Luxe finishes, dramatic decorating ideas and striking artwork set the tone for this surreal yet surprisingly grounded apartment
Two floors of a Victorian terrace house in south London. The ground floor has an open-plan living/dining/office area, plus a kitchen and cloakroom. The main suite and studio/guest suite are on the first floor.
Behind the ever-so-polite façade of a typical Victorian terrace house lives a home that both delights and contradicts. At once bohemian and baroque, classic and contemporary, it defies definition.
An obsession with Dulux’s Blue Poppy shade was the starting point for the entire house. The swathes of blue envelope you, like that blissful feeling of being submerged in water.
If the aquamarine expanses conjure up the joy of swimming in breakers, the white twists and turns of the mouldings that frame all doorways and ceilings are their frothy crowns. But the tour de force is undoubtedly the enormous staircase, whose rippling balustrade is a veritable wavescape in plaster. Like cascading water, a blue silk runner flows down the steps, denying the utilitarian purpose of the showpiece that consumes a good 20sq feet of internal space.
A trio of deep-buttoned sofas are all clad in velvet of the deepest aquamarine. Like giant amorphous sea creatures that have happily taken up residence in an elaborate conch shell, they fit to the space with a natural ease.
The original grey shades of these Forties wall lights were replaced with these poppy red drums as a contrast to the pervading blue.
The home’s interior is all soft edges and sinuous curves thanks to the liberal application of plaster.
The enormous polished-plaster dining/work table is the most used piece of furniture in the house. It weighs over a tonne, but can be moved with ease as it’s fitted with aviation casters. The dentist’s chair by the window was sourced from an antiques dealer in Wiltshire.
Simple Ikea carcasses were dressed up with marble worktops and bespoke brass handles. Amazingly, the entire kitchen budget came to under £5,000.
The home owner designed the leek and carrot (below) wall lights as a tribute to her favourite vegetables.
Sand was added to the plaster to give the impressive Gaudí-esque staircase a textured feel.
A patinated foxed mirror beneath the staircase displays a beautiful reflection of the prints opposite it.
The made-to-measure sofa bed was inspired by John Galliano’s love of the bias cut. The diagonal lines elongate its perfectly square two-metre dimensions.
Panelled walls open to reveal hidden storage and screen doors glide seamlessly into wall recesses to separate this sanctuary. Emerald painted skirting boards and matching blinds are the only concession to the overriding azure hue.
The entire wall behind the bed is actually a run of concealed cupboards with white mouldings.
The two en-suite bathrooms are covered in modest floor-to-ceiling metro tiles. Simple cupboard fronts were pimped up with bespoke handles and instead of making expensive covers for the radiators, they were embossed, so that they now function as sculptural pieces in their own right.
The muralist was tasked with creating a French jungle – wild but refined.
Available as a location through shootfactory.co.uk. Contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography ⁄ Rei Moon