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OLA JACHYMIAK: A NEW BEGINNING FOR A 19TH-CENTURY HOME.

Streamlined and monochrome – a timeless period conversion.

27th Apr 2021

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Standing outside its handsome, stucco-fronted façade, it’s hard to imagine this one-bedroom apartment had fallen into disrepair. Rescued by Ola Jachymiak, Hereford Road’s traditional blueprint has been sympathetically reimagined to both embrace its heritage and elevate it for a contemporary metropolitan lifestyle. Form meets function in this newly redesigned, monochrome cool property; a standard-setting feat for Ola’s first London-based project. “It’s quite sentimental for me,” she admits, “I’m glad that even with such a limited space, I was able to create a comfortable and functional flat, where my clients and soon, new tenants, will be able to live in style and enjoy their surroundings”.

As the saying goes: first impressions matter. “The flat my clients bought was, at the beginning, a disaster. No one had done any refurbishments there for at least thirty years. The flat was divided into very small rooms with almost no storage space,” Ola recalls. Undeterred by its neglected state, she started to envision a 21st- century future for Hereford Road. Mindful of the building’s architectural integrity but rising to the challenge of working with the apartment’s outdated arrangement, Ola harnessed the principles of light, space and materiality to unlock the potential of this former townhouse.

Almost immediately, the tall dimensions and full-length windows became the guiding features, “the large wonderful windows and high ceilings were definitely an important point and I knew, from the first time I saw them, that I wanted to highlight them to make this flat as open and bright as possible.” The layout of the apartment was reconfigured to capitalise on natural light along the two primary axes of the home. “I wanted to achieve an effect of natural light traversing between the spaces,” Ola explains. “That’s why the entrance to the flat is perfectly aligned with the window next to the kitchen. Another window in the living room is half aligned with the window in the bedroom. It adds an extra brightening effect to both spaces through the bespoke glass door”.

All charcoal blacks and crisp whites – dramatic contrasts against neutral, pared-back aesthetics – Hereford Road captures the elegance that characterises Notting Hill. Yet, it’s in the thoughtful modifications that tell-tale signs of Ola’s designer touch can be spotted. Drawing on her experience at an architectural agency in Paris, she knew exactly what this home needed to make it a characterful yet smart property: bespoke furniture. “I used every inch to create useful storage spaces in every room. There are a lot of hidden cupboards and functions in each element of bespoke furniture. For example, in the entrance cupboard I hid the washing machine, in the kitchen I hid an oven and microwave and in the living room there is a folding door behind which we placed the TV”. For Ola, showcasing the interests of her clients is an important part of her design process. While clutter can be stashed behind discreet storage, look-at-me pieces can be shown off on open-shelving. “The elements I want to expose are what my clients want to expose. That’s why I created the library on both sides of the chimney – a library of curiosities”.

Balancing Hereford Road’s architectural vernacular with the personalities of her French clients, her attention to detail is reflected in the subtle pieces that unite Parisian style and English identity. “I knew I wanted to introduce the classical architecture from the exterior to the inside of the flat and so that’s why I searched for the most similar cornices and ceiling roses which might work well on a building of this period,” Ola says. “The woodwork — chevron floor and walls — refers to a classical French style. I became familiar with it during the time I worked in Paris, so I knew these would be the perfect twist to the architecture of the building and is a nod to my client’s heritage”. Note also the antique mirror, chimney mantel, Burlington bathroom fixtures and concrete pattern floor tiles. Seamless.

Aesthetically pure but layered with clever design solutions that account for the practicalities of modern routines, Hereford Road has been injected with a new lease of life. Available to let, find out more or get in touch now.

Explore Ola’s website or follow her on Instagram to see what else she’s working on.