A California couple found a chic pied a terre in the heart of West London, but it was in need of serious repair. Located in a Listed Georgian stucco fronted building, there were restrictions on what could (or could not!) be done to the space. Designer Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors embarked on a gut renovation, changing the layout entirely and restoring the period details. Then, it was all about the décor. Beth brought in a cool and calm vibe with a mix of both contemporary and Mid-Century Scandinavian furniture. She tells us more about the project.
Tell us about the clients. What were their design goals for their Notting Hill pied a terre?
The owners of this 2-bedroom apartment in Notting Hill had seen my work on an American design website and decided to get in touch as they wanted help in creating an overall scheme for the renovation. The building was Listed as it was Georgian, so there were very strong limitations on what they were allowed to do in terms of renovations, and they had already started drawing up plans with an architect. Unfortunately, they parted company with the initial architecture team shortly afterwards, and so I was able to suggest a firm that I had worked with before – Darren Oldfield Architects. We devised a scheme that involved moving the bedroom to the rear of the building- which was the quieter side. And moving the open plan kitchen, dining & living area to the front. This meant that the owners could lie in bed and look out onto the treetops of the private gated garden below- the most magical place that is only accessible to the owners of the properties that surround it. The position of the bathroom was shifted slightly to allow more space in the kitchen, and the huge bathtub was removed and replaced with a generous walk-in shower & bespoke vanity unit instead.
There were some key changes made in this project. Did everything go according to plan?
The project ended up being a full renovation and took longer than expected due to the stringent conservation requirements. As well as choosing new flooring, lighting, adding period details such as cast-iron radiators & traditional window & door furniture, we also completely redesigned & replumbed the apartment so that it was suitable for my clients and visiting guests to use. They live in California and wanted a light, contemporary style that would let the period details of the building shine. We spent many happy hours visiting furniture & bathroom showrooms together to pick out the fittings, and they were keen to have a mix of mid-century Scandinavian design classics alongside a less expensive Ikea kitchen.
What are some of your favorite details in the design?
The design and color palette is very subtle, so the key was to add a mix of interesting textures and materials to warm it up. The floors were a whitewashed oak, so we chose a beautiful tan leather sofa, a black metal coffee table and had a bespoke jute rug made to fit the living room, then we added a walnut credenza and marble lamp for more textural interest and contrast. The master bedroom was equally calm & serene- a generous linen upholstered bed feels light & fresh, whilst a mid-century armchair & brass floor lamp are the perfect spot for curling up with a cup of tea in the morning. As the guest bedroom was small, we added a fold down double bed and a small en-suite bathroom. But my favorite detail in the apartment is definitely the polished plaster in the main bathroom- it covers all of the walls & the ceiling in a seamless waterproof finish, which creates a lovely soft atmosphere and contrasts with the matt black taps. It also means that there is no grout to endlessly scrub or yellow over time- perfect for the owners as they don’t have to worry about maintenance
You blended mid-century while also highlighting period architecture. What do you love most about the mix?
Georgian architecture is so elegant- the windows in the apartment are tall as are the ceilings, so the clean, spare lines of the mid-century furniture works very well alongside that and doesn’t compete. It also gives the apartment a contemporary, comfortable feeling so that it doesn’t feel too precious.