Rich textures, shimmering metallics and sumptuous furnishings are the hallmarks of David and Sally Green’s chic townhouse
By stripping this west London property back to its bare bones, the owners were able to start from scratch and put their stamp on its interior
When it comes to design inspiration, David Green has a great team at his fingertips. After 12 years in the property business, building up his company of architects and builders, he has developed a taste for taking on houses in less than desirable conditions.
‘This property backs on to a cul-de-sac, so it is a quiet location for central London,’ he says of the 1930s home he and his wife Sally stumbled across five years ago. ‘The exterior has a cottage-like feel with an interesting brick façade and parapet balconies in the roof. But the interiors were neglected, dark and divided into small rooms, with an old rickety staircase in one corner of the sitting room.’ Fortunately, the couple were able to see beyond its shortcomings and decided to undertake a comprehensive renovation.
‘ We stripped it back to a shell, taking out floors and walls until only the rear and front elevations were left,’ says David. ‘It was the only way to use every centimetre of space to its maximum efficiency and create a seamless style. We also included space-saving assets like pocket doors, which slide into the walls to open.’
David’s plan included scooping out the basement for a cinema room and cellar; creating a balcony in the roof at the back of the house and repositioning the staircase. ‘Personally, I favour square rooms,’ he says. ‘So on the ground floor we linked the sitting room to the hall through double pocket doors. Also, by cutting away the floor directly below the bay window, we created a light well to allow daylight into the dining area below. The glass balustrade is a safety feature, and visually helps square off the shape of the room.’
Lighting is one of David’s specialities. ‘Few people consider the importance of different light sources,’ he says. ‘Light washes hidden behind floating ceilings, and below furniture at floor level provide a good start. I also like to add statement pendants, table lamps and
concealed LED strips to frame open bookcases.’ Much of the furniture is bespoke as it enabled the couple to commission pieces for awkward shapes and corners. ‘That worked brilliantly for us when it came to the banquette in the kitchen-diner,’ says David.
Relying on Sally’s input to add colourful feminine touches here and there, David says he is essentially a monochrome man, with the exception of bold modern art, which he collects with Sally. ‘I like an occasional blast of intense colour, but for the most part, I prefer textures that stand out best in a more simple scheme,’ he reflects. ‘I have a devotion to plain styles because I think they promote visual tranquillity throughout the house.’
With building works complete, the couple can finally enjoy this tranquil space in the bustling metropolis. ‘It’s fantastic to come home here after a busy day,’ says David. ‘It’s a comfortable space, filled with favourite pieces. I can’t see us moving on any time soon.’
DINING AREA Antique mirrors create a glamorous feeling of space. banquette and dining chairs, bespoke Sofa London. try Arbori Cross extending dining table, £2,395; Core pendants, £249 each, both heal’s
KITCHEN Granite worktops and a marble splashback create a sleek finish. try Parma range by benchmarx Kitchens, price on request. wall paint, Slate 4 flat emulsion, £ 46.50 per 2.5 litres, Paper & Paint Library 3& 4 BATHROOM The curved tub contrasts with the strong lines of the units. Cielo bath, £7,740, CP hart. try Shake the Sky for bespoke storage 5 GUEST BEDROOM Sally’s favourite spare room boasts a view from the balcony. Fuchsia pink throw, £80, homesense. Similar stool, price on request, bespoke Sofa London
MASTER BEDROOM An abstract painting provided inspiration for the choice of the lime-green soft furnishings. Sofa, price on application, bespoke Sofa London. Similar headboard, price on request, the headboard workshop
di S T INCT Ive home truths
PROPERTY Terraced house, built in the 1930s LOCATION West london PURCHASED 2012 ROOMS Hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, cloakroom, cinema room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms PREVIOUS PROPERTY ‘Before moving here, we lived in a flat nearby,’ says David.