A STUDY IN DESIGN
A versatile sitting room allowed the owner of this London home to have the lifestyle he craved
Things have turned out just as Segun Faboyegun hoped they would when he and his family moved home a couple of years ago. Looking around his house, it is not hard to see why. Segun, his wife, Bola, and their grown-up children, Ayomide and Oluwaseun, live in an enviable spot in Chelsea, in a Grade Ii-listed college that was sensitively converted into apartments and houses during the early Noughties.
Some years ago, Segun was seeking a new home for his family, as they had outgrown their flat in Marble Arch. ‘I wanted something larger, with green space for the children,’ he says of the search that led him to the Chelsea development. ‘At first I thought it was too far from the city centre,’ he says, but he was won over by the show apartment designed by the late Helen Green – so much so that he bought it.
In recent years, Segun exchanged the show apartment for a house in the same development. ‘I wanted a private outside space where we could enjoy the sunshine that we occasionally get in this country,’
he says. The place had not been decorated since the original conversion, so it was ripe to be refreshed – and Helen Green Design was the obvious choice. ‘I like how their designs are contemporary but not ultra-modern,’ says Segun.
Laure Chaudanson was part of the team responsible for this transformation. ‘Segun and Bola love to entertain, so we needed to create a comfortable family home that was stylish enough for receiving visitors at cocktail hour,’ she says. ‘There’s no basement and as it’s a listed building, we weren’t in a position to create one, which meant that the formal sitting room also had to work as a relaxed family area.’
Thanks to the building’s provenance as a college, the room is impressively large, which gave the team scope to create a scheme that strikes the perfect balance. It includes clever design trickery, such as tub chairs set on swivel bases that allow the family to face into the room or towards the TV, concealed in a cabinet that one expects to contain drinks.
Throughout, high ceilings and small, high-level windows are a reminder that the building was not originally meant to be lived in. It made choosing furniture with the right proportions challenging, therefore almost everything was made bespoke. These perfectly conceived pieces are offset by carefully sourced accessories.
Beautiful though these objects may be, Segun says that the strong point of the house is the lifestyle it affords him, be it a formal business dinner party or a family barbecue on the outdoor terrace – when the weather co-operates, of course.
FORMAL SITTING ROOM Shimmering metallic hues give this space a sense of glamour, while rich, patterned textiles offer a grounding counterpoint. Interior design by Helen Green design. Bespoke silk and wool rug, price on application, Sinclair Till
KITCHEN Glass-fronted cabinets with mirrored backs bounce light around to compensate for the lack of windows in this space. Medium goodman hanging lamp in bronze, $840, Circalighting.com
DINING ROOM ‘This is my favourite room,’ says Segun. ‘As soon as I looked at the proposed scheme, I said “Go for it.”’ Plain grey silk wallcovering in elephant, £114sq m, Fromental