Home > Back Catalogue > EXOTIC CHARM

Back Catalogue

Take a look at our past. The true spirit of Domus Nova and all we stand for.

EXOTIC CHARM

All Saints Road, W11

Of all our past properties at Domus Nova, one that really stands out is this phenomenal maisonette on the All Saints Road. At the time we described the home as ‘jaw-dropping’, and we can safely say that its impact has not dulled one bit since. Be prepared.

The property is sensationally special from the moment you walk in, with a dramatic sweeping staircase immediately drawing you into a world of decadence and style. This is one you won't forget.

In an unconventional layout, the home was designed with the three bedrooms, two bathrooms, gym and study on the ground floor and the open-plan sitting area and kitchen on the first floor. The previous owners, interior designer owner Valeria Zuban and her husband Andrew, purchased the home in 2007 and really made the space work for them.

They were previously renting a modernised mews property in the next postcode but decided to buy a home that they could own together and that would give them lots of space. “We looked at lots of properties but were attracted to this one because of its quirky, topsy-turvy layout and the proportions of the rooms. It was huge, but when we did our sums and realised we could afford it, we had to have it.”

Valeria, who is Russian-born and a former model, has lived in some of the world’s most stylish cities, including Paris, New York and Barcelona, but nowhere felt like home as much as this quiet little corner of West London. “This area has a wonderful village feel,” she says. “While the major European cities can be very glamorous, there are few green open spaces, and what trees there are can usually be found cemented into the pavements. Here there is a park or pretty walled garden around almost every corner, which Andrew and I love.”

One could definitely say that when designing this home, Valeria took a world view: interesting details including African artifacts, Asian-themed beds and colourful modern art complement the spaces entirely. It is a look that is difficult to get right but with such massive proportions, the space is perfectly harmonious. “Unlike most properties of this age, which go upwards, this one expands widthways,” says Valeria. “We think it may have once been a pub.” Having been inspired by the floor plan and space, Valeria found the existing décor anything but inspiring: “The place was in good order but the colours were too traditional for our tastes. There was lots of cream and duck-egg blue, and marble floor tiles in the hall that were 3cm think. They didn't look bad but their palatial style wasn't suitable for a cool British climate – that kind of surface never warms up.” In contrast, the rich wenge wood flooring upstairs was a big hit with the couple. “It’s unusual for an English property, which would usually feature oak or pine, but it suited the exotic theme we had in mind.”

Inspired by their many travels to the Far East, the pair wanted to mix Asian furniture with contemporary Italian designs. The UP5 striped chair and UP6 stool (B&B Italia) are testament to how incredibly well this look can work. To create the right environment for this brave blend of styles, they replaced the marble that was in the hall with more wenge wood (sourced from Walking on Wood on Westbourne Park Road) to match the first floor, then painted the living space in what Valeria simply describes as ‘builders’ white’. “I found that there were so many things going on in terms of the artwork and furniture, that once all was finished, the backdrop didn’t appear in any way stark. In fact, I think it helps unite all the different elements.”

Within the kitchen, Valeria kept all of the existing units but replaced the Shaker-style doors with chic designs in charcoal grey. “The pale-grey marble worktops had been teamed with cream doors, and the combination of warm and cool just didn't work,” she explains. “It was a similar story in the master bedroom, which had cream wall and floor tiles.” These were substituted with black slate and a decadent polished plaster effect the couple had first seen in Morocco. Another trip, this time to Bali, inspired the style of the master bedroom's indulgent four-poster bed. “We’d never commissioned a piece of furniture before and didn't really have a clue about proportions,” Valeria admits. “We knew it should be tall, as the ceilings here are so high, but we simply guessed the rest. The fact that it looks so amazing is quite frankly a miracle!”

Just as impressive and something that really took our breath away is the amount of light throughout the home. Take the magnificent entrance hall and staircase, where the space at the top of the stairs is entirely open plan so that light is able to cascade down and create the most incredible welcoming effect. Then there’s the 39 ft roof garden and the three smaller roof terraces, which together provide the most phenomenal outdoor space – probably the best we've seen in Central London.

In essence, this flat for us was a testament to the former owner’s prowess as an interior designer. We can only hope that the new owners continue to do justice to the space.