Guest post from Susan Quirke, Quirke McNamara Consultancy
The location just off the exclusive Stratford road in Kensington, is an enclave of former artists’ studios build between 1850 and 1914, perfect for those wanting a discreet London pad.
It is part of the exclusive Stratford Village which, according to estate agents in the area is Kensington’s best-kept secret as it’s so discreet and quiet in the middle of Kensington and has some celebrities living in the properties as they are extremely popular.
When I sourced the property for my client as an old artist’s studio he knew he wanted it straight away as an up and coming young artist himself he saw that the natural light and high walls were perfect to hang his canvases for work and for exhibitions. He purchased the property as a live/work space. With two terraces one for the bedroom and one for the ground floor he also had some external space to relax.
He was also delighted to move into the area as its home to famous artists past and present such as David Hockney & Lucien Freud so it’s a very creative area overall.
The property is set over three floors the basement which I converted into an additional dressing room, bedroom with ensuite and utility room. The ground floor which is the main working space with double high ceilings exposed steel beams and a massive feature window to the front as well as sliding doors to the back.
I fitted a beautiful new poggenpohl white sleek kitchen along with wine and champagne fridges for his exhibitions and parties. I reinstated a solid oak floor as he wanted something that he could spill his paint on while working and not worry about ruining the floor. The splash back is illuminated glass and a beautiful stone worktop island allows for a social space before moving onto the balcony.
The large double height wall I added an art wall so that the client can hang canvases at different heights and it can be repainted when he wants to refresh without damaging the main wall.
The lighting overall we installed a new Lutron system for the client and added new strip LED lighting to the exposed beams to highlight the beautiful Architectural ceiling and warm up the grey beams by allowing different colours to shine through.
A specialist drop down light has been added so the client can lower it to allow more light for when he is painting and it gets dark in the winter. New feature lighting has been added throughout so the client can control different colours in different zones on a Lutron system.
The mezzanine floor consists of an office that overlooks the ground floor where the client can plan his art and take his meetings. I reclad the stairs in grey smoked glass and bespoke designed a white lacquer wall hung unit so the client can store his art books and papers out of sight which I illuminated with LED colour changing light tape. The office leads into the bedroom and ensuite area.
Upstairs we agreed on more dramatic look using black skull wallpaper, black and grey glass and black resin flooring throughout.
In the bedroom I installed a floating bed which I illuminated from underneath which shines onto the swirly resin flooring beneath. There was a tiny storage unit so I knocked this down and rebuilt the wall as a pod walk in wardrobe that is painted silver and lit from the top and bottom. I took the inspiration from the bathrooms at sketch bar which the client loves so now he has his own egg shaped room. Skull wallpaper on one side and a bespoke silver leather wall behind the bed complete the room.
The bathroom was totally open into the bedroom so I divided the space with a grey glass wall and door which still allows some light through.
The bathroom is the most dramatic space with a feature wall inset behind the bath in a honeycomb pattern that shines different colours dependant on the light. I set the bath up on a plinth and illuminated around the edges to divide this space from the wet room style shower. I also bespoke designed the bathroom unit and back lit the centre glass panel. This is also floating off the wall and is set off by the egg shaped large sink on top.
We installed a music system so he can relax while painting and judging by the amount of work he has produced since moving in he is very much at home in the property.
Overall the space is very functional for the client where he can create his artworks and entertain and have his own private space away from his work also.