The owners wanted to create a new environment; they 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.
The brief was to create a contemporary family home, not in a stark clinical sense, but rather, colourful and practical. 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 which responded to their brief. The family had a large collection of vintage travel posters that they wished to display prominently around the house.
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.
The design revolved around redefining the General Arrangements. 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.
We decided that it would have been logistically complex to replace the existing staircase, so we stripped back the existing structure, re-clad it in a greyed oak and re-designed spindles, banister rail and newel posts, to be in keeping with the new warm contemporary.
Photography courtesy of LLI Design