Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Urban Luxe Maisonette from ACHICA

This is an update to the Work In Progress posted last April when this maisonette was gutted and nothing but brick, concrete and steel. This the article in ACHICA posted by Kate Burt, acting editor:

A love of London’s cooler members’ clubs and bars was the design inspiration behind Suzanne Noble’s urban luxe maisonette. “I’m a big fan of the Soho House and Shoreditch House interiors,” explains ex-New Yorker, Suzanne, “and I wanted my house to have that same eclectic, lived-in look with a touch of modern.”
Suzanne who has just launched Frugl, a new daily app for free and cheap events in London, bought the flat last year, after her two sons flew the nest to go to university. “I wanted to create my dream property after living in a large, family house for twenty years,” she explains. And with the help of architect Simon Miller and interior designer Kelly Fannon, she made her dream a reality.
The maisonette, in north-west London, fills the ground and lower ground floors of the building. “It has a Notting Hill type feel about it,” Suzanne says, “with large windows on the front and back of the upper ground that lets in loads of light.”
Beautiful big windows and lots of light are a pretty good foundation for any new home, but it’s been a long slog to get the place looking as slick as it does. “It was a complete wreck when I bought it,” says Suzanne, “and hadn’t been touched in 50 years. It was completely un-modernised, riddled with damp and in a very poor state.” The only things she was able to salvage were the stunning window shutters, which she restored. They make particularly elegant frames for the view across her garden.
SN stairs 1 collage
Because Suzanne extended into the passage at the side of the building, to give the hallway more breathing room, the old staircase was one of the bigger things that had to go. Its successor comes with an added turn and glass instead of banisters, to maximise the sense of space.” This works especially well at the top, where the glass allows a view from Suzanne’s bedroom of her books, cherished family photos and a cheerful Farrow and Ball green accent wall. All are visible from one of the more dramatic new additions: a free-standing Clearwater Vincenza bath at the end of her bed. “I got the idea after a trip to Babington House in Somerset,” Suzanne explains, “There really wasn’t space for a bath anywhere else and I fancied the idea of soaking while watching television. The shelf next to it is the ideal size for a glass of wine too.” But with the tub weighing in at 125kg, Suzanne says her builders weren’t too happy with her.
The kitchen was a simpler fit. But where did she get the idea for the unusual distressed units? “From my coffee table in the living room,” she says, “it’s made from driftwood and when I spotted this similar looking finish, by a company called Schuller, I had to have it. Everyone thinks it’s wood. In fact, it’s resin-coated melamine. I love how it doesn’t look like an ordinary kitchen and fits in with my other furniture. Plus, it’s very easy to clean and has all those lovely German kitchen features, like roomy drawers, silent closing hinges. It’s very well made but wasn’t expensive.”
The open-plan kitchen / living room becomes more colourful as you reach the seating area. Two rich orange vintage Parker Knoll chairs were left behind by the previous owners in the house Suzanne moved from, more than 20 years ago. She had them reupholstered in Designer’s Guild fabric. Above one is a striking piece of abstract art. “It was painted by a friend of mine who sadly passed away,” she says. “He was a graphic designer who used to do a lot of poster design for the National Theatre. He also played jazz piano and I was a singer and we met when we formed a duo performing jazz standards in wine bars.”
Suzanne Noble bedroom
Upstairs, the vibe is quite a contrast. Where did the idea for the in-your-face bedroom decor come from? “I wanted my bedroom to be very pink and girly,” says Suzanne, “hence the slightly wacky wallpaper, which is by Harlequin. Originally I was going to have some wallpaper made out of a rose design that a friend had produced, but by the time I got to the bedroom I was so exhausted from the renovation, I decided to buy something off-the-shelf!”
SN bedroom collage
Now it’s all done, how is she finding her stylish new, empty nest? “It’s terrific!” she beams. “I loved being able to start again, designing a home essentially just for me – although my boys do come home for holidays and love having lots of friends over as they are just as proud of the place as I am. In fact, I think they’ve had more parties here than I have – but I intend to rectify that as soon as the weather improves!”
For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Please see the original article in ACHICA.

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