IN­DUS­TRIAL EVO­LU­TION

The fu­sion of past and present is key to the Bri­tish aes­thetic. Take this east Lon­don loft, where orig­i­nal fac­tory fea­tures have been up­dated with cut­ting-edge steel de­signs

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Colour - Words TRISH LORENZ Pho­tog­ra­phy RORY GARDINER

Lo­cated in the now-trendy

area of Clap­ton, Lon­don, in a for­mer toy fac­tory dat­ing from 1907, is the apart­ment of pho­tog­ra­pher Dean Rogers and his girl­friend Molly Wansell. To­day, their home is a shin­ing ex­am­ple of Bri­tish style’s edgy, ur­ban side. When Dean first set eyes on the build­ing, though, it was its six-me­tre-high ceil­ings and light-filled rooms, with win­dows on three sides, that sold it to him. ‘The space needed work, but I knew it had the po­ten­tial to be amaz­ing,’ he says.

Dean al­ready had a pen­chant for loft liv­ing. ‘Most of the apart­ments I’ve called home have been in­dus­trial spa­ces – I lived in Not­ting­ham’s Lace Mar­ket for a long time. I like their feel and char­ac­ter,’ he says. Af­ter buy­ing the ware­house in 2011, Dean spent the next two and a half years liv­ing there, work­ing with space plan­ner Jayne Fur­niss and ar­chi­tect Sadie Snel­son to come up with a de­sign that made the most of the build­ing’s unique and in­trigu­ing his­tory.

A 12-month ren­o­va­tion project fol­lowed, and it was 2015 be­fore the loft was com­plete. Vis­it­ing now, you en­ter into a small hall­way with a wall of stor­age units (these house the cou­ple’s bikes). From here, you walk down­stairs into the main kitchen and the open-plan liv­ing area. On the right is a bed­room and an of­fice. The high­light of the in­te­rior, how­ever, is the new mez­za­nine level, clad in acid-washed steel. It dou­bles the us­able floor space in this 250-square-me­tre apart­ment, al­low­ing Dean to add a fur­ther two bed­rooms, an­other liv­ing area and a bath­room.

The use of steel is a theme in this home, with it also used to make the de­cep­tively sim­ple stair­case lead­ing up to the mez­za­nine. Cre­ated by east Lon­don-based de­signer John Hor­ton, this looks like one sin­gle folded piece of metal. The large in­ter­nal win­dows, which are in­tended to dis­trib­ute light into even the small­est rooms, were also com­mis­sioned by Dean and made by Hor­ton. ‘It’s much eas­ier to buy be­spoke pieces these days, be­cause steel is of­ten laser cut and can eas­ily be made to or­der,’ says Dean.

As well as lo­cal crafts­peo­ple, Dean has also cho­sen Bri­tish ma­te­ri­als where pos­si­ble. The floors and kitchen units are all made of Uk-sourced oak. It is this sense of place and his­tory that gives this mod­ern Lon­don home its soul. fur­nissand­may.com; ssar­chi­tects.co.uk

Kitchen The kitchen is be­spoke, with oak cab­i­nets and con­crete work­tops. Topps Tiles has sim­i­lar tiles, and the stools are from Rock­ett St George Din­ing area The ta­ble and bench are vin­tage, and the chairs were res­cued from a skip by the home­owner (try Metroretro for sim­i­lar). Sk­in­flint De­sign sells lights like these Stock­ist de­tails on p284 ➤

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