In the Press: Our founder’s total home transformation

In the Press: Our founder’s total home transformation

By Victoria Smith

Aug 30, 2021

We couldn't be more excited to reveal that our founder Lee Thornley's new home has been featured in Elle Decor’s October issue. This project was an incredibly special one for the Bert & May team, so to see it on the pages of one of our favourite publications is just fantastic.

Working in collaboration with Architects Mass ArchitectureBert & May’s interior designers, as well as a host of similarly minded interiors brands, suppliers and craftspeople, Lee and his partner Phil started their design journey last September, with the goal of transforming a three-bedroom, mid-century property - described by Lee as ‘exceedingly average’ - into the ultimate family home.

While for Lee and Phil the vision was clear, not everyone was convinced it would work, as Lee told Elle Decor: “Everybody said we must be mad; that it’s just a bloody ugly house and can never really be made into anything else.” Fast forward 12 months and it appears their gamble paid off, as what stands today is a personality-packed property with real wow factor.        


The significant transformation is apparent before you’ve even entered the home, with a landscaped front garden and pathway paved with soft peach-hued terracotta tiles leading to a handsome solid wood door from Urban Front.

Stunning dining room light by  Bocci, partition doors by Clement windows. Free standing log burner by Stovax.  Outdoor chairs WestElm

Once inside, a light-flooded entrance hall - tiled with Bert & May’s signature Alalpardos - takes you through to a huge kitchen/dining/lounge area which has instantly become the property’s focal point. It’s a bright, light and sociable space that balances good looks and charm with fabulous functionality thanks to a fully tiled central island, sturdy-but-super-stylish countertops from Caesarstone, and clever appliances - including a drawer-style dishwasher - from Fisher & Paykel.  

Design touches: Kitchen pendant lights by Pooky and shelf by Tom Raffield.

Elsewhere on the ground floor, there’s a sophisticated living room with a cool mid-century mood  thanks to wood-panelled walls, vintage Danish armchairs, and a statement Stovax log burner set against tiles from Bert & May’s Modernist collection. Walk back through the kitchen and into a further rear extension, and you’ll find a sleek and sultry standalone master bedroom suite overlooking the carefully planted garden and a Bert’s Box set up to accommodate Phil’s pottery studio. 

No ordinary storage: Bespoke wardrobes by Upside Down Design.

Upstairs, there are two stand-out bathrooms, one decked out floor-to-ceiling in Bert & May’s Luna Rose tiles with perfectly brass fittings from Fired Earth , the other a vision in green with jewel-toned glazed tiles on the walls, and graphic Majadas on the floors with perfect complementary fittings by The Watermark Collection.

All in the details: bespoke shelves by Caesarstoneswitches and sockets by Corston and the sleekest radiators by Stelrad. All paint throughout by Myland Paint.

Throughout the entire planning process, “beautiful, easy living” was kept front and centre, says Lee, and this ethos has been adhered to every step of the way. To explore more of the project and read the article, pick up a copy of Elle Decor, out now.

Find out more about Bert & May’s interior design services here.

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