Inevitably, Architects and Designers care passionately about their homes, although for many of them this will be a project that is never quite completed. A house only starts to become a home when we populate it with our possessions and our memories.
In this selection of photographs, sensitive use of texture and colour provide a backdrop allowing art and objects to take centre stage. No matter how experimental the approach, one must remain focussed on the practicalities of every day living, kitchens that are a pleasure to create in and living areas that comfortably reflect the owner’s individual personality and lifestyle.
Design trends come and go at the speed of light, but for an environment to endure, particularly one that draws on the past and speaks to the future, combining elements in harmony is a delicate balancing act.
This was apparent in the complex refurbishment of this 18th Century Listed London townhouse to incorporate a modernist interior, without denigrating the building’s original design integrity and combining an eclectic mix of furniture with modern technology. Sleek modernism, gentle colour palettes and simple furniture profiles in wood and sustainable materials are balanced with pieces in man-made materials such as brushed steel, mirror and glass.
This helped to achieve a maximum feeling of space within a minimal floor plan. The clients’ were adamant that their individuality should be apparent. The sofa no longer has to match the armchair or the curtains. The sensitive juxtaposition of furniture and design styles within each area utilised background elements to maintain a seamless journey through the property.
Symmetry has always been important to particular styles of architecture and interior design, and with good reason. We are drawn to balanced images for their sense of order, finding them both centering and aesthetically pleasing.
This project focuses on the perfect symmetry of a classic Georgian rural retreat. Part of the client’s brief was to create a restful and peaceful atmosphere, which is reflected in the surrounding landscape. The vertical and horizontal symmetry of the window panes and magnificent period window shutters provide the starting point. Sympathetic placement of furniture, art, objects, lighting and mirrors enhance the sense of symmetry and visual balance within the architectural envelope. The colour palette, wallpapers and decoration produce a simple, calming backdrop with occasional accents to gently vary the mood between living areas.
A pool that turns into a party room at the touch of a button, a gym that doubles as a nightclub, this is “Pushing the boundaries”, but this was back in the year 2000! Functionality through state of the art technology was the mantra.
The assembly of the Millenium Wheel gave inspiration, but humidity control, eco friendly technology and hydraulics were in their infancy and much of the methodology is still being explored today. The intricacies of technology employed could not denigrate design intention. Natural, resilient materials remain stylish yet low maintenance. A good example of looking to the future, whilst embracing traditional values.
Recent property developments within the Central London area often have a formulaic approach, predominantly white or off-white interiors and standardised layout. How are the occupants’ lifestyles and personal style accommodated?
Inquisitive groundwork, creative thinking and considered decisions can transform a house into a home. The entrance hall and staircase are literally the starting point. The original oak and glass staircase was enhanced with gold and grey polished plaster walls, adding a subtle contrast, the warmer tones and textures softening the harsher materials. Cornicing to frame the ceiling and room architecturally were introduced to echo existing skirtings and paneled doors. A vintage mirror, bronze furniture and a carefully chosen carpet runner support the effect, being at once modern, but with classic overtones.
The existing wooden floor was stained dark, defining the floor space and giving the illusion of the softer wall colours and honey oak staircase to be floating above it. A mirrored wall around the fireplace serves to further this illusion, adding a dramatic highlight. This design maxim was applied throughout the reception areas with aquamarine grass-cloth wall coverings, cool grey and off white furniture and curtains adding texture and tone. A formulaic shell has been transformed into a family home of character.
'Standing the test of time', when designing an interior, is dependant on many disciplines. Attention to detail and quality is key, both in use of materials as well as craftsmanship.
A colour palette of 'new neutrals', greige, off-whites and greys look crisp and timeless providing a perfect foil to the accents of stronger colour subtly introduced, in this instance navy blue and green.
A finish can accommodate a range of textures and materials; a wide striped paint effect in the bathroom works in combination with glass and stainless steel to produce a timeless and modern statement.
The careful selection of furniture and furnishings provide focal highlights, as the bedside tables and coffee table testify.
Scale and proportion is essential to timeless design. The positioning of large mirrors in the living area accentuates the effect of the floor to ceiling windows framing a dramatic view.
Clothing fashion oscillates between oversized and tight fitting within a number of years, but well cut clothing that fits and feels comfortable always looks good. This is clearly reflected in the design approach of this project.
Pairing design styles from different eras, simply and seamlessly requires intricate planning and careful handling. This is particularly relevant when historically sensitive elements come into play.
In this instance, beautiful period detailing, particularly the listed William Morris ceilings, are highlighted by the sleek, pared back simplicity of the designed spaces. Repetitive use of linear and rectangular elements in both structure and furnishings echo the lines of existing shutters and windows, creating a visual rhythm. This is softened by a neutral colour palette and restrained use of natural materials, glass, wood and linen with hints of silk, leather and suede. Strategically positioned niches and lighting add depth and form, drawing the traditional and modern elements together in a functional and visually pleasing oneness.
A beautiful villa, set in a secret garden, within the leafy, artists’ enclave of Hampstead Village. A special space away from the everyday bustle of the city, where the senses can be both comforted and inspired.
Strong, regular, rhythms supporting occasional accents are part of a musical theme that compliments the families’ creative skills. The natural beauty of the outdoor environment is brought into the home with light-shifting luminaires and tactile surfaces, velvet on furniture, straw and rough plaster on walls. Ordered, but with an occasional surprise, this is a family home with a sense of drama.