My clients in their sixties, who live abroad, bought a 60m2 flat in Fulham for their son, now 33, around 10 years ago. They reached out as they wanted a French speaking and style interior designer based in London, to work on a complete re-arrangement and renovation of the flat, and a full project management, given the distance.
The flat was very tired, and its circulation and storage not at all optimised. My clients were looking for a practical but nicely arranged place. They did not want it to be luxurious, but rather high quality and reflective of the lifestyle of a 33 year old man who loves to host and entertain friends and visiting relatives. As this is a man’s home, they did not want the style to be too feminine either.
Fan of skateboard, the owner has an entire collection to store, loves eclectic artwork of which he possesses many, some done by an uncle artist, as well as small objects and figurines – all bringing a slightly pop art style. He is a light technician, really enjoys music, limelight and smart technology. All those needed to be incorporated in a way or another in the proposed design.
THE FLAT’S INITIAL LAYOUT
The flat is on the ground floor of a small old London residence with rear access to a lovely long communal garden, where the owner plants shrubs and herbs.
The entrance was small and opened immediately onto a wall opposite, and to the right into the kitchen. There were no storage for coats and the entrance was closed, so not very welcoming and easy to move around.
Opening up the entrance to the main living space would improve circulation and make it much more welcoming. Finding a way to bring additional storage space for coats and shoes would evidently make it more practical.Belle & Cosy
To the left, hidden by a curtain, was a messy laundry and storage area with a washer dryer, a gas boiler blocking a small window, and some poorly used storage space. The gas meter was in the ceiling, making monthly gas readings complicated.
The layout of this laundry room and entrance storage would need to be reviewed and turned back to its original purpose: a cloakroom.Belle & Cosy
The kitchen of about 10m2 was tired with a wooden worktop that was starting to get mouldy and cracked tiles. Outdated and with a terrible circulation and ergonomic space, it was more like a corridor that connected the entrance to the living room. An arched opening lead into the main room.
The layout and circulation of this entire space had to be rethought with the installation of a new kitchen in a more contemporary and practical style, and walls removed to improve the flow and sense of space.Belle & Cosy
The living room was of a good size (14.6m2), but was the only access to a large bathroom. The living room space hardly allowed a dining area which an existing oak console extending into table for 8 was meant to allow. This space was therefore not practical to entertain as wished.
The removal of the fake fireplace would allow the existing sofa to be placed to have a view through the kitchen window onto the garden. A bespoke built-in bookcase with a wall-mounted TV and low storage units on the opposite wall, and in lieu of the old bathroom, would bring character to the room and give plenty of additional storage.Belle & Cosy
There were 2 bedrooms, both accessible from the kitchen; one very small overlooking the back garden, and one master bedroom with a large window onto the main road. Both, especially the master one, were poorly isolated from the noise coming from the entrance of the building.
In the master bedroom a large wardrobe across the width of the room could be found, providing storage space for clothes but also other household equipment such as mops and vacuum. The wardrobe was particularly deep, so storage was impossible to optimise nor very practical. In the small bedroom, there were no other storage apart from the under the daybed.
The style: The flat was transformed into a warm and open living space, with a contrast of dark and neutral tones. To achieve this, matt textures and colours such as whites, greys, dark hues of blue, aubergine and natural wood tones, with black to bring accents and a touch of masculinity.
The Pop-art was source of inspiration to inject brighter touch points, such as a hot pink, in order to illuminate the space in a punctual way. The same flooring was laid out throughout the flat, except for the bathroom, with oak engineered wood flooring, ensuring easy cleaning and giving an impression of volume and uniformity. In the bathroom, 1m x 1m concrete tiles were used on the floor and walls, also increasing the space visually.
The space layout today: A large open plan for the kitchen and living room allows for a perfect optimisation of the circulation from the entrance. The addition of the numerous integrated storage units creates an impression of order, space and serenity. The bedrooms and bathroom, located to the right of the living area, were delimited and closed off, in order to preserve privacy.
Entrance today: As we walk through the main door, we step into a large living space, consisting of an open kitchen/living/dining room. With the windows in the living room and the kitchen, this space will benefit from light flooding from both sides. Most walls were painted in a pure white (Farrow & Ball All White No. 2005 Modern Emulsion), and all door frames and skirtings were outlined in an off black (Farrow & Ball Off-Black No. 57 Eggshell) to bring contrast and personality.
Cloakroom today: The small cupboard/laundry room to the left of the entrance was converted into a separate cloakroom, including a toilet and small washbasin, and closed off by a door for greater comfort.
Kitchen today: To the right of the entrance door, separated by a small glass partition, we have kept the kitchen area. A central island allows to visually separate the kitchen/living room spaces, whilst giving the possibility to cook while seeing guests sitting in the living room. This space also offers a small dining area thanks to an integrated bar with barstools, adding to the convivial aspect of the place.
As the original bathroom was removed, it widened the main room, allowing for a series of integrated storage units to be installed. These now include a fridge/freezer, a double oven, a broom/vacuum cupboard, but also, closer to the the living room, a cupboard for coats. Two unit colours were used: a midnight blue for the kitchen space, and white for the living room space. Using two different colours of the same unit style, allow to visually section the two spaces, whilst keeping a harmonious look.
Living room: The furniture arrangement has been reversed, with the sofa placed to the right of the room. It now faces a large custom-made bookcase, using kitchen units for the bottom half and two tall units on each side to hide DVDs, electronics/wifi, printers and crockery, and with a TV space in the centre. The shelving was deliberately not built to be aligned and regular, so as to provide character whilst conveniently storing books, objects and other decors. The existing console/table has been placed under the window, so that it can then be deployed when a dinner party is to be held. The back wall of the bookcase was painted dark blue (Farrow & ball Hague Blue No. 30 Estate Emulsion) to match the one of the kitchen and the sofa.
Bathroom today: The bathroom was relocated between the two bedrooms, in the old wardrobe space which was enlarged by moving the partition wall on the master bedroom side. The creation of a glass partition placed in high position in the master bedroom wall, allows natural light into the bathroom. A large wet room shower, instead of a bath, delimited by a crittall style glass panel, has allowed for an additional storage cupboard for sanitary products and towels to be fitted. Large 1X1m concrete tiles were used for the floor and wall, whilst the wall above the basin was tiled with long and narrow ceramic black tiles laid in chevron. The rest of the walls were painted in a deep grey (Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath No. 276 Modern Emulsion). A back illuminated and smart mirror provides the necessary comfort and fun in this room allowing for music to be played with bluetooth.
As the space for a door was tight, a pocket door was fitted to ensure good circulation in between this room and the other ones.
Master bedroom today: We reversed the location of the bed and placed it away from the wall adjoining the entrance to the building, in order to improve sleep. This also allowed the placement of a large custom-made storage wardrobe for clothes. The wall behind the wardrobe has also been isolated against noise. And to allow a good night sleep, a bespoke headboard was made with wood acoustic panel oak finish, on a serene blue wall (Farrow & Ball Selvedge No. 306 Estate Emulsion).
Guest bedroom today: This room has been widened by moving the dividing wall with the kitchen by a few centimetres. This has allowed to accommodate a sofa bed which can sleep two people comfortably. This also made it possible to use the entire length of the wall adjoining the entrance to the building to create a large storage wardrobe and an home office space with a desk. To bring character to the room, an aubergine colour (Farrow & Ball Brinjal No.222 Estate Emulsion) was chosen to match some of the client’s artwork.
Get in touch if you too would like to inject some personality into your property!