Lower. Ground. Floor. We’ll be honest – these are three words which, in our world, can be considered somewhat controversial. That’s right, we said it. Everyone wants their time in the sun, and sometimes, the prospect of dwelling below street level is a threat to that. Fortunately, we live in an exciting time of clever designers and architects, who find ingenious ways to let natural sunlight into the darkest of spaces; most notably in the case of this fantastic garden maisonette on Ladbroke Grove.
One of the most unique features of the maisonette is its double-height ceilings, which enhance not only the spaces of the raised-ground floor, but also those of the lower ground floor. It is because of these phenomenal proportions, with windows to match, that natural light is able to permeate with loft-like ease. The words ‘dark’ and ‘moody’ simply do not feature in the vocabulary of these interiors; they are resolutely bright and airy, illuminated further by light paint choices, and polished surfaces and offset with sparing use of decorative wall tiles.
Throughout the apartment, there is an astounding sense of connect with nature. Delicate green walls create both a literal and metaphorical reflection of the verdant spaces that are so easily accessed through glass doors which lead out from a spacious master bedroom. The rear elevation of the lower ground floor fenestration was reconfigured to restore alignment with the existing windows on the floors above, incorporating an access into the private garden. What begins as a charming gated patio terrace then opens up into the vast green spaces of the communal gardens. That’s right, DIRECT access. Property like this is such a rare find, especially in the heart of Notting Hill, but here you have it – urban hustle-and-bustle with a VIP pass to a slice of the great outdoors. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too!?
The apartment occupies two floors of a handsome six-storey building that dates from the mid-19th century, with ‘Grand Style’ full stucco on its front and rear elevations. Originally, the layout allocated living space at the front with bedroom accommodation at the rear on both floors. Now however, the new plan combines all living space at the bright upper floor, opening up the rooms into their original proportions, and creating a double aspect through the open hallway. Smart architectural engineering has allowed for significant period features (marble fireplace and elegant cornicing) to stand out, and at the same time not get in the way of useful storage space and functional features. For added smartness, flush-fronted joinery conceals doors into bathroom and study alcoves.
In essence, these spaces encompass all that is elegant and understated, both indoors and out. Ladbroke Grove offers the best of both worlds, affording its lucky new owner that precious quality of flexible living.