Design Project: A Light-Filled Family Home In London’s Holland Park

Four flats have been knocked down to create one light and spacious family home in Holland Park.


A newly renovated family home in West London. The owners wanted to re-build the original house, which was divided into four separate flats at the time, to join them together, plus expand the property by creating a large new basement. 23 Architecture + Guy Stansfeld Architects / 318 Studio were brought on to create a comfortable family home, to maximise available light and space and to accommodate an extensive art collection. Together they created a new basement and completely reworked the original staircase – pretty much nothing is left of the original layout.


The staircase is a beautiful shape, and the hallway appears wide, light and spacious, owed in part to the Crittall partitions. The staircase is in fact very modest in size but the simple white sculptural shapes, huge window and skylight and the narrow double height volume all make it feel larger than it really is.

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The rooms are all simple rectangular spaces so the architects wanted the circulation spaces to be a bit softer and more organic.

On the raised ground floor level, the formal sitting room is the first space you see on entering the house. The more family-friendly spaces are downstairs on the lower-ground level.

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A large open-plan kitchen and dining area sit in the basement, with doors opening out into the garden. There’s also a cosy nook for lounging, and a homework area with a pull-down desk.

The downstairs features more glass doors and partitions. The architects wanted to create a sense of openness throughout the house, in particular within and between the principal floors. There was some conflict between this desire and the need to create functional spaces that could be used separately and privately.

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Glazed partitions provided the best of both worlds creating separation but retaining the strong visual connections that the owners wanted.

The materials palette has been kept very simple. White walls, a mix of polished concrete and oak parquet on the floors, black Crittal windows and subtle details highlighted in brass.

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The idea was to make calm, beautiful spaces and to let the owners’ collection of beautiful art and furniture shine.

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Wood kitchen cabinetry softens the modern look, and makes for a warm, cosy and inviting space.

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Brass handles match the brass detailing on the floating shelf. Display items are simple and rustic, and create a balance of rustic and modern.

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A metallic dining table adds interest, while the pull-down desk gives the room a welcome pop of colour.

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The cloakroom features a burst of bright, zingy yellow, with foxed mirror panels.

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Storage has been created on every level. It has all been integrated in such a way as to minimise its visual impact and use ‘leftover’ space as much as possible.

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The brief demanded a large art store which has been incorporated into the basement behind a huge ‘secret’ door.

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There’s also a downstairs library room.



As avid art collectors, the owners already had a great eye for style and colour. The architects worked very closely together to ensure a seamless continuity between the architecture and interior design.


An extra tall bathtub features in the master bathroom, and is deep enough to submerge you right to the shoulders.

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Brass accents warm up the cool marble.


At the back of the house, Crittall windows stretch over the bottom two floors to maximise daylight.

Photography / Matt Clayton, @mattclaytonphoto

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