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Design Brief

This is a mansion flat in Marylebone, London, on the Duke of Westminster estate. We were asked to completely refurbish this three-bedroom flat for a young family, in a contemporary style to be in keeping with the building.

Our main objectives were to improve the flow and functionality, update the technology and allow more light into the space.

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Besides the inherited questionable décor, the kitchen was situated at the far end of this rambling flat, which was arranged around a central stained glass light well. From the communal hallway the entrance to the flat opened into a claustrophobic dining room/hall with doors leading to the reception rooms and bedrooms.

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Concept

Create a self-contained master bedroom suite, which reduced the number of doors leading off the hallway.

Relocate the kitchen to make it the ‘hub’ of the home, without allowing it to become a corridor, by designing a false wall/door leading into a self-contained study/second guest suite at the far end of the flat.

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Remove walls between the dining hall and the living room to allow light from the large bay windows in the living room to light the whole area.

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Introduce traditional panelling and detailing alongside a contemporary grid motif to combine old and new styles, and disguise the technology within the architecture and fitted furniture.

Details

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The central fireplace was constructed by removing the walls and doors flanking the existing chimney stack and opening it up from both sides.

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Because of landlord restrictions, the roof garden is accessed through secret doors opening from the living room's bay window, and screened from view with bamboo curtain and pergola. Fake grass and planting make the space virtually maintenance-free and atmosphere is created at night with remote-controlled lighting.

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We installed a curtained vestibule by the front door – just like the client's favourite restaurant – which acts like an emotional airlock leading from the hall into the flat.

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As the home is a mansion flat, we designed a bespoke kitchen on an insulated floor, with an adjoining utility/drying room. Bench seating and a bespoke kitchen table was designed to fit into a curved alcove.Tiling on the kitchen walls replicates the proportions of the panelling in the hallway.

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Finishes

A muted colour palette of greys wrap around the walls, ceilings and mouldings, creating a single homogenous effect. The black bedroom has Georgian plaster mouldings which contrast with the contemporary grid pattern of the wardrobes and dressing room ceiling which joins the bedroom.

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Cole & Sons ‘woods’ wallpaper was used in contrasting monotones in the study/second guest room and the WC/wet room.

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A grid of black tiling and mirrors on the walls, ceiling and floor of the bathroom conceal storage and lighting.

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Building

Re-configuring the space allowed the flat to be zoned, offering independent, sound-proofed private space as well as easy social areas to relax. The layout reflects modern family lifestyles.

The contemporary design reflects the client’s personality, with both a formality and quirkiness that fits with the architecture of the building.

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Our bespoke furniture and fittings were designed specifically for the spaces, down to the drinks cabinets with a kitsch mirrored disco ball to add a glamorous nuance for cocktail hour.

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