A little bit industrial, a little bit English country, here contrasting decorating ideas are a match made in heaven.
A Victorian semi-detached house in south London. In the basement, there is a family/play room and WC, with steps leading up to the kitchen-diner. The upper-ground floor has a living room, plus a guest bedroom. The master bedroom and en suite are on the floor above and the top floor is home to the children’s bedrooms and a bathroom.
The house was bought in August 2010, and building work started a year later. At the back of the house, a smallish kitchen enjoyed less than impressive views outside. The basement floor is a storey below ground level and there was no connection between the garden and kitchen. Working with Daniel Adeshile at Ade Architecture, the owners extended the kitchen and also raised its floor level, so that it now flows onto a terraced seating area with grassy garden beyond.
The builders dug out tons of earth – it filled 80 skips. A study on the floor above was sacrificed to create soaring ceiling height too, and the result is a dramatic room which feels part-New York loft, thanks to its exposed brickwork and steel windows, and part-kitchen in an English stately home, complete with super-sized bespoke cabinets.
A love of strong, industrial design is written all over the kitchen, with its exposed brick walls, brass taps, vast steel windows and salvaged supporting pillar. Sourcing the details that underpin the look was a labour of love – the owners would scour salvage yards online for hours – but it paid off. They found the supporting cast-iron column in the kitchen (pictured above), which was originally part of a Yorkshire bandstand.
The kitchen cabinets (pictured above) were designed and made to fit the generous dimensions of the space. They could go quite tall because the ceilings are so high. Anything smaller might look a bit lost against this wall.
Exposed brick walls and cool marble are balanced by bespoke units painted in timeless grey. Tools and utensils from Joseph Joseph are dotted around, adding pops of colour.
The kitchen combines practicality with great design. Eggshell on the walls gives a nice sheen and is easy to wipe down too.
The rear of the house was extended up and out. The builders went back about three metres and up half a storey. A big terrace now creates a seamless connection between inside and out. It is a south-facing sun trap and the family uses it all year round. Tough, weatherproof furniture stays outside all year round.
DOWNSTAIRS LIVING ROOM
The basement is the heart of family life. The kitchen was originally a storey below ground level, but it was raised during the renovation to create a flowing connection with the garden beyond. In the relaxed play area on the basement floor, contemporary modular shelving lines one wall.
The colour scheme used throughout the house is in full effect here – grey walls punctuated with pops of colour from bright cushions and artwork.
A panelled space, tucked beneath the stairs, the downstairs loo is completely concealed behind a row of doors that look like storage.
UPSTAIRS LIVING ROOM
The marble table is a favourite piece thanks to its contemporary aesthetic and beautiful craftsmanship. It’s amazing how something designed in 1969 works so well with the more modern pieces in the room.
Muted greys are used throughout. These slightly sombre colours have a relaxing effect, but they are mixed in with some brighter shades to add energy to the scheme.
Despite the classic details in this house, contemporary design is also at home here.
A photograph of Elton John’s hands hangs on the living room wall.
The master bedroom floor is an adult haven, complete with luxe marble bathroom. The space feels calm and grown-up, with a palette of dark, sleepy colours. Panelling was built around an existing chimney breast, creating a headboard effect and reinforcing the classic vibe that runs throughout the house.
Contemporary pieces are mixed with vintage or salvaged finds.
A wall of wardrobes were installed by the builders.
The marble basin was made bespoke. It’s warmed up by fittings in warm metal, including a reclaimed radiator, sourced online at a salvage yard, brass taps and shelving and a vintage, metal-framed mirror.
The bathroom was purposefully designed to be somewhere luxurious, devoid of kids’ stuff. Cool marble is teamed with brass taps and fittings.
The top storey is for the children. Tucked away at the top of the house, this boys’ room is still decorated in greys. The rug was designed to illustrate carpet colours available at John Lewis, and was not for sale, but the home owners asked to buy it. John Lewis now makes them for retail.
A muted, greyish tone from Farrow & Ball was used as a compromise on wished-for pink walls. It’s a nice soft shade that blends with the rest of the house.
The house has just won Wandsworth Council’s 2014 Design Awardfor ‘recognition of its outstanding contribution to design in the Borough of Wandsworth’. Ade Architecture, who worked on it, is at ade-architecture.co.uk.
Photography / Paul Massey