This project, completed in 2021, and located at a charming garden square in Kensington, involved the careful renovation and restoration of a c.1815 Grade Two-listed five storey townhouse.
Having recently worked on several minimalist and 'rustic farmhouse' projects, it was a pleasure to get our teeth fully into a Georgian aesthetic. The concept design drawings are posted separately.
The house had been 'chopped and changed' over the years; notably during an unsympathetic '60's revamp, but also an Edwardian remodelling, and much of the Georgian detailing had been lost.
This was particularly evident at the front ground floor where, on entering, one was confronted by a low-ceilinged open space with an oversized spiral staircase with a plexiglas 'flying saucer' above.
A priority has been to reintroduce a domestic Georgian scale and detailing, albeit not slavishly following the original floorplan. This includes new cabinetry, cornices and reopened fireplaces.
A library-cum-sitting room is located in the front part, overlooking the front garden and square. It includes a couple of built-in shelving units and several discreet cupboards within the panelling.
The adjacent dining room also acts as a 'walk through' from the entrance lobby to the stair hall. An angled recess and French window overlook a lightwell and the kitchen windows beyond.
We worked closely with Patterned Design who sourced the furnishings and specified paint colours; Sturthill on cabinetry, Hayles & Howe on cornices, and Ryan & Smith on fireplaces.
An advantage of the Edwardian remodelling is the shifting of the staircase to a rear extension on the site of the original closet wing; unlikely to receive listed building consent nowadays.
It has therefore been possible to open-up an enfilade from front to rear, enabling a view of the rear garden from the front door via the glazed kitchen doors, an early client request.
The enfilade is framed by deep panelled openings, painted white to reflect as much daylight as possible, increase the illusion of space, and draw one's eye towards the rear garden.
The central hall houses an elegant new Georgian-style curving staircase with tapered treads, which is far more space-efficient than the ponderous Edwardian version it replaced.
This allows for a wide panelled doorway to the kitchen, aligning with the dining room opening opposite, and a jib door to a WC tucked in behind. The front door is visible in the background.
The staircase connects all areas, up to third and down to lower ground, and is lit via a rooflight and numerous side windows opening onto a lightwell.
A long corridor at the foot of the staircase, with continuous built-in 'Shaker-style' cabinetry on one side, leads to ancillary accommodation at the rear and a guest 'apartment' at the front.
The kitchen is located at the rear of the ground floor and opens onto a charming west-facing garden, redesigned by Jean Wardrop. Panelled reveals define the breakfast area and conceal extensive storage and air conditioning.
The kitchen units are by Mowlem & Co, the tiled backsplash by Douglas Watson Studio, countertops by Stewkley, and the 'Floren' pendant by CTO Lighting. Patterned Design specified the colour scheme.
The original room was extended to the rear and side, with small sash windows added at each end. These windows align with the Dining Room French door thus creating a secondary enfilade.
A central 'dresser', with reeded glass by Aldo Diana, houses a television set within the central section and helps tie the main body of the space together, as does the 'Running Georgian' cornice.
The elegant Drawing Room, in the 'piano nobile' overlooking the magical communal garden, is probably one of the grandest in the square. It was created on the site of the two original rooms and staircase during the Edwardian remodelling.
The project has included a full renovation of the Drawing Room including: decorative plasterwork by Hayles & Howe, an antique mantelpiece by Ryan & Smith, a glass chandelier by Wilkinson, and Versailles parquet by Charles Lowe.
Double doors connect the Drawing Room with the first floor landing, within an arched recess. The guest bedroom is located behind the door in the background.
The guest bedroom, located at the rear of the first floor, includes a bay window and central 'Juliette' balcony overlooking the rear garden.
An antique fireplace by Ryan & Smith and a Murano chandelier help tie the space together. A mirrored sliding door leads to the bathroom.
The beautiful grasscloth wallpaper was specially created for the room by Patterned Design.
Here are two more examples of wallpaper created for the project by Patterned Design.
The left hand side photo is of the first floor WC, located adjacent to the Drawing Room. The Greek Key pattern picks-up on the classical aesthetic in that area.
The right hand side image is of the ground floor WC, located behind the jib door in the stair hall. The flowing floral pattern picks up on the antique Art Nouveau 'serpent' mirror light.
Moving up to the second floor, which is entirely devoted to the master suite, here is a photograph of the bedroom located at the rear.
The fireplace, originally installed in the Drawing Room in the 1930's, was slightly reduced in size to fit the proportions of its recess. The paint colours pick up on the Greek Key pattern.
An antique alabaster urn has been adapted by Wilkinson to form an interesting pendant fitting; the bedside lamps are by Bestlite.
The front of the second floor, previously a gloomy low-ceilinged open-plan space after the '60's revamp, has been remodelled along the lines of the original floorplan.
An elegant panelled lobby with built-in wardrobes to either side of the central bathroom doorway, leads from the landing to the dressing room at the end, overlooking the square.
Built-in panelled wardrobes by Sturthill are located on the long sides of the room with recessed openings for the two windows and a secondary doorway to the bathroom.
The antique bolection fireplace was supplied by Ryan & Smith and the paint colours follow on from the master bedroom.
The panelled opening by the dressing room fireplace (with a sliding mirrored door) leads to the bathroom. A freestanding cast iron bath sits in line with this and a French door with a 'Juliette' balcony.
A bespoke metal-framed screen, by De Hoop of Amsterdam with reeded glass supplied by Aldo Diana, masks the WC and shower cubicles. The inset mosaic panels are by Giulia Manzoni.
The bespoke vanity cabinet, of burr oak veneer and ebony legs by Sturthill, reads as a freestanding piece of furniture. The matching medicine cabinet above reads as a framed mirror.
Quite a few complicated components have come together to create an airy and calming space.
The uppermost and top-lit flight of stairs leads to the third floor which is mainly devoted to a study. This area was added during the '60's revamp and does not extend to the front of the property.
A wall-mounted mid century shelving unit is located on the landing, and a small kitchenette and discreet WC are located to either side of the green-painted recessed area.
A slightly more contemporary aesthetic has been adopted on this floor, including pine flooring harvested from the earlier renovations, and metal-framed double doors by De Hoop.
The study doorway aligns with a French door within the green-painted landing recess. This affords access to the original butterfly roof above the master dressing room and bathroom, and draws one's eye out from the study to the square.
And finally, one last look down the elegant new Georgian-style staircase by Yeo Valley Joinery..