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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 : llidesign.co.uk