LIV­ING SPACE

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS - DESIGNER Daniel Hop­wood, 020 3176 6674, daniel­hop­wood.com.

In­dus­trial touches ref­er­ence a re­mod­elled Lon­don apart­ment’s former life.

This clev­erly re­mod­elled Lon­don apart­ment ref­er­ences the build­ing’s her­itage while cel­e­brat­ing mod­ern tex­tures and re­fined ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate a har­mo­nious feel

CAN YOU DE­SCRIBE THE PROJECT?

This is a clas­sic re­tire­ment story: my clients, who had di­vided their time be­tween Lon­don and the Mid­dle East, de­cided to start afresh, mak­ing their one-bed­room west Lon­don apart­ment their per­ma­nent home. The 90sq m space is lo­cated in a Thir­ties former fac­tory and we stripped it back to its in­dus­trial shell, re­jig­ging the lay­out to make it bet­ter suited to mod­ern liv­ing with a larger, so­cia­ble kitchen area. The own­ers are de­sign savvy and were keen to get ev­ery de­tail right, so it was a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort, with the aim of creat­ing the per­fect lit­tle jewel that they could en­joy.

WHAT IS KEY TO PLAN­NING A SPACE THAT COMBINES SEV­ERAL AR­EAS?

Good flow is cru­cial in or­der to move around more freely, and it is also im­por­tant to de­fine the dif­fer­ent ar­eas within the space. In this in­stance, I took ad­van­tage of the high ceil­ings and used dropped panels to de­note the sit­ting, kitchen and din­ing ar­eas; these also had the added ben­e­fit of con­ceal­ing the pipework and wiring. The ceil­ing above the panels was left un­treated and painted a rich turquoise shade. I felt it was hon­est to ac­knowl­edge, rather than dis­guise, the in­dus­trial na­ture of the build­ing, jux­ta­pos­ing rough de­tails such as raw concrete and ex­posed brick with highly re­fined ma­te­ri­als.

WHAT IN­SPIRED YOUR DE­SIGN FOR THE HALL­WAY?

The idea of the pan­elled wall came to me dur­ing the de­mo­li­tion phase. In a sim­i­lar project, I had painted an­gles in dif­fer­ent tones of the same colour and it re­ally worked to stretch the eye, so I sug­gested us­ing the con­cept here. This time, we light­ened or dark­ened sec­tions of ve­neer to make an en­er­getic pat­tern, rout­ing out thin strips to cre­ate lines of brass, which bril­liantly dis­guise the fact that the wall has five doors in it: one to the cloak­room and two sets of dou­ble doors to the bath­room and the bed­room. The op­po­site wall, which di­vides the hall from the main space, is cov­ered with a won­der­ful raf­fia-look pa­per, and we used an­other nat­u­ral wall­pa­per on the ceil­ing. The over­all ef­fect is warm and invit­ing, and I love the con­trast of walk­ing from a dark space to a lighter one. It makes the liv­ing room, with its big Crit­tall windows, ap­pear even brighter, re­ally lifting the spir­its.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE FLOOR­ING CHOICES?

Dif­fer­ent ar­eas have dif­fer­ent de­mands – I would never use tim­ber for a kitchen floor, for ex­am­ple, as it will in­evitably be ru­ined within a short of time. The tech­nol­ogy for pro­duc­ing porce­lain tiles has im­proved dra­mat­i­cally over the past few years, and I came across this tile when I was look­ing for an alternative to a Cum­brian lime­stone that was prov­ing too heavy for a bath­room. Each tile is dif­fer­ent and has a nice, earthy feel. When I put the porce­lain next to the real lime­stone, I ac­tu­ally pre­ferred the former. I used two slightly dif­fer­ent

tiles from the same range in or­der to cre­ate a rec­tan­gu­lar area to mir­ror the ceil­ing panel, with a con­trast­ing strip run­ning next to the wall of units. In the sit­ting area, we used a chevron par­quet that we cre­ated with oak planks. These were cut to a straight-sided pat­tern in­stead of the clas­sic over­lap­ping de­sign for a more mod­ern feel; and the oak has been treated with dif­fer­ent lay­ers of stain in or­der to achieve ex­actly the right patina. To add the all-im­por­tant de­tail be­tween the oak and the porce­lain, we used the fairly tra­di­tional ap­proach of in­cor­po­rat­ing a thin sliver of brass, which will age beau­ti­fully.

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE COLOUR PAL­ETTE?

I think that, par­tic­u­larly in an apart­ment, it is im­por­tant to pare back the choice of ma­te­ri­als and colours in or­der to cre­ate a sense of calm. The walls, kitchen units and ceil­ing panels are pale grey, while the deep turquoise ceil­ing adds a sense of mys­tery – I love the way that re­ced­ing colours cre­ate depth. As a con­trast to the nat­u­ral hues of the fur­nish­ings and ve­neers, I in­tro­duced ac­cents of or­ange, such as the brightly painted in­dus­trial pil­lar, which serves as punc­tu­a­tion in the scheme.

CAN YOU DIS­CUSS SOME OF THE KEY PIECES IN THE SPACE?

The chan­de­lier, which is made from brass and smoked glass, was an early dis­cov­ery and such a must-have that I de­signed the apart­ment around it. I have hung it low so that you don’t have to look up to en­joy it; I also like the ten­sion that it cre­ates be­tween the ta­ble and the ceil­ing. The apart­ment didn’t lend it­self to bold pat­tern, hence the choice of the rug, which is hand-shaved to cre­ate the ef­fect of pools of water. The pegs in the en­trance hall are an­other beau­ti­fully crafted piece, lend­ing a sculp­tural el­e­ment to the space.

HOW DID YOU AP­PROACH THE TELE­VI­SION AREA?

Al­most al­ways, I try to hide the TV but for once I made no at­tempt to do this, as the room was big enough for it not to feel in­va­sive. I hung a beau­ti­ful washed silk that re­sem­bles a hori­zon on the wall and, for the au­dio-visual equip­ment, I de­signed a low, mar­ble­topped unit that fea­tures the same stained-oak ve­neer that is used through­out the apart­ment. It sits on a slim strip of brass, which again helps to tie it in with the rest of the scheme.

The sim­ple pal­ette of neu­tral, earthy shades ex­udes a sense of calm, while pops of or­ange lift the mood.

Sec­tions of ve­neer in dif­fer­ent shades cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive fea­ture wall in the hall­way.

This bub­ble chan­de­lier pro­vides a fo­cal point in the din­ing area, which is neatly sep­a­rated from the liv­ing area by dif­fer­ent floor­ing.

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