How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
Honouring its structural heritage, this is a home where designers have chosen to celebrate the property’s original features, allowing them to shine in stark but harmonious contrast to the apparel of modern life. There is no compromise between the functionality of a modern kitchen and the richness of a building that’s earned its gravitas across the ages.
Alongside the panelled walls, ornate marble and stucco fireplace, and large sash windows sit a stainless steel island and best-in-class appliances from Gaggenau. Inlaid oak floors intersected with original Victorian handmade tiles bring warmth and intrigue to the workspace, while transparent bar stools and tall matt lacquered cabinetry play with height and draw attention to the scope of the room.
The vast cupboards play a distinct role in delineating the cooking area from the entertainment area, but they also reveal only what’s intended to be on display. Not only is storage neat and ample, but a pocket door hides worktops, electrical appliances and daily paraphernalia.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
High ceilings and walls are all painted in the distinctly modern and understated Farrow & Ball Cornforth White, which is mirrored in the cabinetry to seamless effect. The choice makes way for the bold dark wood floor, cement tiles, selected antiques (including a vintage rotary dial telephone) and a dramatic print of artist Vladimir Tretchikoff’s famous Chinese Girl, all of which add depth and balance to the room without dominance.
Oscillating from one decade to the next, there is something almost industrial in the use of stainless steel for the functional elements of the room. A space that’s very much designed to be used, it has a sleek, professional grade rising extraction system in the hob that offers conviviality as it faces the dining area and looks out towards the double doors into the garden.
A rose by any other name
The dining table nods to the historic fireplace while referencing another decade entirely. In the 1950s style of Eero Saarinen, the Tulip table is surrounded by Xavier Pauchard’s AC Industrial dining chairs in steel, tying in the different elements and eras from one zone to the next.
Casting a warm glow across the room, an ultra contemporary Serge Mouille chandelier stretches its arms in six directions above the island, while a softer, bamboo pendant light hovers over the dining table. Meanwhile, natural light floods in from the garden, imbuing the home with tranquillity and joy.
Despite the ornate details, there’s a chic simplicity to the space; one that’s been carefully cultivated by designers who know the art of ‘just enough’.
In a building that holds the happy memories of families across the centuries, the poetic interplay of eras and styles in this home makes it a world unto its own. It may not be Blake’s grain of sand, or even his wild flower, but certainly for those who live here, it’s an entire world where an eternity is held in a single hour.