Great Eastern St

Magma architecture did a stunning job bringing curves in black to the heart of this project on Great Eastern Street that sits in a former factory. Now it was our turn to bring in texture with plants and soft furnishings to soften the huge barn style ceilings, wood floors and brick walls. 


On entering we instantly imagined black furniture in the dining area to echo the black of the curved kitchen and shelves, sitting as a punctuation point between the wood of the exposed beams and raw wood floor, and in front of a row of large sash windows, the perfect place to entertain. 



The place took us to Eighties Manhattan but needed the outside brought in. Verdant green plants always look stunning against black and dots of primary colour act as accents throughout. The metal of the chairs echoes the spiral staircase and curved back of the chairs. 

The shelving system needed plenty of softening with plants dotted with ceramics, wood, books and glass. We wanted the shelves linking kitchen and sitting room to work for both areas. We imagined it as the place you put objects you could bring in to the dining room or swap up in areas in the sitting room. Walking from kitchen to sofa we saw the occupant picking up a book on the way.  Balancing objects along shelves always takes the most time in a styling project. A constant placing and stepping back, placing and stepping back again happened throughout the two days of staging. 


The staircase takes the occupants up to a mezzanine level with white-painted floorboards which would work as a guest room too. 


Sitting in the pitch of the roof, work items can be hidden in the storage cupboard or it can be used as a guest room with an adjacent bathroom with roll-top bath, walk-in shower and window to the stars. 


We gave this more of a rustic feel, like you were in your perfect weekend getaway. 


Back down the spiral staircase and to the other side of the open mezzanine is the sitting room the sofa has space at the back to walk around so we put a sideboard there for extra storage and somewhere to place  precious objects.


We linked the plants with a large cushion to use when reading books or lying on the sofa. A Berber style rug softens up the floor. Light coloured upholstered furniture, a Danish lounge chair and British sofa look homely and contained between the black of the central section of the apartment and stretch of windows leading to the outside world giving you space to relax and kick back as soon as you enter the appartment.

We wanted to give a cocooned feeling in this section but with plenty of room in front to entertain guests. The temptation was to put items on the black curves that have small shelf areas but this felt unnecessary. It is so important to us when staging that we keep the integrity of the architecture and allow you to see it in all its glory. 

With little daylight in the cloakroom in the central section it seemed the perfect space for terrariums. What you do not see is an industrial French child’s traffic light, a ‘talking piece’ behind the door to engage visitors. The perfect thing to ponder over as you are sitting surrounded by black. 


Heading down another set of stairs next to the central shelves and behind the dining area you reach another floor where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom. In here we put a large wicker basket on feet, the place to chuck throws or magazines, it softens up the brick wall adding texture with a large plant and soft lightly crinkled cotton on the bed too.  The plum curtains were already in place so we brought in grey and soft pinks to balance this out with an accent cushion in black and white, bringing in the colours of the architecture from the entrance level floor. 


The bathroom on this floor, neutral white and concrete-style tiles with chrome fixtures needed a little softening too with a mix of textures and bath bomb style round soap. Lilac, chocolate brown, cream and pale creamy balance out the grey and white. The Modern House was very happy with what we had done for their client who had previously tried to sell the flat empty which did not give buyers a feel off how they could live in the space.

Staging that looks unstaged and lived in, that has emotion and a sense of space is so important when it comes to selling. Overstaging can take a home to the realms of serviced apartment. We wanted to move in the minute we had packed up our boxes. We hope you like it. 


Photographer Steve

Images c The Modern House

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