An apart­ment in Bath is trans­formed from 1970s hor­ror to 21st-cen­tury chic

From 1970s hor­ror to 21st-cen­tury chic, Sami and Kate At­tia have trans­formed their beau­ti­ful Re­gency apart­ment in the city of Bath

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - WORDS: Vic­to­ria Jenk­ins Š PHOTOS: Wil­liam God­dard

When Sami At­tia and his wife Kate first viewed their 1,800 sq ft apart­ment in Bath in May 2013 it still had many 1970s fea­tures.

“It’s quite an un­usual space as it ac­tu­ally spreads across two Re­gency houses,” says Sami, a prop­erty de­vel­oper. “It’s Grade 2 listed, and this side­ways ex­pan­sion wouldn’t be per­mit­ted any more. How­ever, the apart­ment rooms sit­u­ated in house num­ber 4 had the worse of the 70s im­prove­ments. House num­ber 5 had more of the orig­i­nal fab­ric.”

The il­lus­tri­ous Sir Wil­liam Hol­burne, who es­tab­lished the Hol­burne Mu­seum in Bath, once lived in this very pretty cres­cent.

Hav­ing bought the apart­ment, Sami and Kate re­mained in their home in Shep­ton Mal­let as they knew a huge amount of work would have to be done.

“We bought it be­cause it had won­der­ful clas­sic fea­tures such as four me­tre high ceil­ings, cor­nic­ing, huge win­dows, orig­i­nal shut­ters, and it also came with its own ex­clu­sive gar­den,” says Sami. “But af­ter con­sult­ing a his­tor­i­cal ar­chi­tect, who man­aged to get plan­ning con­sent within eight weeks, I brought in a team who spent an­other eight weeks gut­ting it of all the 1970s rub­bish. These in­cluded sus­pended ceil­ings, flat panel doors and even a poor qual­ity wall which had to be re­built. We also went back to the brick­work in some ar­eas as the old ren­der and plas­ter had blown and we had to re-skim the walls. And 120 me­tres of warped and split skirt­ing board had to be re­placed.”

While the strip­ping was un­der­way Sami tack­led the gar­den which mea­sures some 10m by 10m. “It was sum­mer so we thought we’d make the most of it. I had new paving laid, new bor­ders de­signed and planted lots of trees and flow­ers.”

Then the whole apart­ment had to be rewired and re­plumbed, and a new gas boiler and wa­ter cylin­der in­stalled along with 16 spe­cially made ra­di­a­tors. These came from House of Ra­di­a­tors and are on their own hot wa­ter zone loop. “Rather than have them elec­tri­cally and wa­ter fed, it was just eas­ier to get the plumber to put in a sep­a­rate hot wa­ter cir­cuit,” says Sami.

New en­gi­neered oak was laid over the poor qual­ity Vic­to­rian floor­boards, with ply­wood in be­tween to cre­ate a level sur­face.

Sami also re­placed many of the miss­ing Re­gency fea­tures in House 4. “I matched them up with those still in place in House 5,” he says. “So I had the skirt­ing boards, ar­chi­traves, ceil­ing roses and so on copied by an ex­cel­lent joiner Dun­can Cope­man to achieve con­ti­nu­ity.”

Two fire­places were found blocked up but were of the wrong pe­riod any­way – so Sami re­placed them with gas-fu­elled Re­gency re­pro­duc­tions from Ch­es­neys. “Bath is a smoke-free zone so I couldn’t have re­stored them to how they would have been,” he says. A third fire­place was re­moved and the space filled with a chest of draw­ers, framed by a Re­gency-style sur­round.

“As for the shut­ters I had them re­moved, dis­man­tled, num­bered, chem­i­cally-stripped and then re­painted,” he says. “It meant 64 in­di­vid­ual clos­ing parts had to be re­hung at the cor­rect win­dows. It was six weeks’ work! My dec­o­ra­tors were not thrilled. In hind­sight I would just have

‘I brought in a team who spent eight weeks gut­ting the house of all the 1970s rub­bish’

re­painted them.”

Just off the main bed­room was a grim set-up com­pris­ing sep­a­rate w.c. and tiny shower. “I made it into one big space,” says Sami. “I also re­built the sur­round­ing wall and re­fur­bished it with a big walk-in shower, a me­tre square, a bath, loo and basin. I also chose stain­less steel towel heaters as steel dis­perses heat bet­ter than chrome.”

As for the kitchen, that too was gut­ted and re­fit­ted with be­spoke Har­vey Jones painted units, Panna Fragola gran­ite units as well as a free-stand­ing Ital­ian Ber­ta­zonni dou­ble-oven.

It all took nine months then Sami and Kate set about fur­nish­ing their new home. They de­cided upon a mainly con­tem­po­rary theme, mixed with pe­riod de­signs.

“So we have Bo Con­cept so­fas in the Draw­ing Room and an “an­tiqued” mir­ror above the fire­place plus an old re­uphol­stered foot­stool,” says Sami.

“And in our ‘with-draw­ing room’ we have an ex­pand­able Bo Con­cept ve­neered oak din­ing ta­ble and chairs - yet on ei­ther side of the Re­gency-style fire­place Dun­can Cope­man Fur­ni­ture built some beau­ti­ful cab­i­netry, again in ve­neered oak. It re­placed some 1970s built-in cup­boards.”

But how did Sami get into the world of prop­erty de­vel­op­ment?

“It be­gan with my mother who turned an unin­spir­ing bed and break­fast busi­ness into a won­der­ful coun­try house ho­tel,” he says. “I grew up there – it’s in Wookey Hole – and I ab­sorbed many de­sign ideas from her.”

Not long af­ter Sami and Kate moved into their beau­ti­ful airy apart­ment they re­alised baby Alex was on the way. “And al­though we live in an apart­ment we now have our very own gar­den for him to play in,” says Sami.

‘I had the shut­ters re­moved, dis­man­tled, num­bered, chem­i­cally-stripped and then re­painted… it was six weeks’ work!’

The so­fas in the draw­ing room are from Bo Con­cept, and the smoked mir­ror from the Look­ing Glass of Bath, lo­cated on Wal­cot Street

LEFT: The At­tias have fur­nished this room with a mod­ern Bo Con­cept ta­ble and chairs teamed with a re­pro­duc­tion Re­gency stat­u­ary mar­ble fire­place sur­round. The York grate is from Ch­es­neys Fire­places sup­plied by Mendip Fire­places in Bath

BE­LOW: A close-up of the re­pro­duc­tion Re­gency cabi­net made by Dun­can Cope­man which flanks the Ch­es­ney fire­place

ABOVE: All the orig­i­nal shut­ters were re­moved, stripped, re­hung and then painted again to achieve the best pos­si­ble fin­ish. The ra­di­a­tor be­low was one of 16 spe­cially made by An­cona ra­di­a­tors (Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer) sup­plied by the House of Ra­di­a­tors lo­cated in Bath

LEFT: The small sec­ond bed­room with views on to the pri­vate rear gar­den; A beau­ti­ful orig­i­nal fan­light orig­i­nal to the prop­erty is placed above the en­trance to the Har­vey Jones kitchen

BE­LOW: The newly cre­ated bath­room which has un­der­floor heat­ing. The huge 1.5 me­ter bath and up­right filler is by Crosswater and the shower tray and screen by Matki. All the mar­ble tiles are Cala­catta honed mar­ble from Man­darin Stone

LEFT: The bed, head­boards and side ta­bles in the main bed­room all come from Feather and Black and the walls are painted in Pav­il­ion Grey by Far­row & Ball

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.