A Perfect British Period RestorationAmy Tocknell, October 2015
Seeing the potential for restoration in an unloved but impressive home takes a trained eye and the team at Grand Design London have exactly that skill.
Where some may have looked at a run down and dated property on Trinity Road and seen something not worth saving or something that would take too much work, they opted to undertake a full, top to bottom, renovation and refurbishment project that not only returned the house to its former glory, but exceeded it. Complete with an extension, specially built timber kitchen and countless rooms finished to the highest specifications possible, this is one property that deserves more than just a fleeting glimpse.
Let’s take a look inside so you can see for yourself the incredible restoration that has occurred.
A hugely impressive frontage, this house is chock full of period features, interesting architecture and nuances that make it far more appealing than than many properties out there.
Arched windows, decorative stonework and usable loft space all make for an intriguing house that seems to offer a lot of potential to be equally as impressive inside. Grand Design London has clearly taken inspiration from the impressive façade and sought out opportunities to reinvigorate the heritage feel of this utterly beautiful home, so let’s get inside!
The perfect combination of modern and classic styling, this living room has quietly acceded that the property is old but not allowed old fashioned design to overshadow the lovely and airy space.
The fireplace, chandelier and classic furniture combine to give a sense of homely heritage, while modern accessories, such as the ceramic bowl, mirror and soft furnishings allude to owners that don’t want to be suffocated by tradition. Warm and inviting, this room has made great use of the high ceiling by showing deep and decorative coving, while indulging in the drop lighting that could seem overbearing in a more squat space.
A fun and bright water closet, this small space has been given no less attention than larger areas and looks wonderfully finished for it.
Parquet flooring has been expertly laid, to mirror the flooring throughout the house, while the fixtures and suite items are suitably old fashioned. A modern suite, though beautiful, could have looked more than a little jarring in a house that has paid so much attention to period correctness. The fish wallpaper adds a sense of whimsy and fun, while being reminiscent of traditional decoupage and as a whole, we think this is a wonderfully well thought out and cohesive spot.
We do love an ornately tiled hallway it has to be said and this example does not disappoint! Finished in a complex but stunning mosaic style, the terracotta red and darker hues all work well against the stark white woodwork and walls, making the entrance feel welcoming and grand rather than sterile.
By paying attention to the impression that a hallway can give, the design team have managed to create a space that almost draws visitors further into the house. We know that on being greeted with this lovely scene, we would want to see how the rest of the house has been finished and that we would be hopeful of even more impressive design flair.
Far more of a family gathering spot than the first sitting room, this is clearly a well used and much loved area for the residents.
The eclectic and mismatched furniture give a sense of the personalities at play, which are not willing to be overshadowed by a grand house and the dark blue on the walls adds a heritage drama that is hard to beat! Contrasting against the pale and polished parquet floor and the stark white mantlepiece and ceiling, the colour harks back to the original period of the house, without dictating the rest of the scheme too much. Lovely!
Restoration projects that take place in a period house can often come under scrutiny when they include a brand new extension, but we think it can be a lovely way of increasing the space, when carried out sympathetically.
Here we can see an extension on the rear of the property which has been installed to make the kitchen far larger and more usable, but thanks to the continued use of parquet flooring and the installation of vintage furniture, it doesn’t look out of place or at odds with the rest of the house. By selecting an old fashioned bespoke kitchen, old and new are combining with effortless elegance and co-existing harmoniously, all while basking in the light of that huge feature window!
Here is where we really start to see just how carefully the design team have blended new and old styles to create something absolutely stunning.
The subway tiles, finished in a heritage grey, make for a wonderful and pleasantly old fashioned background to this room that also features a vintage basin plinth and traditional light and shower head fixtures. Though eminently modern in finish, the overall effect is of something far more age appropriate for the house and not even the lack of a shower screen can detract from what a sympathetic and classic installation this is!
It’s always a pleasure to see original features having been kept and included in restoration projects and in this example, we are particularly taking about the beautiful fireplace. Made from cast iron, it has been brought back to life and re-blackened to make an ideal contrasting feature in an otherwise soft and luxuriously decorated bedroom.
While a modern television has been mounted on the wall, it is overshadowed by the chintz curtains, quilted bed and suitably cool and relaxing pastel blue wall, all of which speak of a time gone by where plush fabrics and high end finishes were of the utmost importance.
When an en suite bathroom can be this perfectly finished and thought through, there almost seems little reason to include a family bathroom anywhere else. In fact, don’t concern yourself with it, just get into your copper plated vintage bathtub and let your worries all soak away, everyone else will be fine.
We are joking, of course, but it’s easy to see how this bathroom could make you forget everything other than how to relax! The parquet floor, once again, ties the room to the rest of the house, as does that delightful dark wood panelling and though we know this room would definitely coax us out of bed, we’re not sure what would tempt us out of the bath!
Well this house really does have it all now that we have seen this pretty family bathroom. Another heritage wall colour, this time a perfect periwinkle blue, makes the space feel decidedly calm, with patterned floor tiles acting as the ideal base for wet feet. Offering wonderful views of the city, thanks to being on the upper floor, this bathroom feels fantastically proportionate and has left nothing unaccounted for, thanks to the mixer tap on the bath.
With bathrooms enough for everybody, a huge new kitchen, two living rooms and bedrooms that look as though they define luxury, we think this amazing transformation is a success on every level. Nothing has been forgotten and with a gentle hand, old and new have been blended together seamlessly in every room making for a very happy and cohesive home.