At Home With: Noor Charchafchi

Celine Interior Design’s founder shows us round her home, where exquisite craftsmanship meets timeless elegance

Words by Ali Howard | Photography by Julian Abrams

If you’ve ever enjoyed a luxury boutique hotel stay and been inspired to create the look at home, Noor’s four-storey townhouse in Fulham is a masterclass in how to do it. Full of elegant pieces and textural riches, the property oozes five-star appeal. Yet this is first and foremost a family home – the designer shares her opulent abode with her husband and three children. “We bought the house in 2017,” she tells me. “Inside, it bears little resemblance to what it looked like when we first viewed it! We took a bold approach to the interior renovation, which I knew would pay dividends.”


Whether it’s the delicate silk embroidery on the headboards, or the brass chevron inlay on the cabinetry, here, every fixture and furniture piece boasts an exquisite finish. And with everything so perfectly placed, it’s hard to imagine the house before Noor’s luxurious renovation. “We really reworked the entire layout,” she explains. “The ground floor originally featured a warren of rooms, with no through view from front to rear, and ceilings that felt low. We wanted to expand the ground floor for an airier feel, so we knocked through the maze of living spaces to create one open-plan space. We also rationalised the first-floor rooms to create a main suite and a bedroom for our daughter, and then we’ve just finished working in the eaves to create a gorgeous bedroom for our two boys.”


Founded in 2014, Celine Interior Design is a cross-discipline interior and architecture practice with a focus on creating exceptional homes and spaces that impact our quality of living. And for CEO Noor, much of the magic happens right here below the living room. “We excavated the basement and originally created a cinema room, but that was hardy used, so the lower floor now features a gym and also the office for my business,” she reveals. And the office is, of course, a wholly glamourous affair. As an interior designer, working from home certainly has its benefits, not least when you’re weighing up layouts with liveability for clients, having recently renovated your own home. “I always look for well thought-out space where the family can come together; this is crucial for me and for so many of my clients,” says Noor. “If it doesn’t exist, then it’s one of the key tenets of my design and internal layout plans.”

While she’s keen to stress that Celine doesn’t follow trends – “We always want to ensure our designs will stand the test of time and also reflect the daily lives of our clients” – Noor describes her personal interiors style as a mix of classical British design with contemporary, Middle Eastern touches. She’s also mindful of keeping the spirit of a period property intact, as is brilliantly illustrated in this house. “Throughout the renovation I was so conscious of not wanting to delete the Victorian heritage of our home, as I think history and the character that comes with a period home should be cherished, either through preserving original features – we worked hard to retain the original cornicing and details such as the living room mantelpiece – or if that’s not possible, by referencing the original period of a home through clever detailing and design tricks,” she says. “There’s a fine balance that goes into achieving a classic-contemporary fusion, which we aimed to achieve here.”


A lesson in layering, Noor’s home boasts textural interest at every turn, from the abundance of soft drapes, silk cushions and cashmere throws, to the spectacular lighting, coffee table curios, and carefully considered door furniture. “I wanted to create a sense of delicate movement in the house through using different textures, and I also used layering as a way to incorporate my different design styles and sources of inspiration – layering classical British design with hints of Middle Eastern drama and vibrancy,” she explains. “Some of my favourite textural moments take place on the wardrobes, joinery and wallpaper. In my dressing room, I used a beautiful hand-painted and hand-embroidered silk Fromental Keats wallpaper to cover the wardrobes.” Cleverly, the designer ensures a sense of calm through colour. “At home, and in many of my projects, I’m drawn to calming colour palettes, be that neutral whites and creams, or blue and green tones – the latter are both colours that can exude a great sense of calm, and also work well as accent colours. Making a neutral scheme work really comes down to texture, pattern, contrasting wood and metal finishes, so no room feels dull,” the designer advises.


Noor’s open-plan kitchen/dining space is the show-stopping centrepiece of the home – and it is dripping in modern glamour, from the marble worktops to the brass cabinetry accents, and even the chic navy double oven. I wonder how she strikes the balance between fashion and functionality.

“The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms in the house and a space where the whole family congregates every day,” she says. “I was really able to embrace my love of classical British design with Arabic glamour here – evolving the traditional Shaker style cabinetry by adding a chamfered edge and inset brass on the handles, with art deco silhouettes. Again, it’s all about layering and achieving the right balance between the two styles.” Like the rest of Noor’s home, the kitchen boasts a rich and timeless quality. And it’s this focus on future heritage that clients have come to expect from the interior designer and her team. I wonder what she’ll be turning her hand to next. “We’ve just finished working on an incredible private apartment in central London and have more residential projects in Mayfair, and also homes in south west London and Surrey that are underway,” she says.

“Internationally, we’re working in the Middle East and also embarking on interior design schemes for superyachts, which is very exciting.” Watch this (glamorous) space.