Mod­ern eco

Cre­ative Har­riet and Cou­ple War­ren Have de­signed an in­ner-city eco House that's High on style and big on fam­ily life

Living Etc - - HOMES - Photography ⁄ Paul Massey Pro­duc­tion ⁄ Mary Weaver Words ⁄ Jo Leev­ers

Har­riet and War­ren’s Ge­or­gian townhouse is a les­son in or­gan­ised de­sign

con­sid­ered and com­pleted – well, for now any­way...’ That’s how in­te­rior de­signer and style di­rec­tor Har­riet Pater­son de­scribes the eco-con­scious home she has cre­ated for her­self, her part­ner War­ren Bram­ley and their daugh­ter Willa. Right from its de­cep­tively for­mal Ge­or­gian façade, this is a house with hid­den depths and cool, con­tem­po­rary de­sign. The ground floor con­sists of so­cia­ble but sep­a­ra­ble liv­ing spa­ces, with light flow­ing through rooflights and a cir­cu­lar stairwell. Tex­tures are nat­u­ral and – even with tod­dler Willa weav­ing her way around her blond-tim­bered play spa­ces – there’s an air of seren­ity.

‘The first thing ev­ery­one notices about this house is that it feels calm, but don’t let that fool you that it was eas­ily won,’ jokes War­ren. ‘It took Har­riet’s metic­u­lous hard work to get to this point.’

All that be­hind-the-scenes plan­ning be­gan five years ago when Har­riet and War­ren found this slim townhouse in south Lon­don, which had al­ready been par­tially con­verted. ‘See­ing the way that moder­nity had been in­serted into a Ge­or­gian frame was in­spir­ing,’ says Har­riet, who was style di­rec­tor at

Livingetc be­fore set­ting up her own de­sign prac­tice. Part of her vi­sion was to make the house as ‘pas­sive’ as pos­si­ble. It al­ready came with solid eco cre­den­tials – un­der­floor heat­ing is fed by an air-source heat pump and a rain­wa­ter tank sup­plies the dish­washer, wash­ing ma­chine and WCS. But Har­riet wanted to take that low-waste ethos a step fur­ther and dove­tail it with her fam­ily’s life­style.

Be­fore they moved in, the cou­ple de­cided in ad­vance where each and ev­ery book, or­na­ment or art­work would live. ‘The idea is that ev­ery­thing has a place,’ says Har­riet. ‘Noth­ing is su­per­flu­ous and it’s the ab­sence of clut­ter that keeps a sense of peace.’

To that end, Har­riet cre­ated a ‘spine of stor­age’ – be­spoke built-in oak cup­boards that run from the ground floor to the top of the house. And Willa’s toys are stored in wo­ven bas­kets that hang on wall hooks. ‘That way ev­ery­thing is easy to find,’ says Har­riet.

Willa’s dreamy nurs­ery is at the top of the house along with the mas­ter bed­room, part of the mansard ex­ten­sion the cou­ple added. Spa­ces on the ground floor were also re­worked, cre­at­ing a guest room in what was formerly a gar­den room, and the open-plan first floor was made into two sep­a­rate rooms. To achieve this, Har­riet and War­ren brought back ar­chi­tect John Eger of Eger Ar­chi­tects, who mas­ter­minded the first stage of this house’s con­ver­sion.

An im­por­tant part of Har­riet’s vi­sion was to work small dis­play ar­eas into the open-plan spa­ces – here a sur­face for ce­ram­ics, there a shelf for plants. ‘We feel com­pletely at home in this house be­cause ev­ery­thing is here for a rea­son,’ she says.

See more of Har­riet’s work at har­ri­et­pa­ter­son.com. View her home as part of Open House Lon­don, 22-23 Sept: open­house­lon­don.org.uk.egerar­chi­tects,egerar­chi­tects.com.

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