When we enter houses like this one completed to a design by Clive Sall Architecture (CSA) behind Kentish Town in London, Petra instantly sees space, dividing it up in her mind like an architect, seeing rooms within rooms. Frances is a whizz with beds and furniture often bringing in a key piece, trying out both the Mies Van Der Rohe and the Eastern European lounge chair, mixing the Arne Jacobsen dining chairs with the Bruno Mathsson/Piet Hein dining table seen above and below.
I give each room ‘the feels’ imagining colour, texture and emotion to soften up the architects vision without detracting from its initial impact with the huge art piece, tangerine glass bottle, teak trays and hanging egg chair that paint a story of the kind of person who might live there. We wanted potential owners to be able to imagine themselves not only entertaining guests but also sitting quietly reading a book in the hanging chair or perusing their art collection. We loved the Bruno Mathsson table Frances who works with us on 90% of our stagings brought along to add to our look. Although sometimes pieces do not mix so well with our aesthetic the client wanted us to keep the wild animal charcoal drawing and television and easel combo at the house and so we made it part of the staging linking it in with the softer textures of a Berber rug and some carefully selected plants.
Frances own design of barstool worked fantastically in the kitchen. Having a huge electric skylight which retracts to turn the room into an open-air court meant a lot of time would be spent in this room in the Summer months. With the Corian and oak kitchen to the left and the glazed and perforated steel vision to the right as you walk up the stairs, we knew we would need some touches of colour and texture around the space drawing the eye around the room and not just to its technical achievements.
We kept things white and light by the window and softened up the floor with a huge hand tufted Berber rug placing a small Arne Jacobsen coffee table designed for Fritz Hansen on it with coffee table books, small enamel trinket bowls and orchid.
Introducing a small magnolia tree in for the front small balcony as a ‘softener’.
We always like to look at the outside and see if it makes us want to look inside as we look in.
Kentish Town and Camden Town are very much about the music scene and we felt this house in an enclosed development set behind secure gates within a short walk to Kentish Town’s bustling high street and famous ‘Forum’ might attract a pop impresario with an impressive art collection but we didn’t want to take away the feminine and make it too like a single man’s cave so we made the large bedroom on the first floor the feminine heart of the house, dictated by a stunning mint green Italian sofa.
A wicker lamp softened up a hard corner and muted shades of mint green with pale purple and blue gave a feminine touch to a bedroom.
We employed a painting and carpet that were part of a former staging and brought in our trademark floating bed designed by Jan Landolt of Landolt and Partners.
We put a small magnolia tree on the balcony with glass balustrade that leads off the master bedroom and mixed some purple in to contrast sofa and cushions.Frances brought some lovely Danish side tables which set off the indigo bed cover and a dresser.
We kept the bathrooms very simple as prescribed by the developer.
Navy blue and primrose yellow worked in stark contrast in a bedroom with a chair designed by Frances to echo the barstools oil the kitchen and link up a different part of the house.
We love a bit of red and wanted to keep the eye firmly in the room with the car park view outside softening up the flooring with a plain ivory carpet and bringing in a sideboard with fixed shelving and some small accent pieces and books to decorate.
Downstairs we turned the bedroom closest to the entrance door into an office and dressed the other two bedrooms with a focal oak wishbone chair to echo the engineered oak floors around the rest of the house.
Stylists: Petra Curtis, Lucy Ryder Richardson and Frances Marden
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