INTO THE BLUE

Dec­o­rat­ing with the bright­est shades has cre­ated the il­lu­sion of space in this Lon­don apart­ment

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture SERENA FOKSCHANER | Pho­tog­ra­phy ROBERT SAN­DER­SON

Leaf-green tiles bask in the blaze of a cad­mium yel­low wall. La­goon-blue shelves are off­set by cool, oys­ter pale tones. Andrew Grif­fiths’ Lon­don flat may be com­pact, but thanks to his eye for con­trast and colour, his home feels like a se­ries of paint­ings de­signed to give an il­lu­sion of space.

It was the tra­di­tional lay­out of a nar­row hall flanked by the sit­ting room, bath­room and bed­room, that ap­pealed to Andrew and his part­ner Luke Mackay. ‘Most places we saw were open-plan,’ he says. ‘Counter-in­tu­itively, that can make a flat feel claus­tro­pho­bic, as from the kitchen you’re look­ing di­rectly into the sit­ting room or bed­room. Here, Luke can be in the kitchen while I relax in the sit­ting room.’

His first im­pres­sions of the flat, in a con­verted ter­race, are con­cise. ‘Or­angey wood floors, clunky stor­age and coun­trystyle kitchen tiles – that was the in­te­rior in a nut­shell,’ he re­calls. ‘It took a year to over­haul, be­cause we lived here dur­ing the work, shift­ing our pos­ses­sions from room to room.’ Andrew runs his own in­te­ri­ors busi­ness, Andrew Jonathan De­sign, so he was prag­matic about the project: ‘A bud­get means you fo­cus on what you want from a home and then look at what you need.’

Step­ping into the hall, the eye is drawn to a blaze of yel­low paint­work. The

same colour is echoed in a pair of bright re­sprayed gar­den chairs on the ter­race. ‘The chairs act as a fo­cal point to guide your eye through the kitchen and link the ter­race with the in­side,’ ex­plains Andrew. Again, in the kitchen it is colour that has rein­vented the space. Pow­der pink walls coax warmth from the ex­ist­ing celadon green tiles. ‘The tiles weren’t to my taste but I had to work with them,’ says Andrew. Un­der­foot, dove-grey vinyl floor­ing merges with the ter­race floor.

Next door, the bed­room is equally con­sid­ered. ‘It needed to be a sanc­tu­ary but it’s also the place with the most room for stor­age so we added a floor-to-ceil­ing wardrobe,’ says Andrew. The high ceil­ing posed its own de­sign co­nun­drum, but was scaled down with the clever use of a low pen­dant light. Slen­der-legged mid-cen­tury pieces pro­vide fur­ther space-sav­ing style.

In the pre­vi­ously in­sipid sit­ting room, Andrew used a mix of neu­trals, off­set by the strik­ing blue that binds the fire­place and deep be­spoke shelv­ing lined with colour­ful books. ‘ We tried lots of dif­fer­ent blues. I love how this one changes in the light; from a navy on a grey day to a teal in the evening.’ The leather arm­chair was an early buy and mini bot­tles of Cam­pari, aes­thet­i­cally ranked on the man­tel­piece, are sou­venirs from Rome. Sink into a chair, and you are drawn into the mas­cu­line warmth of the blue walls and fire­place. From the sofa, the view takes in pale walls and arched win­dows, an­other of the con­trasts that de­fine the ap­peal of this com­pact but con­fi­dent home.

Sit­ting Room a mix of high-street and high-end fur­nish­ings re­flect andrew’s trained ap­proach to dec­o­rat­ing. Um­ber cof­fee ta­ble is sim­i­lar, £399; Stone Tile rug has this look, £399, both West Elm. Stock­holm mir­ror, £75, Ikea

Hall This cus­tom-made stor­age unit dou­bles as a drinks cabi­net. Be­spoke unit by Andrew Jonathan De­sign

Kitchen White walls were swapped for a warm, pow­der pink shade. walls painted in Set­ting Plas­ter es­tate emul­sion, £ 45 for 2.5L, Far­row & ball

hall the yel­low of the walls is echoed in the dipped-paint ef­fect stool. walls painted in Mis­ter David in­tel­li­gent matt emul­sion, £ 48.50 for 2.5L, Lit­tle greene

Bed­room Andrew in­stalled the shut­ters and added a lowhang­ing light fit­ting to bal­ance the lofty ceil­ing. hy­brid shut­ters are sim­i­lar, from £176, Cal­i­for­nia Shut­ters. Vi­tra eames rar rock­ing chair in white, £ 495, Finnish De­sign Shop. ralph Lau­ren home­port Nov­elty wall­pa­per (be­low), £70 a roll, John Lewis

Bath­room Float­ing fit­tings cre­ate a spa­cious feel. try the Du­ravit Vero sink, £176.40, CP hart. Metro flat wall tiles in grey are a match, £25.95sq m, Vic­to­rian Plumb­ing

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