Explore an artist's mews house in West London

A small mews house in London has been extended and transformed into a functional and bright family home.


A 1,432 square foot London mews house has been extended into a modern home (opens in new tab) by architcture studio De Rosee Sa (opens in new tab) in order to better accommodate an artist’s young family. The property, situated on Queensberry Mews West, is located in the same mews where British artist, Francis Bacon, rented a studio in 1929. Following Bacon’s footsteps, the owner is an international artist and wanted to adapt his working space to accommodate his young family of four.

De Rosee Sa faced the challenge of creating order from a fairly chaotic situation: the existing building was boxed in on three sides, leaving only one façade of windows at the front of the house to light the interior spaces. To create more space, a better flow, and more light, De Rosee Sa added a new basement level, and introduced light via a new curved staircase under a sky light, bringing light down into the new basement level.

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To make the most of the space, the ground floor features an open-plan kitchen with a compact kitchen island on wheels, which can be moved around to create more floor space.

Arched wooden doors open to reveal a pantry (opens in new tab) / larder – essential kitchen storage (opens in new tab) space for a growing family. Cabinets were painted a powder blue, while upper cabinets were replaced with a floating shelf instead, to avoid this kitchen feeling cramped.

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The new curved staircase curls up to the first floor bedrooms, and down to the basement studio and playroom (opens in new tab).

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A sky light above the stairs helps bring light down into the new basement level.

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Upstairs, bedrooms incorporate seamless built-in wardrobes (opens in new tab).

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This ensures that bedrooms – including the kids bedrooms (opens in new tab) – are as clear and clutter-free as can be.

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A shared bathroom features concealed storage below a narrow ledge – useful for perching soap and toothbrush holders on – and means that the space under the basin can be left free, helping to make the small bathroom feel more spacious.

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Solid timber parquet flooring was used throughout to ensure the space maintained an artist’s studio aesthetic, with glazed light-wells set into the ground floor to bring more light down into the playroom and studio located in the basement level.

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A small skylight was created above the play area, letting in more light.

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Max de Rosee, Director of De Rosee Sa, said: “Throughout this project, the clients were determined to retain the studio atmosphere that a mews house can have, while creating more room for their young children. We were all inspired by the fact that Francis Bacon had his studio in the street. We responded with a design solution that added more floor space to their home, creating new areas which were highly functional, but we also worked hard to bounce natural light around where we could. The design of the staircase was crucial to this and involved many test models. The result is a combination of contrasts which we are delighted to have been able to deliver.”

See Also: A Renowned Artist Transformed This Historic Chapel Into A Fearlessly Colourful Workshop and Home (opens in new tab)

Photography / Alex James

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.