In this era of micro-flats and bijou flats, a sense of grandeur is often lost. Most of London’s grand houses have been carved up into smaller units and the original fittings tossed in the skip. One spectacular house in West London put paid to all that, though, and wowed us with its spectacular interiors.
Perhaps even more surprising is that the owner worked closely with Michaelis Boyd Associates. Most people go to architects with visions of sleek, contemporary interiors but the owner’s brief was to preserve the period details while ensuring the home worked for a modern family. Michaelis Boyd takes a modern approach, aiming to simplify the client brief and scheme designs. The practice works on a variety of projects – residential refurbishment and new build, restaurants, bars, hotels and offices – primarily in London, sometimes in the countryside and occasionally abroad. Alex Michaelis is well-known as Notting Hill's coolest architect; his practice was behind the Electric’s rebuild as well as numerous other local outfits including Woody’s, Fresh & Wild, Melt, Mook and Cowshed.
The firm fulfilled the brief superbly by bringing in weathered stone floors heated by modern-day underfloor heating. The original panelling on the walls, the internal window shutters and the marble fireplaces were all preserved or carefully restored to create a unique interior. The result was no museum piece, though. The basement was fully excavated to create a magnificent family room in which a contemporary kitchen was added. A glass conservatory was built onto the rear of the house, affording spectacular views over the communal gardens.
With so many ‘hotel chic’ interiors out there, it was lovely to see how a period property could be updated for the 21st century without losing its character.