Craven Hill Gardens was a refurbishment project of a Victorian property in London by Ardesia Design. This 70sqm top floor property came with an abundance of structural problems relating to the roof, which had to be resolved before any other building works could commence. The placement of steel work created a number of limitations, especially to the ceiling height and the placement of some walls, so many design layouts and key features had to be abandoned. Although these limitations were numerous, they have been well disguised in the finished result.
The Client’s brief was to create two big bedrooms with plenty of storage space, an open plan kitchen / living space and a bathroom with lots of natural light. Warm lighting, natural materials and plenty of colour were also important to the client.
The wooden floor throughout is a pale white premium grade engineered floor. In the entrance hallway, we installed four twin-recessed lights from Astro Light that can be angled to create different strengths of lighting. To bring back some of the Victorian elegance of the building, we recreated some wall mouldings in the hallway, which was painted in the elegant ‘Tunsgate Green’ Farrow and Ball, as was the living room.
The living room was kept simple with recessed LED spotlights and minimal skirting and coving designs. A dark brown veneered kitchen from Italian supplier Minimal Cucine with a Corian countertop and full height back splash in ‘bone’ contrasts warmly with the soft green walls. The main focal point in the living room is the stunning white metal pendant light from Authentage, Belgium, that sits above the dining table. The pendant features twelve LED-lit candles that softly light the room. Matching up-and-down wall lights in white metal add to the atmosphere.
In contrast with the warm, soft colours of the living room, the Client chose the bold, red ‘Blazer’ from Farrow and Ball. The room is well lit with recessed LED spotlights, as well as some simple, rustic metal wall lights with natural linen shades that create a warm atmosphere, with matching bed side table lamps. A custom-made cabinet was installed by our joiners, finished in white lacquer with storage cabinets below and LED-lit shelving above. Due to the heavy steelwork that runs down one side of this bedroom, instead of wardrobes, we created a walk-in-wardrobe with 360 degrees rotatable spotlights and a full height mirror. The wardrobe cabinets were custom made by Italian company Besana and finished in dark brown veneer.
In the second bedroom, wardrobes from Besana were fit along one wall and finished in a simple duck egg to match the wall colour, ‘Blackened’ from Farrow and Ball. Lighting in this room was very important, as the Client wanted to have a vanity desk but didn’t want to clutter the space with standing and table lamps. Therefore, we created a feature LED-strip in a shadow gap in the ceiling that lights up the wall above the vanity. A good array of recessed LED spotlights light the rest of the room. Two bedside wall lights with turnable arms and soft white shades were fit either side of the bed, lighting up the Client’s choice of classic patterned wallpaper from Farrow and Ball.
In the bathroom we fit recessed LED spotlights and LED lighting behind the large 1150x1200mm mirror. The custom made Besana bathroom unit was made in a matching colour to the kitchen, with a matching Corian sink and countertop. The walls were tiled in an off-white tile from Italian supplier ‘Mutina’, with an unusual size of 120x1000cm. The floor tiles are also from Mutina and create a beautiful hexagon pattern on the floor, all in off-white but for a few light blue accents. The tiles come with five subtly different patterns, including dotted and herringbone. Custom joinery was designed for the very small bathroom to hide utilities and to create storage space, including a full height 1200x600mm utility cupboard, a small wall cupboard above the toilet with an LED-lit niche below and a niche in the shower space. The sanitaryware is mostly from Zucchetti, except for the beautiful cascading bath spout from Dornbracht.
Although the layout was often compromised by hidden steelwork and low ceilings posed the risk of creating claustrophobic pocket rooms, the overall finished result is a warmly lit, elegant, Victorian-inspired flat with plenty of modern features, including a hidden sound system and wirelessly controlled lighting and heating.