a north oxford house

Drawing room and dining room >

In this drawing room (a proper, first floor affair) light and the huge windows are all. We wanted to create a design that played with formal traditional drawing room style, and messed about with it, adding colour and fun. A huge element of the room is the floor to ceiling shelving structure, which is constructed from ash with an ebonised hardwood that delineates and configures the structure. This was designed to house various elements including books, objects, TV and media and a stereo with space for cd's. This was a one-off item which we created for the client. It holds your attention and commands the space that it lies in. There is an almost art deco feel to it, with the dark and light woods and polished finish.

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detail of shelving

The sofas were sourced from Fran at Liscious Interiors, and re-upholstered in striking fabrics in soft brushes cotton. The colours reflected the dining space but lifted and lightened. The Chesterfield grey sofa has a purple running through it and we applied very bright violet buttons to the piece and dressed with lime accents. The lime - or chartreuse - Chesterfield was very simply dressed and as such we reversed the colour works and had predominantly purple striped cushions in a deep velvet. 

A small day bed wrapped in a defined purple inhabits a space close to the book shelves and near to the distinctive sash windows.

A  balance between privacy and letting the light through was achieved by way of full length linen curtains with a silk floral motif running through, and a sheer roman blind that drops down (colourfully) to frost out the background, again in natural linen but with colourful stripes.

We strongly felt that this huge space did not need a central ceiling light, but to light the space with

soft accent lighting at lower level would create better intimacy and harmony in an evening. The Alega glass table lamps (designed by

Vico Magistretti

in 1970) sits on Platner side tables, each a stainless steel spoke framework with a glass top created by

Warren Platne

r for Knoll in the 1960's. 

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Platner side table with Alega lamp

The beautiful carrera marble fireplace is a focal point, its gas fire supplementing the classicv column radiators (in anthracite) we put in, and the alcoves either side are wallpapered with a fantastic

Jocelyn Warner

design. Period chairs were limed and re-upholstered in a funky silk, and an

Elizabeth Blackadder

piece catches the eye above the fire.

Dining Space >

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glass table reflecting the window

Previous to its present incarnation, this was a jumbled space, cold and dark and possibly with mixed use. In its present form we decided to change shape a little. Keeping the 'hand made element' we made something a little more formal i.e  an evening dining space for guests.

Our client wanted a dark, intimate and rich palette, but with linking colour from the drawing room next door. Assisted by our client the colour we chose was a plum colour, in a proper flat matte, not cold. It sits more in the red spectrum. This gives it a deep lushness that with the addition of evening candle light, brings in a grandiose quality.

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Of the candelabra; it is hand crafted by French makers

Benoit Vieubled

and acquired through

Cameron Peters Fine Lighting

. Its artisan qualities shine out. Made from brass and copper and french glass yoghurt jars and crystals. It was further modified by myself with deft assistance by the owner, converting it from electrical to hold candles. Furthermore, it hangs by sash cord which is fixed via a pulley system and tied off near the dumb waiter. This allows the piece to be raised and lowered when necessary. Secondary lighting is via the picture lights overhanging the inherited pieces of our client.

On first entering the room from the hallway it becomes obvious that the dumb waiter is no longer functioning. Due to modifications in the past it had become a non viable restoration project. This left us with the awkward shape in the corner! As the owner wished to house some of his wine collection we decided that the best purpose of the woodwork was to turn it into a wine rack. I think this works especially well and looks rather neat and perfect as well as being architectural and fun.

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wine storage

The carrera marble fireplace needed extensive cleaning to the marble to bring it up to a gleam. The hearth was simply of limed concrete and as such was painted black. A writing bureau, hand painted by Maitre Allegre now sits in the alcove closest to the window.

A collage of mirrors that we collected from a host of places hang in a pattern above the fireplace.

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detail of candelabra with mirrors behind

Under foot, the carpet is a fine boucle in a light grey that adds a level of luxury to the rooms. It runs through the dining and lounge space and spills on through the hallway and staircase.

Below is a picture of the hallway with the dining space chimney wall framed in the antique mirror.

functionality and colour in a kitchen - grandpont house

Victorian House: 

features: Lacanche gas oven, Island unit, slate grey porcelain tiles, lime green, oak lantern, Blanco inset sink.

This project was the second of 3 commissions by our client, after working with them on the design of

loft with on-suite

, and then later their

garden

.

This began life pre-extension and the remit was to design a kitchen that was highly functional and host various items like a large and rather special

eurocave

wine fridge (see photo) and also a smaller wine unit to be housed in the island unit. The list of appliances continued; there was the

Lacanche

 range; a multi ring gas burner that was to stand centre stage in the kitchen. The owner being a very interested and extremely capable chef insisted upon this furniture, and why not! The extension was cleverly designed by architect 

Tony Reedman

, making much of a slightly awkward space. The extension was carried out to a very good standard and so made the process of designing for the space much easier than it could have been. It is imperative that your builder is accommodating at this stage as various items will impact on the final design. Whilst some features had to be altered i.e.size of steel beams holding up the house, most of the structure and size was kept within targets. Working with an experienced design team at In House, we organised a design that fitted the needs of the client and made sense of the space: ample room for cooking, room for art on walls and a place where this family could be seated in an evening or entertain.

Kitchens are notoriously difficult to organise and generally work around very clear principles. However, every space is different and can ask different questions of the designer.

While its recommended that one should have a good understanding of the principles of kitchen design, commonsense and awareness of the practicalities of usage and the dynamics there in, are essential. 

In the photo > Cabinet work is in a mixture of Anthracite and white gloss both with doors that have matching edge details.

Inset handles on the cabinetry avoid fuss and visually speak more discreetly about a design. They also fair a little better chronographically and tend never to lose that much in style.

Set within the anthracite top of the island unit is the Blanco

 'zerox' inset sink, with one large sink and a small drainer. Its a 1000mm x 510 unit and has a low profile that keeps the sharp quality to the design.

The incredibly hard wearing floor tiles are ceramic 

and the pattern that ensued clearly adds to and makes sense of the linearity of the space.

The lengths of floating shelving, 50mm thick and 350mm wide, were manufactured from the same material as the worktop, also in anthracite and so complimented the rest of the units. Their fixing method is concealed. With the projected weight it was considered that allowances should be made during the building process to accommodate it: as a result, medium density building blocks were used rather than thermalite blocks at the fixing points, in order to secure them.

On the feature wall the client commissioned a mirror which was covered rather ornately in mixed elements of fabric from

SQUINT

designs and it sits upon the green wall very effectively. Other elements of interest are got through the individual elements that our client brings to the room such the stainless steel vegetable holder which rests upon the island unit like a floating piece of sculpture.

The colour on the wall is very striking and was chosen by Charlotte. Strong accent colour like this can be quite hard to work with, but we both felt there was a great deal of spirit and good health about this colour and to use it in the scheme would be very affirming. In fact, later on you will see that the colour is repeated in the

garden design

. To see this room of an evening, have a look at the

kitchen in use

post, which shows off how joyful and colourful even such a vividly minimal and practical kitchen can be.

Striking, clean, highly functional and full of fun. 

a luxurious bathroom - victorian house



The owners had recently moved into the house and required it to be modernised throughout. 


Many of our customers enjoy the need for the works to be staged, rather than to be carried out all at once. This affords them the ability to assess the scheme and its direction without being bombarded with a great many decisions all at once.  


The starting point of this particular project was to be one of the main bathrooms and culminated in the overhaul of the 25m garden area, completed on the back of a special extension.


1st stage: master bathroom.


palette: > thin strip oak, lemon marble tiles, mirror, flint grey.










This is a great space for relaxing, that's set in the heart of the top floor, between 2 bedrooms. The room doesn't have a window, however it makes up for the lack of natural light by using light and reflection.  There is a spectacular floor-to-ceiling marble wall with
an alcove inset that is lined with the narrow strip oak. This is also lit from above with 2 dedicated dimmable spot lights. The bath is freestanding and is painted on the outside in a light green grey, and the whole thing is sat on two oak cradles. The colours are all complimented by the colours in the natural stone. The lemon marble tiles fitted tightly to each other and the appearance was more monumental rather than 'tiled'. The colour on the walls and the ceiling were painted in a satinwood finish and allowed light to reflect off it for further space and light enhancement.




Bespoke oak also features largely in the floating vanity unit which rogue-designs created to fit into the space. The vanity unit itself has 2 sliding mirrors that give the illusion of more space. It was imperative to create the feeling that the space was light and that it was expansive in nature.  Behind the sink; a mirror and above this, another one-off unit that was over 1.5m in length and had 3 long sliding glass panels. Above this unit another glass panel that hit the ceiling. The illusion was cemented further by being able to see the ceiling spots in the mirrors.







a grown up living room - victorian house

Victorian House living room  

features: cast concrete fire surround with wood detailing, stained piranha pine box shelving, dark stained flooring, double sliding curtain rail, danish rosewood sideboard, architectural light shade, handmade radiator covers.

We chose to use an organic and muted colour range complimented by the use of dark stained material (including the floor), textures and subtle tonal changes to create an intimate room with a quiet aspect. We promptly got to work on a fireplace design, and hand cast a simple white polished concrete piece with stained wood mantle.  A large L shaped grey corner sofa provides flexible seating. The vintage Danish rosewood sideboard from our lovely friends at The Modern Warehouse sits on the back wall against striking wallpaper.

Opposite, on either side of the chimney breast, there is a configuration of dark stained display boxes of differing sizes. They are like a sliding rule - each pair amounts to the same space, separated by the chimney breast. We used the wallpaper at the backs to set off the objects within, and create continuity with the feature wall. The large oak table with two slate insets is the owners own.

Above the fireplace is a very striking mirror which the owner purchased from a gallery in the Czeck republic. Its strong features also informed the design and it adds a great focal point to the room.

The cut perspex pendant lamp is designed by Louise Campbell for Louis Poulsen, titled 'collage', has 3 concentric white perspex rings which have been laser cut with a floral motif. When the light is on, it creates a wonderful flecked floral pattern around the room, especially when the light is subdued. As there are many strong design elements in the room, the light shade doesn't actually dominate, it rather delicately absorbs with colours.  In fact it tends to sit in the background until lit when it takes on its splendour.

The ceiling rose that you see, is a beautifully crafted plaster reproduction of a heritage piece that was installed as part of the design.We felt the ceiling looked rather sparse without it. While it wasn't evident that a ceiling rose had been there previously, the room has fine original cornice molding, so it sits perfectly well, and creates focus and mixes the old and new with the contemporary chandelier.

Two pairs of curtains, one sheer linen for privacy, the other a thick raw weave cotton for warmth, are full length and hang on a double bay window pole  in brushed steel (a piece of clever engineering) It is finished off with hand blown glass finials. Small touches against large bold pieces help to create little surprises that enhance the experience.

Below are a few detail shots from the room.

Grandpont house> bedroom and on-suite

Grandpont house: loft conversion.
Yr:2007

It is a loft space (bedroom) with an on-suite bathroom with a footprint of 30sqm approximately, incl the bathroom.  There was a very considered and limited palette in this scheme. The muted earth tones were all cleverly balanced. Loft rooms can be difficult in their character; we wanted this one to feel warm and grown-up, a sanctuary.

It's an elegant room, very clean and sharp with a very clear direction.


Two walls were papered, one on the wall as you approach the top of the staircase and the one behind the bed. Both walls run in different directions to each other and so acted particularly well to ease you into the room without being too full on.

The pattern that you see on the walls is by Neisha Crosland and it gives the room a loose light feel whilst playing with all the tones employed elsewhere in the room. An oak framed alcove in the wall above the bed provides extra storage, and a neat interest.

The radiators are by bisque. Its a low level, traditional style with ribbed chambers, in anthracite. These are high performing radiators and very useful at warming a room quickly and holding the temperature. The colour of the radiator can be changed in order to further enhance and stay within the designers range of tone and hue. 

















We designed and had made, a very simple, elegant and one-off, oak and glass rail to the top of the staircase.  An oak  frame surrounds 10mm toughened glass. The storage units that are pictured, fitted in the eaves and flanked the escape velux.  


The conversion of a loft space is often at odds with storage needs and this generally tends to be forgotten in the process of creating a useable space. In a lot of our designs there is a real emphasis on clever storage where ever possible. 


Off the bedroom is the on-suite which is a pleasure. Glass tiles wrap around all 4 walls and encase the bathroom in reflected light.
The effect is further enhanced by the mirror and the glass shower screen.  


As per the bannister, the door is of oak and the linear detailing is seen in various other items around the rooms.




































































The shower base was a 1200mm  x 800mm composite. The glass toughened and bespoke. It is always a good idea when fitting a bathroom in the loft area to over structure the support for the facilities i.e. the floor joists and make sure there are provisions for the potential cleaning of the traps etc. 


Extraction in the bathroom was ducted through the roof space whilst the building conversion was taking place. An icon bathroom fan with PIR and a humidity sensor was used. These are used to great effect in spaces like these where you can control the moisture content of the room. The console is also very elegant and powerful.












Fittings are simple and elegant, minimal but not flashy. All in all, sanctuary, and a little jewel at the top of the house.