Maya Hendrix, a teacher and jewellery designer, lives in this four-storey Victorian stucco-fronted modern townhouse in west London with her daughter Nina.
They moved to this London home three years ago after living in Paris and, at first, it didn’t seem like this house needed much work. ‘But once I started to peel back the layers, I discovered an awful lot needed updating,’ says Maya. ‘The electrics and the plumbing needed redoing and there was damp in the basement. I thought, “OK, if we’re doing that, let’s go for a complete overhaul”.’
The work took a year and a half and, because the house is Grade II-listed, everything was done methodically and carefully. Maya brought in Emily Mauran, founder of EMR Architecture: ‘I wanted an architect and interior designer with vision who would work collaboratively – and I found that in Emily,’ she says.
‘I love color, but I didn’t want to be jolted awake by bright walls every morning,’ says Maya. Instead, she took a softly-softly approach, adding pastels that are gentle on the eye but still manage to have impact.
As a backdrop that runs through the four floors of this handsome Victorian townhouse, she chose All White by Farrow & Ball, then added personality and pops of color, in the form of lights, art, furniture and fabrics. ‘Yes, I could have put color on the walls – and I guess I could have painted them over them if they were too much – but I think it’s more flexible doing it this way,’ she smiles.
‘The house’s frame and original features remained intact through the work, but everything else got a total refresh,’ says Maya.
The Persian rug was inherited from Maya’s parents so has sentimental value.
The archway into the garden room is echoed in the design of the steel glazing, while the kitchen cabinets keep the warm-colors-on-white aesthetic. ‘I already knew these lights and loved their creative ethos, so they are the perfect choice,’ says Maya
Finding the right color-to-white ratio for the house was played out again in the kitchen. ‘First the cabinets were going to be in wood, then pink, then green. Finally, we went for this icy white, with woven pendants adding a hit of color,’ says Maya.
Eames chairs and a cluster of pendant shades handwoven in Latin America add just the right dose of color. Double doors mean light flows into the ground floor from the garden room at the rear and the front windows.
Maya discovered the work of artist Alexandre Carin while living in Paris. ‘I love the liquidity in his work – there’s a freedom to it,’ she says.
A convex railway mirror, one of Maya’s Parisian finds, reflects light back into the hall.
‘Storage is a must for me – I’m a big collector,’ smiles Maya. The steps in her bedroom lead to a mezzanine level with extra clothes storage and a rooflight.
‘I have a lot of clothes, handbags and shoes – and I mean a lot,’ Maya laughs, ‘So the more storage the better. I’m a collector in every sense, from antiques to clothes.’
In both of the bedrooms, mezzanines add extra layers of space (Nina uses hers for sleepovers; Maya for clothes) and even the steps up to them incorporate drawers.
Built-in storage is incorporated into steps up to a mezzanine space that’s perfect for sleepovers, all enhanced by fairground-like railings. ‘I admit I do have a weakness for pink, in fashion and interiors,’ Maya says.
This house now shows a carefully calculated balance between colour and white, vintage finds and airy space.
For Maya’s jewellery designs, visit sarcastikjewels.com
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Journalist and author Jo Leevers writes about houses for a wealth of national publications such as Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Observer, The World Of Interiors, Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Country Living, and the Guardian. She also contributes to 25 Beautiful Homes magazine, and the Mail on Sunday's You Magazine.
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