An Inspirational Home Renovation Where Everything is in Order

This is the home of boutique stationer Neil and graphic designer Mark. Together they worked with Matt McKenna of Architecture for London to complete a full renovation on a modest budget without compromising on style.

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The new kitchen, dining and study spaces are informally defined by exposed oak posts and beams, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the lower ground floor plan. Framed views are created between the spaces and direct the eye towards the lush green garden outside. Inside, soap washed timber bounces soft light around the house, enhancing the layered internal partitions.

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Right angles play a huge part throughout the property with bricks in a variety of bonds externally, and square tiles with contrasting colour grout lines to the kitchen and bathroom. This contemporary, geometric approach is contrasted with refurbished traditional Victorian details on the upper floor, where the large skirting boards were painted to match the walls for a harmonised finish.

The depth of the rear extension was restricted by an existing upstairs neighbour’s stair, which had to be retained to allow access to their garden but this has in no way diminished the view either inside or out. Peterson bricks, akin to the tone of whitewashed London stock, cover the rear as it tucks underneath the stair, and fluted glass reduces the impact of this stair when viewed from the new study. Garden life is brought right through the house from potted plants in the kitchen to a large planter in the hall.

As befitting the home of a stationer and designer, this renovation highly compliments the considered and detailed approach that Neil and Mark bring to their work. The clients put significant energy into decorating, sourcing discounted fixtures and furniture, all allowing the budget to be pushed to the maximum.

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In the kitchen, the lines from the raw oak beams run through the kitchen cabinets, splash back tiles, and terrazzo tiled floor. Using terrazzo tiles with matching grout gives the impression of a site poured terrazzo floor for a fraction of the cost. Other design led savings included using standard Ikea kitchen carcasses with upgraded fronts finished with minimal knobs.

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Neil and Mark deeply engaged in the process, leading to a home that is truly theirs. Like a neatly ruled grid in a stationers notebook, the house is all in order.

Project Architect:
Matt McKenna, Architecture for London

Christian Brailey

Things You Need to Know About the Mobile Homes Building Process

When you decide to purchase a mobile home, there is a whole process that goes behind building it. This type of house is manufactured and is transported in 1 or 2 pieces depending upon the size. Whether you are putting it together yourself or letting the pros take care of it, there are some things you should know about the building process.

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There are Different Levels of Affordability

One thing you need to know about the mobile home building process are that there are different levels of affordability. Manufacturers usually build their houses at 3 different levels. The most affordable are lower cost due to the use of cheaper materials.

For example, a 3rd tier mobile home may have staples instead of nails holding it together. These are the most popular types of manufactured homes due to the cheaper cost. Don’t worry though. The quality of the construction is overseen by housing development codes.

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Mid-level models typically feature more expensive materials. The windows and doors are more likely to be energy efficient. Aside from that, the features of the home are better made. Some examples are the cabinets and sink. These mobile homes typically reside in communities and have garages.

The most expensive mobile homes feature top of the line materials. This includes countertops, flooring, cabinets, roofing, and just about everything else built in. Furthermore, you won’t usually find these at dealership lots. Instead they take more time and require a lot of effort to put together.

Build on Your Own Land

It’s best to build on your own land as opposed to renting the land. When you rent, your mobile home really has no permanent resting place. Lot owners could increase the price of the land each year if they wanted. They could even potentially kick you off at any time. Another reason it is best to build your mobile home on your own land is property value. When a mobile home is anchored securely to its own piece of land, buyers are willing to pay much more.

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There are Choices

When deciding who you want to build your mobile home you should shop around. Many manufacturers have their own construction crew you can pay to go out and put it together. If they don’t, they usually have a group of outside contractors they use. Or, you have the option of hiring your own contractor. Just remember the mobile home manufacturers have a lot of experience with hiring people.

Either way, you will want to do your research on the companies first. You can simply search for reviews online. It is easy to find licensed professionals in this area. Or, talk to someone that has a mobile home you like. They may be able to recommend someone dependable like It is good to find out if they left any work unfinished or any materials behind at the end. Ask if the contractor is easy to work with. Is the communication up to standards?

A Model Bathroom Designed by Kate Moss

We don't need much of an excuse to share a sneaky peek of a celebrity bathroom. This one is in the home of supermodel (and bohemian style lover) Kate Moss. No surprise then, to see that it combines luxurious materials and fixtures with an eclectic assortment of accessories. We love the aged lace curtains, the crystal drop chandelier and the gorgeous fireplace feature. Just the place for a long soak at the end of a busy day.

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The hand painted ‘Anemones in Light’ wallpaper was designed by Kate in collaboration with De Gournay. It's ‘Dusk’ design colours are on custom grey painted Xuan paper.

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But the real centrepiece of the room is the Drummonds’ splendid Double Lowther Vanity. The brassware of the stand and taps is cast using the classic lost wax process and the white china basins are made in English clay, hand glazed and hand finished. Highly figured Arabescato marble underlines the sheer scale and luxury of this piece.

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To partner the Lowther, Kate has chosen a freestanding, double-ended Spey bath (also from Drummonds) with a hand painted exterior. This is just one of many cast iron bath designs, each of which takes several weeks to make in a series of craft processes beginning with casting the molten iron and completed by dry frit enamelling and custom exterior finishing.

Drummonds products:
The Lowther Vanity Basin Suite with Arabescato Marble £7980
The Mull Classic 3-Hole Basin Mixer £1170
The Spey Cast Iron Bath Tub from £3570
The Mull Classic Bath & Shower Mixer £1554
The Brora High Level WC Suite £2334

A Perfect English Townhouse

Extract from Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Seaside Inspiration - The home of Melanie Molesworth

'We saw the particulars for this house a long time before we decided to view it,' says Melanie. 'It had been hanging around for ages, was more than we wanted to spend, and enormous. A friend who loved Lyme Regis persuaded us that we should have a look at it, and when we did, it was obvious it had potential. We asked another friend, architect Ed Howell, for ideas and he came up with a plan for dividing it so that we could have a rental property, and an income.' They took the plunge, sold their house, ditched the idea of a London flat, and moved in. 'It was 2011, and I was very hot and cold about it, very nervous. But actually, it's been amazing.'

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A new staircase, leading from one of the two front doors, arrives at a small landing where this door with its glazed surround opens into the huge 18 metre living room and kitchen. Framed in a glass-fronted cabinet on the wall are fragments of china and pottery found by Melanie on the beach.

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Melanie and Martin inherited a fitted kitchen that was already in place, but have given it a facelift by painting it Farrow & Ball Mole's Breath and replacing the handles. New white brick tiling, open shelving, and a wall-mounted metal saucepan rack completed the transformation. A sofa covered in navy linen, just seen to the left, marks the division between the kitchen and the sitting room.

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To the left of the big, arched window that lights the kitchen, a table holds a framed pressed seaweed by Molesworth & Bird propped against an old seed tray, another find from Bridport Market. To its right is a painted Swedish sofa. A broken piece of brick, deliberately placed, takes on the status of a small sculpture. Lou-Lou the cat watches proceedings from under the table.

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The huge sofa, big enough to seat six, came with the house, and has been re-covered in a dark grey linen. A white IKEA table stands between the two armchairs, one covered in a floral fabric by Paul Smith for Mulberry. The window overlooks the culvert for the River Lym, which runs beneath part of the house.

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The main bedroom is one of the rooms directly above the River Lym, which runs in a deep culvert down through the town and into the sea. The Victorian chair is covered in vintage William Morris fabric, and the table beneath the window has one set of legs propped on blocks of wood to compensate for the slope of the old floorboards. 

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Perfect English Townhouse

by Ros Byam Shaw

Published by Ryland Peters & Small

Available on Amazon, £20.40

An Apartment in Moscow for a Globe Trotting Family

This newly renovated apartment in the centre of Moscow is the work of interior designer Anna Kovalchenko. The two bedroom apartment occupies around 80 square metres and is now the home of a family of four. We were interested to know a bit more about the inspiration for the design so we asked Anna a few questions.

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1. How many rooms are there exactly and who lives here?

There are 2 bedrooms (the master bedroom and the kids room), living room, kitchen, bathroom, entryway and balcony. It is the home of a family of 4 with two kids of 4 and 8 years old (a girl and a boy)

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2. What was the client brief?

The clients wanted the apartment to reflect their love for travel, so we have chosen different themes for each room – Greece for the kitchen and balcony, Africa for the living room, the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean for the kids room and bathroom, and an urban hotel style for the bedroom. They requested that we would mainly use natural materials - stone, wood, with some rustic elements introduced into the design. For the kids room they asked for bunk beds and also plenty of storage.

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They also specified that the living room should be an area where all family will unite and also meet with friends - they asked for a fireplace with a real fire, huge sofa that could be converted into a bed. In terms of a colour scheme they said they would prefer vivid colours everywhere accept in the bedroom which they wanted to be more relaxed and tranquil.

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3. What particular improvements have you made?

I was involved in all stages of the renovation project - starting from developing a concept, planning, sourcing materials and furniture, and construction works supervision. I made the floor plans for each room and also designed most of the furniture - bunk beds with a hammock, wardrobes in the kids room, bedroom and entryway, and the living room cupboards with a built in fireplace. All these elements were custom manufactured specially for this project. As the clients asked we used natural, expensive materials - e.g. marble and solid teak for the bathroom, American walnut veneer for the wardrobes in the entryway, oak wood for flooring and kids room furniture, handmade brass handles for all cupboards. As for the hammock in the kids room - the clients wanted it to be very strong so that it could support adult weight as well, so we made it of the same net used for yachts and catamarans and reinforced with a metal carcass. They brought lots of paintings from their travels so we used them to decorate the walls.

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4. What aspect of the renovation are you most happy with?

I was really excited while designing the kids room - I suggested to the client that we make it in a Robinson Crusoe style and she really loved the idea. It was so much fun and I am very happy with the result and the kids reaction.

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5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

The main inspiration came from travel - the clients have traveled a lot in Africa, Asia,and  Europe and they asked me to introduce elements that would remind them of these trips. I spent lots of time looking through various travel magazines and thinking what to introduce in the design. The biggest challenge was to unite it all so the whole apartment would look like one whole.

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6. What has been the clients' reaction to the finished project?

They told me that I helped them to make their dream come true.

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Special credits:

Photographer : Olga Shangina

Interior Stylist : Ekaterina Naumova

Dreaming of a Luxury Condo in Florida? Here's 5 of Our Favourites

Collaborative Post

As this never-ending winter drags on, our thoughts at Heart Home are naturally turning to holidays in the sun. But what if that holiday feeling could last forever? What if a permanent place in the sun could become a reality?

South Florida has become the ideal destination for the wealthiest to travel and invest. So we thought we'd explore why. No, it is not just about the tropical weather, the white-sand beaches, the cosmopolitan ambiance or the vibrant, sophisticated lifestyle (although of course, it helps). It's also about the luxury living options that this sunshine state has to offer. 

Here (in the interests of research you understand) are 5 of the most expensive luxury condominiums currently on the market.

Murano at Portofino, South Beach

The Murano at Portofino has incredible ocean, bay, city views and year-round ocean breezes and is located on the most southernmost tip on the western side of the island of Miami Beach. Not too many condominiums can boast a private Bay Side Beach Club on its premises. This one comes with a saltwater pool and a poolside café. With the fabulous Art Deco architecture, trendy restaurants, clubs and the Ocean just steps away, South Beach is the perfect location.

Price Range: $825,000 - $6,595,000

La Santa Maria Brickell

La Santa Maria soars fifty-one stories into the Miami skyline featuring top of the line finishes and fixtures. This beyond luxury development is located on a prime waterfront property right on Biscayne Bay. Although built in 1997, the Santa Maria condo remains one of the most desirable addresses on Brickell Avenue. It features lushly landscaped grounds that include an oak and gumbo limbo tree hammock plus the bayfront swimming pool and marina.

Price Range: $1,700,000 - $11,500,000

Auberge Beach Fort Lauderdale

Auberge Beach is an ultra-luxury new construction project on 4.6 acres with 450 feet of oceanfront. Some of the amenities include a World Class Full Service Spa, State-of-the-Art Fitness Center overlooking the pool deck and Atlantic Ocean, fine dining and casual restaurants offering the finest cuisine, a barefoot butler service and so much more.

Price Range: $1,783,900 - $5,038,900

Paramount Bay, Edgewater

At Paramount Bay, you will find the perfect combination of sophisticated, thoughtful design, resort-like amenities, and fabulous location. Miami is a cosmopolitan melting spot alive with unparalleled energy and excitement and Paramount Bay is situated in the very heart of it all, and yet uniquely secluded in its own private urban oasis.

 Price Range: $599,000 - $5,750,000

Marina Palms, North Miami Beach

Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residence brings the yachting lifestyle back to Miami with the first luxury condominium and yacht club project in two decades. These luxury condos offer stunning views over the marina, the Intracoastal Waterway, and beyond to the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the lushly landscaped, 14-acre waterfront enclave, its state-of-the-art marina, and in each of its spacious, well-appointed residences, there is an extravagant array of luxuries, services and amenities designed to help residents make the most of the time they spend aboard, and ashore.

Price Range: $850,000 - $1,490,000

It's a tough choice, but we think we'll go for The Auberge. How about you?

A Cutting Edge Design Apartment in the Heart of Amsterdam

This stunning apartment is just one of seven recently revealed by The Collective Studio in Amsterdam’s art district, surrounded by galleries and world famous museums. 

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Every apartment is decorated with an exclusive range of the most cutting- edge art and design. The Collective Studio designers made it their mission to give each home its own character. From table to linens, all the design details have been attentively selected to ensure luxury living in the heart of a city.

This one has been named Ghyczy, after the designers that created it and not surprisingly it's already sold. It consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open plan living, dining, kitchen space and a large terrace. 

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To see more and to see the other apartments visit

A Seaside Retreat Full of Colour and Pops of Red

This delightful seaside retreat delivers all that you'd expect from a house by the sea. Painted weatherboarding, a country kitchen complete with butler sink, and an enormous fireplace to snuggle up in front of. And it is (mostly) painted in the colours you'd expect - misty ocean greys, greens and a lovely soft white. But then there is the red. A powerful and energetic shade of red has been used on the dining room walls (did you know that red stimulates the appetite?) and then crops up as an accent colour all around the house. It's unexpected and impactful and we love it.

 Walls - Sharkskin (2139-30), Trim - White Opulence (OC-69), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

Walls - Sharkskin (2139-30), Trim - White Opulence (OC-69), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

 Walls - White Opulence (OC-69), Cabinets & Moulding - Stone (2112-40), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40), Trim - Moonshine (2140-60).

Walls - White Opulence (OC-69), Cabinets & Moulding - Stone (2112-40), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40), Trim - Moonshine (2140-60).

 Walls - Caliente (AF-290), Trim - White Opulence (OC-69).

Walls - Caliente (AF-290), Trim - White Opulence (OC-69).

 Walls - Whie Opulence (OC-69), Door - Caliente (AF-290), Trim - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

Walls - Whie Opulence (OC-69), Door - Caliente (AF-290), Trim - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

 Walls - Silver Marlin (2139-50), Trim & Ceiling - White Opulence (OC-69), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

Walls - Silver Marlin (2139-50), Trim & Ceiling - White Opulence (OC-69), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

  Walls & Skirting - White Opulence (OC-69), Window Trim - Black Beauty (2128-10), Window Frame & Railings - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

 Walls & Skirting - White Opulence (OC-69), Window Trim - Black Beauty (2128-10),
Window Frame & Railings - Wolf Gray (2127-40).

 Walls - Caliente (AF-290), Alcove & Ceiling - White Opulence (OC-69).

Walls - Caliente (AF-290), Alcove & Ceiling - White Opulence (OC-69).

Caliente is Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year for 2018, and is a vibrant and versatile shade. It brings radiance to the bedroom and dining room, and complements its surroundings, from the wood tones of the dining room to the inviting nautical stripes of the bedroom soft furnishings. It plays an important role throughout this home and demonstrates how a range of shades can work together in harmony. 

All paints are from Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore products are distributed exclusively in the UK by Shaw Paints Ltd. Established in May 2015 by founder Craig Shaw, Shaw Paints Ltd. shares the vision and values of Benjamin Moore and wishes to extend the company’s industry leading brands, products and services to become the clear benchmark for colour and quality in the UK.

The Sky's the Limit in This Colourful and Practical 7-Storey Townhouse

This 7-storey townhouse in leafy and desirable Highgate has recently undergone an award winning refurbishment by LLI Design. The owners liked the idea of having a contemporary house and agreed that the house lent itself to this, however they were concerned that contemporary design could be cold and impersonal. We think you'll agree this is anything but. We put a few questions to the design team.

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What was the client brief?

The brief was to create a contemporary family home, not in a stark clinical sense, but rather, in a colourful and practical way. The key to the overall success of the design was to re-think the dynamics of all the spaces and change the existing layouts to provide a design and flow that worked. The family also had a large collection of vintage travel posters that they wished to display prominently around the house.

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Which particular problems did you have to overcome?

Although the house was c. 3500 sq ft, with generous room sizes, the house was very vertical comprising of 7 floors, with each room being effectively on a half landing; with a central core staircase connecting them. Overall the rooms seemed disconnected from each other without flow or relationship between them. The staircase and hallways were poorly lit and had a gloomy feel.

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What other major changes did you make to the layout?

We brought light into the staircase, by adding extra skylights on the top floor and also adding a floor-to-ceiling window on the third floor half landing. The existing kitchen was located on the second floor which was impractical as the heart of the home. We relocated it to the first floor at rear of the property which had existing access to the terrace and garden through 2 pairs of french doors.

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Which rooms are you particularly happy with?

We positioned the kitchen island to look out over the garden and created a separate pantry. There was an existing chimney but no fireplace, so we specified a gas fire and added some casual seating in the form of a chaise longue. On the other side of the room we designed a bespoke fitted banquette and specified a contemporary oak dining table to seat 12 comfortably. 

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On the third floor, we wanted to create a welcoming, calming, formal living room. We removed the existing french windows and juliette balcony over the terrace below, and replaced them with floor to ceiling casement windows. We removed the existing fireplace and designed and installed a contemporary bespoke stone fireplace with clean confident lines. Either side of the fireplace we designed bespoke storage and display units along with a decorative log store feature. We also specified a large and very comfortable L shaped sofa and ottoman as well as some comfy armchairs with tables and lamps beside them. 

The project recently won an award in the Interior Design, London category of the United Kingdom Property Awards, in association with Bentley Motors. 

For more projects :

Top 5 Tips for a Great Night’s Sleep

If you have difficulty sleeping, or sometimes find it hard to switch off after a long day – then there maybe a few easy bed and lifestyle alterations you can make to get a great night’s sleep.

Sleeping is more than just getting into bed and closing your eyes, it’s time for your body and brain to recover, and process the days events. In order for your brain to do this, it needs to be in the mindset of sleep.

In the article, we will discuss 5 top tips to help you get a great night’s sleep.

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Get Into a Routine

Creating a routine, i.e. going to bed at a similar time and getting up at a similar time is vitally important for improving your sleep quality. A routine allows you to set aside the recommended seven to eight hours a night for sleep, and helps regulate your body’s internal clock for optimised sleep quality.

Choose a bedtime when you usually feel tired, so you don’t toss and turn, and set an alarm for eight hours later. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally before the alarm feeling highly refreshed. If you need the alarm every day, try going to bed slightly earlier.

To really improve the quality of your sleep, try not to sleep in on the weekends and wake up at a similar time to during the week!

Switch Off Smartphone And TV

Research has shown that blue light, emitted from our smartphones, computers and TV screens can interfere with the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is an important chemical in the sleep-wake cycle, which helps your body regulate when you are tired.

Falling asleep to the TV or scrolling through Facebook before bed can seriously impact your night’s sleep, leaving you feeling restless and awake. Try turning all electrical items with a screen off, at least one hour before and notice the difference to your sleep it makes!

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Avoid Stimulants Before Bed

Stimulants, such as alcohol, nicotine and even coffee, can seriously impact falling asleep and overall sleep quality. As the name suggests, stimulants raise the levels of activity in your brain, preventing a deep and relaxed sleep.

Try avoiding all stimulants at least two to three hours before bed, to allow your body to naturally relax before its time to sleep.

Wind Down And Clear Your Head

Before you head hits the pillow, it’s important to allow time to winddown and clear your head of the days events. This could involve a spot of meditation, a talk with your partner before lights out, or even reading a chapter of a book.

Allowing time to relax and winddown helps ready your mind and body for a peaceful night’s sleep.

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Fall Asleep in the Perfect Bed

If you have a bed that you love and can’t wait to fall asleep in, then chances are you’re getting a great night’s sleep. Looking forward to going to bed can subconsciously ready your mind for sleep.

If your mattress is looking a little bit worse for wear, but you don’t want to invest in a new one – a supreme mattress topper can transform your old mattress. Their deep skirt fit engulfs old mattresses, transforming them into a like-new feel. They are extremely comfy and can help contribute to a great night’s sleep!

An Industrial Style Apartment with Seriously Sophisticated Style

From the studio of Jaime Beriestain, this renovated apartment celebrates its industrial roots but has more than a touch of added luxury thrown in. It was originally an office but after its sympathetic transformation into a sophisticated living space it now has a warm, timeless and contemporary ambiance. 

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The main objective of the renovation was to preserve the original features - including the fabulous vaulted brick Catalan ceilings - and to source new materials that worked with the style. All of the electric cables have been left exposed for instance but new air conditioning ducts have been installed in copper to bring it into the 21st century and to add warmth.

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The hallway interior is in Corten steel, light switches are retro in style, radiators are cast iron and all lighting has been fitted with filament bulbs. The copper tub in the bathroom is a showstopper and continues the theme.

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The kitchen is in the centre of the apartment and receives no direct light but this weakness has been turned into a design feature. The walls, cupboards, and even the ceiling are now painted dark and the copper pipes and wooden touches add warmth.

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The apartment came with a large roof terrace and this has been partially glazed. This light, bright room is now the perfect spot to enjoy the garden where there is also space for outdoor dining when the weather allows.

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Jaime Beriestain, Interior Designer, was born in Santiago de Chile in 1969. After a professional decade in his country, in 2000 he completed a postgraduate degree in interior design in Barcelona.
In 2013, he opened his Concept Store and Restaurant in the center of Barcelona.

A Quirky Mid-Century Townhouse in South East London

When Ian Haigh, Creative Director of The Central Design Studio undertook to renovate his own home he had a wealth of experience to call upon. His studio specialises in restaurant, bar and hotel design, but his modest three-bedroom mid-century townhouse in South East London was to be a three-year-long project and a labour of love. He has filled the house with a quirky collection of furniture and art; everything from vintage finds, to Etsy buys, to bespoke prototypes, and we think you'll like it.

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Features in the living room include handmade Mexican tiles on the fireplace and a coffee table from Etsy, which was made by someone in mid-west America and shipped over.

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The original rosewood floor was found under a cheap laminate floor when renovating and taking pride of place is a feature armchair in striking blue velvet and a 1970s Murano glass chandelier

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Among a number of vintage pieces, is a Victorian haberdashery unit and an old travel trunk.

Some of the art is original and was painted by Ian's partner’s father, who was an artist at the Slade in the 1960's.

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Vintage finds, Etsy buys, and bespoke prototypes all vie for space n the kitchen dresser.

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Unique south-American paper, is used as headboard décor, and was sourced from Calligrane in Paris.

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See more of Ian's work at The Central Design Studio.

A Modern Refurbishment of a Country House in Oxfordshire

This stunning refurbishment of an 18th Century brick and timber cottage is the work of interior designer Louise Holt. Originally built for the mistress at the next door school to live in, it is now a contemporary home with a modern and cohesive interior full of contrasting soft natural materials, and clean architectural edges (in the kitchen and bathrooms). All sitting comfortably within the existing stone architecture and exposed beams.

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It's situated inn the rolling Oxfordshire countryside, overlooking the pond on a picturesque village green and consists of four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, study, utility, living room, dining room, kitchen, and guest cloakroom.

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We couldn't resist asking Louise a few questions about the project....

1.    What was the client brief?
Complete refurbishment and interior design, with some structural renovation, to create a contemporary home with an inspiring interior, which would sit comfortably within the existing stone architecture and exposed beams.  

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2.    What improvements have you made?
We contrasted soft natural materials, organic shapes and a restrained palette with the clean, architectural edges of a Bulthaup kitchen and bathrooms. We also reconfigured the gardens.

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3.    What aspect of the renovation are you most happy with?
The open plan aspect to the ground floor, which brings light, space and a contemporary feel to the home, despite its cottage proportions.

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4.    Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Art, travel, hotels, Beta Plus design publications, Instagram, fellow designers such as Ilse Crawford, Rose Uniacke and Vincent van Duysen...

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5. What has been the clients' reaction to the finished project?
They are very happy there.

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And so would we be.

Louise graduated from the KLC School of Design in 2005, switching from a successful career in international finance.

A founder and director of award winning Cloud Studios (Elle Decoration Britain's Best Designers 2015), Louise set up Louise Holt Design in 2016, a creative interior design studio with a reputation for creating elegant, intelligent, contemporary interiors.

Projects range from the complete renovation of country manor houses and rectories to London town houses and apartments, plus properties in France and Mallorca.

A Bold Black and White Batchelor Pad in New York

This bold and striking apartment designed by JSE Interior Design certainly caught our eye. It's located in the Financial District of New York and consists of one bedroom, an office/living room, dining area, kitchen and two bathrooms. 

It's common to squeeze a lot into a small space in NY but that doesn't mean it can't pack a punch. Something the monochrome colour scheme and chevron feature wall delivers.

The client wanted wanted a masculine, yet designed, bold space. Somewhere that reflected his love of travel and that amalgamated glamour with an urban feel.

The designers drew inspiration from the Art Deco 1931 building and managed to deliver wall finishes, paint, lighting fixtures, furnishings and accessories for a very modest budget of $15k

Interior Design by JSE Interior Design.

Big Impact on a Small Budget in a Soulless New-Build Flat

Owning a home with no period features, and having a limited budget needn't be a barrier to
creating a beautiful home with a sense of history. As shown here by Kia Designs, who have used budget friendly tricks to transform a soulless new build flat in Wimbledon into a vibrant, characterful home for a young newly wed couple.

A swift courtship meant this couple wanted their house to look lived in, despite not having a wealth of pre-owned objects, holiday photos, mementos or belongings to furnish it with. The couple had yet to develop their aesthetic as a pair, so creating the design was doubly challenging, forging together 2 different tastes and ways of life. 

Tricks of the Trade

1. Interest was created by using contrasting colours and strong patterns.
2. Beams, vents, architraves and other features traditionally blended in were highlighted in bright paint colours.

3. Colours were chosen from the local area, and especially inspired by the deep purples and greens of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
4. Existing furniture was fitted into the design, but can be easily changed in the future, as the  space and scheme offers maximum flexibility.

5. The majority of the budget was spent on bespoke storage, thereby making the most of the existing space.
6. There is a deliberate blending of design influences from mid-century to modern.
7. There is also a mix of budgets, mixing high street pieces with eBay finds.

8. An effort was made to bring some Mauritian spirit and flare to South West London. Making the flat more personal to the owners.
9. Various tricks were employed to make rooms seem larger (using curtains as well as blinds).
10. Zoning wall space, as well as the floor by using rugs, created more defined spaces.

In a nutshell, using a designer and accessing trade prices actually made this design cheaper than doing a diy job.

The Property Details

The property: 2 Bed 2 Bath Wimbledon flat. 967 sq ft.
Budget: £28,000 including all fees, works, contractors, furniture and fittings.
Timescale: 2-3 months (done non-invasively whilst the couple still lived in the property) 

Kia Designs

Marie Antoinette meets Mid-Century in a Parisian Apartment

Sometimes a merging of the centuries just works. This beautiful Parisian apartment full of period details has been brought up to date with a sympathetic restoration and rooms full of retroinspired wallpaper designs and mid-century furniture. It now perfectly suits the lifestyle of a young family and is full of light, colour and designer details.

The colour palette has been kept neutral in the light-filled living room while the warm herringbone floor and blue chairs sing out. Curtains have been kept plain so as not to distract the eye away from the geometric rug and the modern details in the room.

The elaborate marble fireplace and gilt mirror provide quite a contrast against the modern furnishings.

The narrow galley kitchen is not short on impact thanks to the boldly coloured tiles and modern lighting. Whilst a modest breakfast bar provides extra work space and a handy place to perch for breakfast.

In order to get light into the kitchen a window has been inserted between this room and the dining room next door. This also connects the two rooms visually so that the cook does not feel isolated when entertaining.

The colour palette in the dining room picks out the yellow, grey and black from the kitchen tiles in the adjoining room.

The highly polished wooden floors flow throughout the apartment connecting all of the spaces and the retro inspired wallpaper is also another recurring theme.

Photographs by Hugo Hébrard.

Architecture and Design by Prisca Pellerin.

Tiny House - A 1940's Cottage

Extract from ‘Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes’ by Antonia Edwards, published by Prestel.

Tiny House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.

 Tall, high-efficiency windows come right down to sofa level, letting in maximum light.

Tall, high-efficiency windows come right down to sofa level, letting in maximum light.

Jessica Helgerson is a Portland-based designer of residential and commercial interiors. With a long-standing interest in green building and sustainability, she has sat on a number of boards devoted to environmental preservation. In 2008, Helgerson and her husband bought a 540-square-foot cottage on five acres of farmland on Sauvie Island, an agricultural landmass on the Columbia River just north of Portland. The cottage was first built in the early 1940's as part of Vanport Village, a development constructed to house shipyard workers from Vancouver in Washington and Portland. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948, the small structure floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose check station (a place where hunters would showcase the geese they had shot). Years later, it was remodeled and became a rental property.

 One addition to the 1940s Tiny House was a green roof, which was planted with moss and ferns gathered from the Columbia River gorge.

One addition to the 1940s Tiny House was a green roof, which was planted with moss and ferns gathered from the Columbia River gorge.

Helgerson’s redesign was the fourth time the house had been renovated. As with most of her projects, her goal was to ensure the fundamental design and materials were classic and long-lasting, as well as being appropriate for the build- ing and its period. Rather then extending the property, they chose to work with its existing size. Retaining only the exterior walls, the windows, doors, roof and interior were replaced almost entirely with reclaimed materials, a decision based on a combination of what looked right for the property and what was immedi- ately on hand. ‘Mostly we were trying to do something beautiful and economical that felt right for the place,’ says Helgerson. ‘We love to work on old buildings because it really makes us respond in fresh ways to the existing conditions. I think when designing only new buildings, it’s easy to get formulaic. I hate to see great old buildings get torn down and replaced with ugly new ones. It seems so sad, and a waste.’

 The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding from a barn that had been deconstructed onsite.

The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding from a barn that had been deconstructed onsite.

Given its small footprint, Helgerson redesigned the interior of Tiny House for maximum efficiency, creating one open-plan room that comprises the dining room, living room and kitchen. This room also contains built-in sofas that double as twin beds for guests, and hidden storage underneath provides an ideal place for children’s toys. The ceiling of the main living area was opened up to give a feeling of space, but lowered over the bathroom and bedroom to make a lofted sleeping area for adults accessed via a walnut ladder. A wall of shelving provides plenty of room for books and large, low-set windows bring ample light into the interior.

 One wall contains the kitchen, maximizing the available space.

One wall contains the kitchen, maximizing the available space.

 The parents’ bedroom is located on the mezzanine level of the main room, which is lined with vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs and accessed via a walnut ladder. In addition to a separate kids’ bedroom, the built-in sofas double up as beds for guests.

The parents’ bedroom is located on the mezzanine level of the main room, which is lined with vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs and accessed via a walnut ladder. In addition to a separate kids’ bedroom, the built-in sofas double up as beds for guests.

The family spent four years living in the cottage. Raising chickens, turkeys and bees, they have worked towards self-sufficiency, with nearly everything they eat grown at home. A 1,200-square-foot greenhouse on the site houses vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and they’re even able to make cheese from a neighbour’s goats and cows. They now live in a larger house on the same property, making the cottage the perfect place for relatives and friends to stay.

You can find more about the author Antonia on her Upcyclist blog

Renovate Innovate - Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes

By Antonia Edwards

Published by Prestel

A London Penthouse with City Views

How do you fancy a 240 m2 penthouse, with a spectacular open-plan living space on the upper floor and stunning views over the Thames? 

This penthouse is arranged over the top two floors of a prominent high-rise residential development, originally designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and now dramatically reconfigured by FORMstudio.

The former arrangement ignored the spatial potential offered by the distinctive, soaring wing roof and the spectacular wrap-around views over the river and to the City beyond. Now, from the entrance, a view of the river draws the visitor forward into a double height space, from which an elegantly detailed stairway leads upward, revealing the impressively spacious open-plan dining and living area above.

On the lower level, a spectacular river-facing master bedroom suite, includes a floor-to ceiling glazed oriel window cantilevered out over the water and equipped with a rotating Citterio-designed circular sofa, to exploit the Canaletto-like panoramic view. There are also two further bedroom suites.

The generous upper floor space features areas for sitting, dining/cooking and working without the need for dividing walls. The raised level of this living space has dramatically improved the river view from a sitting position and created access to the beautiful terrace.

We think we could be very happy here. Who wants to be roomies?

New York Loft meets London Mews in Finsbury Park

Doing their bit to address the need for private rentals in London,  LPC Living, an award winning developer specialising in urban regeneration, have developed 22 brand new design-led homes in Finsbury Park. Fonthill Mews is set in a historic mews and former coach house, and is the perfect retreat for city dwellers, with bespoke one and two bed properties each with their own unique features. The private gated development is creative and modern whilst still retaining an array of traditional features.

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A mix of natural materials, custom made fittings and industrial fixtures are found throughout the development. While each property has a stylish open plan concept, formulated by the architect to create a sense of free flowing space. Intimate corners for cosy nights and larger areas for gatherings are equally manageable in the versatile spaces. A selection of the homes have a movable kitchen island unit, which can be pushed to one side to alter the shape and atmosphere of the room. Party! We're thinking. And the kitchen cabinets vary from chalky grey-greens to blues and charcoals, adorned with smooth white and light grey marble worktops.

Large windows allow natural light to flood through each house and apartment. Many of the houses feature large glass doors that open out onto large decked terraces from the master bedrooms, overlooking the serpentine communal gardens. A neutral palette is used throughout; whitewashed American oak lines the floors whilst the walls are dip-dyed with neutral shades.

As if that wasn't enough, a handful of the properties make excellent live/work spaces, with spacious annexes lit by skylights with unobstructed views of the sky providing an impressive amount of additional space. Two of the properties harbour secret rooftop terraces, flanked with climbing vine and benefiting from pretty views of trees and neighbouring rooftops.

Now available to rent, contact Lettings Manager Alex Reach to book your viewing.

0207 272 0986

Fonthill Mews is a new project by LPC Living and was created in conjunction with site designer, Mike Baxter and is marketed exclusively by Davies & Davies Estate Agents. The brand identity for the development and all marketing materials have been created by design and communications studio, The Barefaced Movement.

Images courtesy of Michael Barry at The Barefaced Movement

An Intimate Georgian House in Historic Bath

We're always delighted when we find an interesting house renovation project in our in-box. This stunning house built in 1782 in a Georgian Crescent in Bath was sent to us by Claire Rendall interiors and of course we couldn't wait to find out more.

1.     What was the client brief?
The house when it was bought was a classic “how not to treat a historic property,” so the brief was to bring it back to life. As many people do, the house had been hermetically sealed and was suffering badly as a result. All the fireplaces were blocked up, synthetic fitted carpets clung to every room. All walls were covered with wood-chip wallpaper and painted, secondary double glazing panels covered all of the windows. Plastic shuttering attempted to keep water out of the basement but merely kept any damp in.
All the pretty plasterwork was thick with many years of paint.

2.     What improvements have you made?
The first thing was to allow the house to breath. Soggy fitted carpets were removed. Secondary double glazing panels were taken out and windows rehung. Bricks were removed from the fireplaces and the basement plastic panels were removed. Rain water could now get in but most importantly it could escape too. We fitted an Aga in the basement kitchen and this encouraged air to circulate. Suddenly the house felt drier. It’s really important to think about how these houses were built and lived in. Unfortunately, in the 1960’s and 70’s the onus was on keeping moisture out and as a result a lot was trapped in. Now we understand the sense of breathable materials such as lime plaster and natural fibres for carpets.

3.     What was the budget roughly?
Roughly £80k

4.     What aspect of the renovation are you most happy with?
It was a totally joy to reveal the delicate plaster mouldings. I tend not to get so upset now when I see plasterwork caked in paint because I know its protecting it. When we took the paint off the plasterwork was as crisp as the day it was fitted. We also stripped the thick gloss paint that was under the stair carpet revealing the beautiful original oak staircase, and when the spindles on the top floor were cleaned of years of thick chipped paint, I noticed that they were different sizes. I suspect that many parts of the house were recycled when it was built in the 1780’s. Certainly many of the timber beams in the basement had plugged holes showing that they had been used before, possibly as ships timbers or in other houses. I just love imagining where they had been.

5.     Where do you get your inspiration from?
For this house, I wanted it to recapture its personality. An intimate Georgian House. It had a gentleness so I used soft duck egg blues, rich Indian rugs and French linen sheets for curtains.

6.   What has been the clients' reaction to the finished project?
Thrilled. It’s always lovely to find a dejected property and bring it to life. In many ways the transformation is more acute and therefore impressive.