Hawley Square

This sensitive Hawley Square project was our first staging for Inigo and HouseStorey, the Ramsgate based developer showcasing their work on The Modern House’s new property site, and we wanted to have some fun with it while keeping the look super simple as HouseStorey had done such a great job of keeping the house’s integrity.  

Restored in collaboration with Sam Causer Studio, we loved the way layers of history were kept on the restored-to-look-decaying plaster and skim walls and that HouseStorey had even kept names scribbled on one wall.

This beautiful Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse oozes possibility when you step inside and take a walk around the three floors encompassing two floors of living space and an expansive downstairs room and it was important to us that we kept this.

Built in the late 1830s this house and studio makes for an incredible home. A quick walk to the beach, Theatre Royal and Turner Contemporary gallery the building has enjoyed many owners over the years including a blacksmith, cabinetmaker and auctioneer.

In 1907 it became the headquarters of the 4th Battalion of the East Kent Buffs and is likely that they transformed the traditional Georgian façade into the rusticated stonework and metal gates which sets it apart from other spaces in Margate and gives it a unique selling point in order to attract Londoners from Shoreditch out to this seaside town with its Turner Contemporary art gallery celebrating  J. M. W. Turner who went to school in Margate and returned throughout his life. Margate is also famous for Dreamland; a vintage theme park with  rides, musical acts and a drive-in cinema that perfectly suit the local creatives and bring out oft owners in at the weekends. 

Mixing midcentury, antique and modern for a modest budget we created small bullet points around the space and kept minimal in order to highlight the story created by the loosely skimmed walls.

A side table and art nouveau pewter candlesticks with interesting legs give a feeling of ‘found’ objects without shouting a definitive style.

The lamplighter’s ladder could have been picked up from anywhere from the blacksmiths shed in the garden to one of the antique auctions in Margate and acts as an arrow pointing up to a window shedding light into the stairwell. Windows and staircase were all taken away and reconditioned by carpenters with missing components and joinery designed to match the surviving originals.

A kimono brings a touch of feminine to this space which saw years of male residencies before the current owners snapped it up and acts like a piece of art framed by the unusual effects on the wall and cupboard.

The colours of the bed accessories were deliberately chosen to help you see the different colours in plaster and painted walls.

The original oil painting and Childs toy gives it a feeling of emotional attachment to simple things either inherited or found in local fairs and brings the sea in reminding you that you are in a house by the sea and not in the old sewing district off East London’s Brick Lane.


A trio of contemporary bathroom vases made in moulds created from antique glass bottles were chosen to highlight the natural light flooding in to this three storey home and studio. 

 Hawley Square is a lovely square to look out on. We could already see ourselves living here with an art gallery below, skipping out to the seaside every time the sun came out. It was hard to leave.




Petra Curtis: petra@modernshows.com

Lucy Ryder Richardson: lucy@modernshows.com

Interior Design

HouseStorey: alex@allcreative.co.uk @housestorey on instagram 

Sam Causer Studio: mail@samcauser.com 



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