Unlike most Spitalfield’s houses this house is not Georgian but one of the first buildings built in the area after WWII, and stands out due to its classic 1950’s architecture. Built originally as an industrial unit and used latterly as student accommodation, the owners, Eleanor & her partner Chris, wanted to branch out into property development, and wished to start locally in an area that they knew intimately. Sensing an opportunity in the future, Eleanor & Chris sensibly pre-arranged the finance for such a project, so that when this particular house came onto the market, they were able to snap it up immediately. As they also already live on the same street, so it fitted their ‘local criteria’ more perfectly than they could have imagined.
Having lived in the street herself for 14 years, Eleanor had an excellent grasp on the likely buyers profile, so had a clear vision and drive for the project. Traditionally properties of this size in London would have been converted with families in mind; but this area of Spitalfields tends to be popular with couples who do not have to factor in the needs of children. As such, the house was designed as a 2-bedroomed home, with the option of a third in the basement.
The architect, Rupert Lowe and his team presented options, from which Eleanor chose the finishes for the bathrooms, which in addition to the stunning staircase, were the only rooms that were finished with any real personality. That is when Clare Pascoe was brought in to furnish, decorate and style the interiors for the estate agents.
Rupert’s team took inspiration from remaining original features and details, then replicated them through the house specific examples are the stunning curved teak handrail running the full height of the building. The staircases were also widened to bring in more light to the lower levels, and to give them the grandeur that is more befitting of such a well located property. The entrance hall has a feature Iroko clad wall running up the oak stair case; veneered walls were very typical of the 1950’s, and even more relevant to the area, as Spitalfields was the veneering capital during that period.
Externally, the front door canopy was added to match the window surrounds, going around the fan light as a 1950’s ‘nod’ to the surrounding Georgian architecture of the area.
At the rear of the property, there was originally a 2 storey space, which had very reduced light and low ceiling. This was opened up into one nine metre tall gallery style space, as a designated party room. To add humour to the design of the space, Clare accessorised the room with tall panels, a Shakesperean bust and mannequin lamp by Jimmie Martin. The original vintage leather sofa is from Metro Retro; the contemporary sofa is covered in Sanderson’s Festival range; the rug is from Bazaar Velvet and the vintage rosewood furniture is from Orange & Brown.
On the first floor, the space is filled with the light created by the new roof terrace following the re-working of the rear elevation. The living room features an Ercol day bed and original Model 166 rosewood chairs by Ole Wanschner, with cushions by Cole & Son and Michael Papworth. The contemporary Corian topped sideboard and desk are by Conran, but feature lines that work well with vintage elements. The art work by Ian Mitchell gives a nod to the industrial surroundings. A feature wall show cases paper by Cole & Son, in front of which Clare has imaginatively used vintage ladders from Metro Retro as shelf storage for the owner’s books and ornaments.
The guest bedroom, dressing room and en suite are on the second floor. The yellow feature wall is Cow Parsley from Cole & Son, on which is a collection of screen print art work by Michael Papworth. The original vintage mid-century, Danish rosewood bed is by Orange & Brown. The dressing area is furnished with a classic ‘Eames’ chair, a Carl Malmsten sofa, and a walnut wardrobe, all are original mid-century pieces. Feature cushions by Michael Papworth and a vintage mannequin from Metro Retro complete the styling.
The bathroom flooring and suite was selected by the client and Architect, then styled using a Jimmie Martin chair and art work, again by Michael Papworth, and a trolley from Sanderson.
The master suite is on the top floor, enjoying views over the eclectic streets of London’s Spitalfields, across the Church spier to the contemporary architecture of the City beyond. The bed, with padded grey headboard, is by Feather & Black, flanked by a pair of teak mid-century dressing tables from Molten Vintage by Pascoe Interiors. The Danish rosewood side board and chest of drawers, by Orange & Brown provide a platform for vintage mirrors and frames. The dressing area has open plan storage, with a vintage hanging rail & apple crates, all from Metro Retro. The Bazaar Velvet rug gives a splash of contemporary colour, picked up with the crochet blanket and pair of Kai Kristensen chairs, again by Molten Vintage.
The overall feel of this property is a contemporary celebration of Mid Century furniture, demonstrating how an eclectic mix across the mid century era, off set with contemporary elements, can result in a timeless interior that is not slavishly vintage, but that discretely showcases a wealth of highly collectable original furniture and art work.
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