safe Haven

Im­prov­ing the light and flow was top pri­or­ity when turn­ing a Lon­don town­house into a sanc­tu­ary-style space

25 Beautiful Homes - - NEWS - FEA­TURE Ser­ena Fokschaner Pho­tog­ra­phy rachael Smith

There are homes with a co­coon­ing, com­posed am­bi­ence, which in­vite you to sink into a deep sofa, kick off your shoes, in­hale deeply and bask in the seren­ity. This is the at­mos­phere in­side John and Yvonne Bas­sadone’s town­house. Pale-walled and clut­ter-free, here is a home that bal­ances el­e­gance with a fam­ily-friendly feel.

‘As par­ents with young chil­dren you can some­times feel a bit over­whelmed by plas­tic toys and chaos,’ says Yvonne. ‘So it was im­por­tant that our home felt com­fort­able, but also a bit Zen.’ The couple’s back­ground shaped their aes­thetic too. ‘ We both grew up in Gi­bral­tar and spend a lot of time in Spain, so we wanted this house to con­trast with the fiery colours and bright whites of typ­i­cal Mediter­ranean in­te­ri­ors.’

Al­though light and un­usu­ally wide for an early-vic­to­rian town­house, the prop­erty was not with­out flaws. ‘There were el­e­ments of the floor­plan which didn’t flow,’ says Yvonne who en­listed in­te­rior de­signer and univer­sity friend Talia Cob­bold to re-model the house. At the rear, an awk­ward set of steps, which led to a once-dark par­ti­tioned of­fice, were hurled into the skip. In their place, a deep-blue Crit­tall win­dow of­fers a view of the new kitchen-diner, while also cre­at­ing a di­vide be­tween the more for­mal study and this re­laxed fam­ily space. Here, a nar­row win­dow above the sink was en­larged to flood the space with light, and a re­dun­dant cor­ri­dor turned into a util­ity area. The be­spoke, un­adorned kitchen and rus­tic din­ing ta­ble also re­flect Yvonne’s lean­ings: ‘I grav­i­tate to­wards nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and beau­ti­ful fab­rics, avoid­ing any­thing too new or shiny.’

But Talia did man­age to coax her friend out of her com­fort zone. ‘I would prob­a­bly have played it safe and painted ev­ery­thing white,’ ad­mits Yvonne. Else­where the co­he­sive ‘flow’ of the

in­te­rior was achieved by us­ing three shades of the same neu­tral paint colour. Over­head, elab­o­rate cor­nic­ing was swapped for a more stream­lined shape and the or­nate fire­places re­placed with sim­pler, sand­stone de­signs.

A re­stored handrail twirls up to the first floor, where the un­gainly lay­out was also reshuf­fled to cre­ate a more log­i­cal space and align with Yvonne’s be­lief in the prin­ci­ples of feng shui. In­stead of three bed­rooms, a suite of rooms leads from the mas­ter bed­room through to the dress­ing room. From here you step in to the bath­room. ‘This was a bit of a chal­lenge; as John wanted a shower and Yvonne a bath, and the room is not big,’ says Talia. The re­sult is an L-shaped con­fig­u­ra­tion with a panel of sil­vered mir­ror glass be­tween bath and shower to draw your eye up­wards, em­pha­sis­ing the scale of the room. An eye for scale was also em­ployed on the top floor where the ceil­ing height was raised; a de­vice that makes the guest room here feel de­cep­tively large.

Work­ing with friends can prove tricky but in this case the part­ner­ship has paid off. ‘Talia has known me long enough to ap­pre­ci­ate my style,’ says Yvonne. The re­sult is a deft mix of high-end and high street, a com­bi­na­tion that has fed into the fur­nish­ings. ‘Ev­ery­thing has char­ac­ter and re­flects the thought that has gone into the rest of the house,’ re­flects Yvonne. ‘Ev­ery time we come back from a trip we open the door, drop our bags and draw a big breath.for an ur­ban home, there’s such a sense of peace here. We’re very lucky.’

1 GUEST bed­room The ceil­ing height was raised and join­ery was used to add floor-to-ceil­ing wardrobes with built-in bed­side niches. Zig Zag al­paca throw in camel, £295; Peter Pop square-pat­tern cush­ion in Light blue, £188, all Jonathan Adler

2 mas­ter bed­room Neu­tral tones punc­tu­ated by slate blues cre­ate a tran­quil feel. wicker bed­side chest of draw­ers in Mid­night, from £976, chelsea tex­tiles. you’ll find a sim­i­lar lamp at Pooky. blue and white cush­ion, from £35, war­ris Vianni

3 1

4 dress­ing room A slid­ing lad­der al­lows easy ac­cess to the top-tier of stor­age. han­dles, from £163 for 8cm at ochre. blinds made from Mi­ran­dela Peb­ble at Prêt à Vivre, from £39.90m. Luna pen­dant in oys­ter, £295, copper & Silk

5 mas­ter EN-SUITE Con­trast­ing tiles and a ver­ti­cal mir­ror help draw at­ten­tion away from the com­pact size of the room. Arabesque wall tiles, 95p each, Fired earth. Vin­tage Decor hexagon in white/grey floor tiles, from £15sqm, Man­darin Stone

3 GIRLS’ bed­room In here, a con­trolled pal­ette of soft, pale paint tones con­trasts with bright and cheer­ful ac­ces­sories. Pink and red throws, £295, Jonathan Adler. ernest pouffe in Field Day, £282, SCP 4



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