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19th Jnuary 2012,
Interior designer Susan Knof of London-based architects and designers shh has created a new home for private clients in Hyde Park, London, which combines understated elegance with practical and flexible spaces for real family usage, set within a classic, white stucco Victorian townhouse.
SHH’s client – an international family with a suite of purchased the four-storey property and appointed SHH both as interior architect and designer/decorator to re-plan and redesign the interior to fit their specific wants and needs.
“The client asked for a classic and sophisticated series of spaces in muted grey tones. As the client didn’t like curtains, wall coverings or finishes such as polished plaster, we had to look for ways to add an element of glamour to the requested cool, calm and classic approach, so that the space also had variety, drama and a sensual richness.” commented Susan Knof, SHH Senior Designer and lead designer for the interior.
Architecturally, the most important change to the structure of the house was the excavation of the back garden – now a new lower-ground living space that opens directly onto a new garden space. The indoor and outdoor spaces are divided only by full-height bi-folding doors and are linked by new stone flooring (in charcoal grey with a metallic overcoat, which extends from the lower-ground interior out into the garden, creating a strong visual connection and making both spaces appear more extensive. A bespoke fireplace and large outdoor dining table combine with Dedon all-weather furniture; the colours of the garden reflect the muted tones inside the house.
“The lower-ground floor interior is made up of an open kitchen and informal living and dining space and existing stair to the ground floor in exposed concrete.”
The kitchen is by Poggenpohl with a 2.5m long ‘Link’ dining table by Jakob Wagner and six brightly-coloured Arne Jacobsen ‘Grand Prix’ chairs, along with platinum-enamelled ceramic ‘Ringo’ side tables and three feature ‘Bishop’ stools in white and black ceramic, all by India Mahdavi of Paris.
Behind the dining table is a custom-made feature oak veneer wall hand-etched with a bespoke designed floral pattern with open recessed side bookshelves, allowing for both open and hidden storage and the concealment of AV equipment, with concealed lighting below the ‘floating’ wall and on each shelf. The main entrance to the house is via the raised ground floor, which houses an entrance hallway, guest cloakroom and a large formal reception, dining and living area which extends across the whole length of the first storey.
The full-length reception, dining and living space is entered via a grand double door in dark charcoal grey-tinted wood. The formal dining area is at the front of the space, delineated by bespoke folding screens with matt lacquered fretwork panels and sheer ‘Dedar’ fabric inlay, offering privacy from the street whilst ensuring that natural light is not prevented from entering the room.
The master bedroom suite occupies the whole of the first floor level, with two spaces connected or separated by a sliding door. A custom-designed daybed sits in the window alcove and can convert into a guest bed when needed, but the real function of the space is a walk-in wardrobe. The wall covering is a subtle, tonal hounds tooth patterned paper, the bed’s headboard in 100% lambs’ wool in graphite grey with soft button details. A wall was knocked down to create the perfect master bathroom, which boasts a silver metallic Artquitect vanity unit and basin in a white lacquered setting, plus linen cabinet and mirror, all by Jaime Hayon.
Wall coverings are a tonal polka dot paper with a feature wall using a bird pattern paper overlaid on the same wall. The accompanying bathroom is also playful but not too full-on, allowing for the child to grow up and still enjoy the space.
There is also a guest suite on this floor. The guest room has a slightly different colour palette in an array of blues, greys and silvers, including a bespoke scalloped headboard with a textured, perforated pattern and a dark walnut timber bookcase, whilst the guest bathroom, in soft, multi-toned and multi-textured tiling, has a larger concealed vanity unit with a storage drawer, a concealed medicine cabinet and custom-made, framed, bevelled-mirror fronts in a silver washed finish.
1 Vencourt Place, Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith, London, W6 9NU
T: +020 8600 4171
F: +020 8600 4181