the key furniture and lighting pieces. Once the concept is approved (after any tweaks being needed) we finalised the design with ‘visuals’ to help the clients see the space as a whole so they are happy with bringing it all to life and committing to the scheme suggested.

We then put our design ideas down for each room into what we call a ‘design concept’. This includes the suggested colour scheme, metals and woods, as well as the key furniture and lighting pieces.

Once the concept is approved we final the design with ‘visuals’ to help the clients see the space as a whole. Once signed off, we start planning the renovation works and general project management. 

Renovation Development

Once the designs were signed off, we locked in all trades to begin work managing all appointments and quote sourcing beforehand. Once sorted, we move onto general project management such as placing orders for all of the products which get sent to our warehouse team.

It’s here we have internal spreadsheets and complex logistical processes to ensure items are arriving on time, undamaged and as expected etc. Our warehouse team will notify us if anything is not as it seems and we’ll work behind the scenes to chase orders, organise returns and make sure everything is stored safely until it’s ready to be installed by the lead designer on this project.

As this occurs, work typically begins on site and demolition & renovation begins! Through the construction process, we’ll make regular visits (usually 1 or 2 every fortnight) to ensure things are being completed to a good standard and as we have planned through the design process.


Once the trades are finished with their work and the Topology team are happy with everything, we prepare for an ‘install day’. This includes a delivery of all of the products ordered to our warehouse, electricians fitting new lighting, hanging specialists putting up curtains, artwork, mirrors etc, handymen building and Topology managing the full process, ensuring everything is in line with the agreed plans. Install days are always a little hectic and sometimes things don’t go to plan which are out of our control, but it’s the most exciting part of our job – watching our designs come to life – as well as seeing the reaction from our clients when their new space is revealed! 


If you’re interested in Topology’s on-site service, please do get in touch! For on-site services like this, we typically have a waiting list of around 1-3 months, and for e-design it’s usually quicker, around 1-2 weeks.