The property

A converted factory in London’s Spitalfields. There is a living room, kitchen, dining room and study, plus two bedroom suites, a bathroom and a courtyard garden.


Tongue-in-cheekartwork,punchy design combos and architectural surprises – not to mention some glittering pop star hand-me-downs – have dragged this converted factory out of its grey, industrial past.

The owners (a film director and restaurateur) immediately clicked with the vision of Chris Dyson Architects, which set out to retain the building’s working-class roots with brick, steel girders and factory-floor proportions, blending them with contemporary glass walls and blocky concrete.

They first viewed the building when it was little more than a shell but it meant they got a say in things like the flooring and layout. They also had the help of an ‘amazing’ builder, Liam Cullen of Cullen Carpentry.Now it hums with a new energy.


The work zone is divided from the main living area by glass walls, which keep the flow, but allow privacy via a curtain.

The table lamp was an impulse buy from nearby Spitalfields market.


The central hallway serves as an ever-changing gallery. Alison Carmichael’s advertising-savvy art mixes with Jonathan Adler designs and, just for fun, there’s a yellow bust of Andy Warhol, which the couple spotted in a market in Israel.


Magnus Hastings’ photo of drag artist Vanity Faire, aka ‘Dorothy’, was part of an exhibition Why Drag? and reflects the film director owner's life-long love affair with Technicolor.


The table is ‘A great macho number: the more dented and worn it gets, the better it looks,’ says the owner.


The couple have embraced the factory bones of the building, but embellished it with gleam, colour and decorative flourishes. The mirror was mounted on to an easel to get round the issue of the curved wall and the love seat was reupholstered.

Butterfly bright colours are set against steely greys - the ultimate mix of pretty with gritty.


Steely grey, matt tiles set the tone for the home’s bathing spaces.

The vintage Sylvester the Cat statue is a reminder of the owner's great love of cartoon classics.

See more work by Chris Dyson Architects at

Photography / James Merrell