Renovating a home never comes without a few hiccups and halts, but this impressive South London project by Fraher & Findlay involved more than a fair share of complications. Dubbed the “Artists’ House” on account of the clients’ creative backgrounds, the building’s listed historical status meant that all plans had to be legally approved, and in fact, the architects’ application to move the kitchen from the basement to the parlor floor was at first rejected. “After a robust case was presented…at the final hour,” according to the brief, “the application’s recommendation was overturned and listed building consent granted.”
Phew. Another major challenge: the unique crescent shape of the building. “We were not working with regular or orthogonal shapes of spaces, so everything had to be bespoke,” explains Fraher & Findlay design director Lizzie Webster. Going custom meant, though, that she and the clients were able to tease exactly what they wanted from the home: an open, modern, and family-friendly design set inside a classic, if atypical, shell.
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Photography by Adam Scott, courtesy of Fraher & Findlay.Above: The home is at one end of a historical Georgian Crescent (note the curve in the building). The project, from design to construction, was overseen by Fraher & Findlay. Above: Just off the entry hall is this coat room, where a streamlined and fun orange coat rack paired with a classic round foyer table announces the clients’ unique modern-meets-traditional sensibility. Above: “We wanted to create a really amazing entrance hall and reception space immediately off the hallway, and we wanted to keep this space connected with the rear living room and make the most of the natural daylight from the front of the house, hence the use of the glazed door set,” explains Lizzie. “The door set brings in the natural light but also creates a division of space when needed.” Above: The homeowners are involved in design and creative industries. “They had an extensive art and furniture collection that we designed around right from the beginning of the project,” says Lizzie. The striking mid-century modern trio of globe pendants is vintage, from Crystal Palace Antiques. Vitsoe shelving holds the couple’s record collection. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Wall-Mounted Shelving Systems for similar storage systems.) Above: A pair of Borge Mogensen Spanish Chairs flank the fireplace. Above: Also on the parlor floor is the custom kitchen by Shape London, a joinery workshop that fabricated all the built-ins in this home. Lizzie says “elevating the kitchen and living areas to this floor with the best views and natural light” was key. Above: Pantry items are stored inside the hutch cabinet. Above: The dining area is open to the kitchen. Pendant lights from deVOL float above the island and the dining table. Above: On the second floor are the main bedroom, pictured here, ensuite bath, a guest room, and guest bath. Note the incredible herringbone oak floors, with a wenge border, by Havwoods. Above: Two built-in closets create a short hallway to the ensuite bath. Above: In the traditional ensuite bath, a freestanding glass and steel cabinet (the Haze Vitrine from Ferm Living) adds a contemporary touch. (For similar cabinets, see 10 Easy Pieces: Steel-Framed Display Cabinets.) On the walls is Farrow & Ball Joa’s White. Above: Opposite the bathroom is another built-in wardrobe set. Above: The kids’ rooms are on the top floor. Here, wallpaper in the Paradiset pattern by Svenskt Tenn offsets a painted Ikea crib. Above: The other kid’s room, fitted with custom cabinets built under the eaves. Above: Fun tiles from BluePrint Ceramics in the thoroughly modern children’s bathroom. Above: The mudroom, painted Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue, is on the basement floor, as are a laundry room and a family room/playroom. Above: A clever curtain separates the family room from the play area.
For more London homes we admire, see: