This project involved the amalgamation of the ground and first floor flats and a small rear addition at a Victorian townhouse in Notting Hill.
The brief included opening-up the ground floor reception rooms so as to increase the illusion of space and light, and to fully benefit from the view of the landscaped communal garden beyond.
The living room is located at the front and the kitchen/dining room at the rear. These rooms are connected via new central opening with pocket sliding doors, which aligns with the rear window.
Having reviewed a number of first floor layouts, we soon realised that the new staircase would need to be located at one end of the living room. It would therefore need to be interesting and sculptural, and not overly dominant in the space.
The property had been 'chopped and changed' over the years resulting in the loss of some of the original features. Many have been reintroduced as part of the project, including the cornices and ceiling roses, fireplaces and hearths and parquet flooring. The original window shutters, sash windows and architraves have been refurbished.
The tapered staircase is formed of laminated oak and was supplied and installed by SMET, a Belgian company. It matches the parquet flooring, and sits elegantly in the space by the sliding doors.
Structural glass balustrades help maintain just the right balance of solidity, practicality and lightness of touch and allow the proportions of the rooms and front-to-rear views to dominate.
The kitchen units, by Mowlem & Co, are located to either side of the chimney breast in the rear room. A neutral colour scheme, with some reflective finishes, has carefully been chosen to complement the parquet flooring and our clients' furniture and artworks.
As well as maximising all available space, the illusion of space has been increased wherever possible. An example of this is the new central opening in the rear room opposite the fireplace.
Together with the oak-lined recessed bookcases to either side, this provides symmetry and elegance, whilst making efficient use of the space beneath the communal staircase. A couple of steps lead down from this area to a shower room, utility room and the door to the rear garden.
A double doorway, lined with 'distressed' mirrors and an oak frame, is located at the rear of the central opening in the kitchen/dining room. This accesses the understair storage whilst providing some additional visual depth and elegance.
Discreet plaster light fittings, recessed into the side wall, add warmth to the laminated oak staircase treads and risers.
A spacious landing with a coffered ceiling and structural glass balustrade, is located at the head of the staircase. Extra-tall doorways, reinforcing vistas to windows beyond, open-onto three bedrooms and the family bathroom.
The master bedroom is located at the rear of the first floor, above the kitchen/dining room, and also overlooks the communal gardens. Being south-facing, daylight and sunlight floods in for much for the day, so a dark brown colour scheme is viable.
The dark brown colour scheme works well with our clients' eclectic collection of furniture and artefacts.
A large children's bedroom is located at the front of the first floor and benefits from the grand windows overlooking Elgin Crescent, as well as built-in storage.
The family bathroom is quite traditional in style, with Lefroy Brooks fitments, polished marble counters, and oak parquet flooring. Although small in area, mirrored panelling behind the bath, a backlit medicine cabinet, and a decorative niche help increase the illusion of space.
These are some early concept sketches of the family bathroom and large front bedroom.
These are some early concept sketches of the ground floor shower room.