What happens when an interior designer is let loose on her own property to create the perfect reflection of her style and taste? You get Ruston Mews.
Definitely not one for maximalists, this secluded mews house was a labour of love for Claire Lloyd, a renowned interior designer and author who found the tired building and set to work transforming it. Out went the dark and depressing interiors so often associated with mews houses and in came brilliantly white, pristine walls and floors accented by Lloyd’s collection of contemporary photography and art. Out, too, went the spiral staircase, and in its place came concrete steps with a wide banister. An extra floor was added and a roof terrace was completely refurbished.
Doors were sacrificed for tall and wide openings to each room. Seeking privacy, Lloyd frosted over the front windows, giving the home an air of mystery until one stepped inside this Tardis-like space to be confronted with dazzling light emanating from the rear windows and doors. Each room was furnished in white with touches of tactile materials. The overall effect was ethereal and otherworldly.
This former home of both Germaine Greer and Peter Cook was featured in numerous publications around the world including The Telegraph Magazine and Australia’s Inside Out. “Claire Lloyd's house stands out from its neighbours, as much for its massive black front door as for its frosted glass windows, which give it an air of mystery from the outside. Once you are inside, everything changes,” said Elfreda Pownall, The Telegraph.
Lloyd explains how the house was a culmination of her design ethos: “I have worked on many lifestyle and interior magazines and understand the importance of space, light and tranquility. My book, Sensual Living, promoted the senses in our daily life, a simple concept that could easily be adapted in the home to make living in the big hectic city manageable.”
No detail was too small as Lloyd strived to create a unique living environment. “The biggest challenge was getting the massive sliding wall in and hanging it so there was no sign of a track at the bottom. I relied on my lovely craftsman who loves a challenge.”
Creative director, filmmaker and photographer, Lloyd came to London in 1983 after two and a half years at Australian Vogue. Since then she has enjoyed a career in magazines, film, books and property. She has worked either as art director or contributing editor on fashion, lifestyle and interiors titles. In 1988, she was art director on the launch of British W. As well as editorial work, she has art directed in advertising agencies and design groups. In the properties that she has transformed in London, Sydney and Greece, she demonstrates the combination of simplicity, light, space, comfort and sensuality that are the marks of her unique style. Ruston Mews was her twelfth project; by her own admission, she starts to get restless every couple of years.