THAT CAUGHT OUR EYE
Photo Tour: Half Home, Half Work of Art – Take a Tour Through Earl’s Court Mews
Earl’s Court Mews is one of our most visually striking homes yet, and an example of how a bold client and difficult constraints can inspire creative solutions that generate unique and beautiful spaces.
We started with a small, run-down mews house that had been repeatedly extended and altered, and worked in close collaboration with our client to create a home bespoke to their needs and style which maximises all available space and light.
To celebrate this gallery-like showcase of contemporary interior design, let’s take a tour through the home, starting in the full-plan basement.
The principle space in the basement is the luxurious spa, which, through clever design, manages to pack with a small space a dressing area, double shower, yoga wall, hot tub and steam room.
Light grey Carrara marble wall tiles and herringbone floor tiles unify the space, and each function is seamlessly separated by floor to ceiling frameless glass screens.
Calming grey Carrara marble creates a canvas for some striking features such as the hand made Arabescato marble vanity in the dressing area, and the full height bookmatched marble slabs with Rorschach-like pattern in the shower area.
Opposite the shower area is the hot tub, which has simple circular design, colour change lighting and massage jets.
Behind the hot tub is a custom made, Murano glass panel that was imported from Italy. It has a fish scale pattern of blue and black, obsidian-like glass, which is then back lit to striking effect.
Beside the hot tub is a bespoke steam room, which features a massive 17kW steam generator and marble clad benches.
In front of the steam room and hot tub is a yoga space with a 2.4m high yoga wall at one end set into the marble tiling. Our client likes a punishing yoga work out, so this space also has a concealed electric bib heater to raise the temperature to 40.5ºC, and a switch beside his bed on the second floor allows him to preheat the space as soon as he wakes up.
The rest of the basement accommodates a flexible music and games room, utility room, store room and the plant room, and access to the basement is provided by staircase carved between these rooms, finished in a dark stained oak.
Follow the timber stairs up from the basement and you enter the centre of the ground floor, where a reflective dark grey polished concrete bounces light through the kitchen, living and dining spaces. The polished concrete incorporates underfloor heating to ensure it feels warm and welcoming underfoot.
Opposite the stairs is a contemporary asymmetric fireplace with Nero Marquina marble plinth, and a polished plaster chimney breast inspired by a volcanic eruption in Norway.
The ground floor is open plan, albeit with a stylish Crittal glass screen providing separation to the kitchen.
Our client loves to cook and the kitchen is designed to be both practical and beautiful with simple matt sprayed doors and stainless-steel work tops. The island features both induction hobs and a gas burner for the best of both worlds.
The kitchen is lit with gallery-style track lights above the Crittal screen – allowing the client to add, remove and adjust the lighting with ease.
With the kitchen being at the back of the house, the large new windows we installed had to have translucent glass to avoid overlooking neighbouring properties. To compensate, the ceiling of the kitchen is pitched and benefits from two large rooflights providing plenty of natural light and views of the sky.
In front of the principle kitchen window sits a massive sink carved from a single block of granite and imported from America.
It is the star of the kitchen, and to bring out the texture on the front, we installed a single spotlight in the ceiling whose sole purpose is to cast light and shadow on this beautiful natural stone.
A feature staircase made of steel and frameless glass rises from the ground to second floor, offsetting as the footprint of the building reduces.
Open risers allow natural light to flood down into the ground floor from windows in the walls and a rooflight above. The rooflight can be opened to generate a stack effect to ventilate the building in the summer months.
The industrial aesthetic of the stairs is softened by inlaying dark stained oak into each step.
On the first floor there are three bedrooms, two at the front of the house and one to the rear, each with their own unique design features and en-suite bathrooms. The rear bedroom is particularly notable with a double height space and large rooflight and a bed deck (above) that sits over the ensuite.
The ensuite bathroom has timber clad walls and beautiful chevron stone tiling to the floor and shower area.
Moving to the second and top floor, the half landing of the stair is inlaid with herringbone oak flooring – a hint of what it to come.
The top floor – carved out of the roof space – is essentially a master suite with a large master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Dark oak herringbone timber flooring runs throughout the bedroom, landing and into the ensuite.
The master bedroom has a pitched ceiling and French doors leading out on to a balcony overlooking the mews and the rooftops of Kensington.
The client wanted a cave-like master bathroom, so we sourced an incredible black polished plaster with an iridescent quality that is almost impossible to photograph. It contains actual rose gold which glimmers like fire when the light catches it.
Following the cave theme, the shower area is tiled with aqua ceramic tiles that appear like a cenote, inviting you in to the water.
As we leave Earl’s Court Mews, you get an idea of the unusual shape that made this project so challenging and creatively rewarding. This front façade was rebuilt but retains the original shape, replacing the ugly 1970s, magnolia-rendered building that once spoiled the end of the mews.