Full of sorbet shades and sunshine, this home cleverly combines designer gems with feel-good factors such as quirky art and faux sheep
A Victorian three-storey house in north London. The lower-ground floor comprises an open-plan kitchen, living and dining space with a library and gym, plus a courtyard garden. There is a large living room, bar, guest bedroom and bathroom and a cloakroom on the ground floor, with a guest powder room on a landing between the ground and first floors. The main bedroom, bathroom and dressing room are on the top floor.
Filled with colour and texture, there’s so much to tantalise the senses in this 1870s house in a leafy part of north London.
Its unusual proportions – thanks to the house being linked to a neighbouring property during the war to become a printing press and never converted back – have allowed for enviable lateral living not very far from the city centre.
Working with interior designer Peter Mikic, the home owners separated the house into three distinct zones so that every single square inch is used to the max.
On the ground floor, the colours of the glamorous living room were inspired by an Eighties Emanuel Ungaro sideboard. It has influenced the dusky-pink hue of the walls, the velvety shades of the furniture and the kaleidoscope of colours in the bespoke rug.
The house might feel impossibly glamorous, but it’s welcoming too, with lots of fun, humorous touches like a large quirky faux sheep that takes visitors by surprise in the living room and a flea-market painting, bought for next to nothing, which has been so exquisitely framed and displayed, it looks more like an Old Master.
The doorway beyond leads to the chic bar.
Leading off the living room, this snug was the perfect place to create a chic bar. The previous owner had used it as a stereo room, filled with his CD collection. Now it’s equipped with everything you could ever need for aperitifs and nightcaps.
The open-plan kitchen and living space on the lower-ground floor is perfect for relaxed entertaining.
But the kitchen wasn’t always so light-filled – originally, there was just a tiny door and two small windows overlooking another wall, which blocked any view of the outside. Knocking the wall down and replacing it with floor-to-ceiling Crittall windows opening on to a newly landscaped garden (complete with outdoor fireplace) literally doubled the sense of space.
The marble was found in Spain, cut from one slab and shipped over in a single piece. It’s amazing for things like rolling out pizzas.
A wall of Crittall-style windows allows light to stream throughout the entire open-plan basement living area, reaching this inner hallway beyond the dining space.
Peter Mikic helped to transform the dining space from the warren of corridors that it used to be.
While sticking to the house’s original layout, most of the structure had to be rebuilt due to the alarming deterioration of the foundations discovered during the renovation. For almost a year, heavy-duty stilts were the only thing preventing the walls from crashing down. Original features such as the cornicing and quirky Moroccan-style arched doorway at the top of the first-floor landing were kept as they were, while the staircase was completely stripped back to their original black wrought iron.
The mezzanine doors lead to a powder room and cloakroom.
BASEMEMENT LIVING ROOM
The downstairs living room is more informal, perfect for lounging, playing card games, watching films or listening to music.
The Moroccan-style arched doorway at the top of the stairs was inherited as part of the house.
The polished-plaster walls in a deep-sea blue really up the ante in here. Blue is such a flattering colour and also very relaxing, which is what you want for your guests: that they look and feel beautiful and at ease all night long.
Upstairs, the cool, soothing comfort of the bedroom and main bathroom takes centre stage. Here, abstract artwork blends seamlessly with the subtle hues of the walls.
The minimalist mood in here brings a welcome note of calm. All soothing lines and textures, while the veins of the marble are almost hypnotising. It’s the perfect backdrop for the signed Hockney Swimming Pool lithograph.
To see more of Peter Mikic’s work, check out petermikic.com
Photography ⁄ James Merrell