As with most London homes, this 3,500-square-foot property is pretty vertical. On the ground floor, there is the living room and large kitchen that looks out onto an expansive garden. The primary bedroom and bathroom reside on the first floor with additional bedrooms spread over the second and third floors, while a spacious basement houses a media room and wine cellar. Designer Alaine Grossman of Renegade Interiors was brought on to bring a cohesive aesthetic to the home after the client attempted to design the kitchen herself. “She quickly realized she did not enjoy the process and realized she would go crazy if she had to do this for the rest of the house,” Alaine laughs. In a recent chat, she told us more about the project:
Where is this home located, and did that affect your design plan at all?
It is located in Chiswick (old English for “Cheese Farm”), West London, an old Thames fishing village that has become a haven for young families. This part of London is filled with historial Victorian and Edwardian terraced homes. There is a juxtaposition between the old style architecture and modern living. We had to find the right balance of modernizing the property while staying true to the neighborhood and consistent style of the Victorian terraced homes in abundance on that street and beyond.
Tell us a bit about your clients. What were their goals in hiring a designer, and what condition was the home in when you first met them?
The owners, Rob and Vanessa Jeffery are London professionals and have three children Max, sixteen, Ava, fourteen and Roxy, eleven. Vanessa’s goal in hiring a designer was primarily to the reduce the time she would need to spend on the remodel and secondly to have someone narrow choices to 3-4 options from which she could choose, limiting the stress factor. The builders had just begun when I arrived so the home was in a state of demolition and in the process of building a basement.
What was your vision for the space? Was there one element that served as a jumping off point?
My vision for the space was that it would exude calm throughout and that the palette would be one of colors found naturally in nature. Vanessa is a yoga enthusiast and I felt the house should reflect the zen she finds in her yoga practice. Another consideration, and perhaps the jumping off point was the client’s need for a large kitchen as they would host many parties here. In fact, the endless island is known to accomodate many dancers at once after some of their dinner parties! The aesthetic is contemporary throughout.
Were there any hiccups or challenges in the process? If so, how did you overcome them?
Unfortunately, when the carpenter built the custom closets, he did not line up the TV in the built-in closet wall with the bed in the master bedroom (which would have meant you would have to watch TV on a rather awkward angle). We realized this only once he had built it and attached it to the wall. We had to ask him to remove it and rebuild with a one day turnaround. There were also various conversations and designs to add light through the kitchen floor to the media room below resulting in a glass panel on the kitchen floor which allows the daytime light to radiate through.
What do you love most about the finished home?
My favorite thing about the home is the primary bathroom which I designed based on the client’s brief to evoke Ibiza, which I think it does. I also love the entry way where we kept some of the Victorian elements but comtemporized the space with a tile that sits nicely between the old and new. The custom shelving in the living room is also a lovely element.
The Siemon and Salazar pendant lights above the dining table are stunning. I purchased them from Los Angeles and had them shipped to London where they were rewired. They are made of the most exquisite hand-blown glass and give the room a striking but understated elegance. I also love the wall lights in the living room – these are from Lampadari in Italy and I think the shape and matte finish with pop of brass makes such a beautiful statemet in this room.
Take a tour of the home in the slideshow.