Nestled behind the Houses of Parliament in the heart of Westminster sits an end of terrace Georgian property, which has been completely restored and extended by Shed Design. The five-story private residence was flattened by a V2 rocket during WW2 and was painstakingly built to its original proportions after the war, therefore avoiding the Grade II listing award to several of its neighbours. An incongruous extension followed in the 1970s, but the arrangement of several small boxy rooms failed to make the best use of the 2600 sq.ft. space. The clients spend many weeks of the year in other primary residences such as Lake Como in Italy, and their brief for Shed was the create a “home with boutique hotel touches” – a home from home atmosphere with the practicality and comfort found in your favourite hotel suite. With outdoor space being such a rarity for a private residence in central London, the priority was to reconfigure the internal layouts whilst maximising the external terrace footprint. The solution involved demolishing the dated extension, levelling and excavating the basement, as well as sympathetically extending the ground floor, whilst keeping the house in line with the local style. The upper floors were rearranged to maximise every inch of space to create fully functional layouts for the family of four. As well as ensuring that the new layouts addressed the needs of the client, it also provided a framework for their daily routines. Shed worked sensitively to reinstate the original Georgian charm from the ground floor upwards, designing a bespoke collection of architectural mouldings and doors to reflect the human proportions of the period. A rich, dark oak floor was installed, and the remainder of the elegant décor was based around this. A sanctuary away from the bustle of the surrounding city, each space has been individually designed and furnished, colours and materials tightly edited to ensure cohesion of design throughout the property.
The generous, free-flowing basement with kitchen, dining and media room has been designed as the heart of the home, a communal space for the very sociable family. Here, Georgian features have been replaced with modern details, marking the extension as part of the ‘New’. Daylight reaches the area through a large roof light positioned over the marble dining table, which compliments the seamless off-white porcelain floor and the Serpeggiante marble worktop and splashback in the monolithic kitchen. Behind hidden doors, the media room sits discreetly on the edge of the basement and is the natural private ‘den’ of the house. When informally entertaining, the family and their guests will spend comfortable evenings in this private retreat. The palette of deep blue with Portoro marble is a deliberate nod to the masculine side of the brief, and it is very easy to picture retiring to this room of an evening either with friends or as a family unit. With the exception of this room, the colour palette for the property has been kept deliberately neutral, with the designer using pops and splashes of brighter colours and warm tones, such as yellow accessories and lighting in the living area, to keep the atmosphere welcoming and homely. These personal touches also enhance the boutique hotel feel as prescribed in the brief by the client. Moving upwards through the building is made possible via an elegant and lightweight stair with an English oak ribbon handrail, winding its way up to the bedroom accommodation. The stair is supported between brass stair rods on a timber ‘stringer’, with an offset stair runner encouraging ascent or descent around the wide perimeter edge.
The bedrooms comprise of an eclectic mixture of furniture and lighting, both antique and contemporary. Luxurious upholstery, silk floor-to-ceiling drapes and bespoke rugs have been carefully selected to sit comfortably next to rich timbers and marbles with brass accents. To follow the brief, the bedrooms deliberately follow the boutique hotel formula, with side tables either side of oversized beds and reading lights featuring throughout. Modern technology had been implemented subtly into the traditional design of the home; mechanical ventilation supplies and extracts natural air constantly, maintaining fresh air throughout the winter months when windows are inevitably closed. Smart Home technology has been integrated into key areas on every floor, allowing the client to control lighting, radio, heating and security both while the family are residing in the property and when they are away.