Home Tour: A London Townhouse With A Colourful Mix of Art And Vintage Pieces
In leafy West London, it is easy to imagine that behind the rows of Victorian facades lie almost identical, upper-middle-class residences. But on a street near the glossy Hurlingham Club, with its lawn tennis courts and summer garden parties, is one of the most stylish dwellings in the capital.
The brainchild of K&H Design, which was founded by Katie Glaister and Henry Miller-Robinson, this acclaimed abode has won awards for its thoughtful design.
The long-time residence of a English family of five was entirely restructured when the parents decided their now-teenage children were outgrowing the previous layout. Glaister and Miller-Robinson were given an impressive budget and a two-year timeline to give the house a complete makeover, which included creating three en-suite bedrooms for the teenagers and a design overhaul.
“What we love is having lots of detail and lots of time,” says Glaister. “That way, we can source a beautiful artisan rug or create a bespoke handle at just the right curve to open with greasy hands. We never try to impose, but once we have listened to what the client wants, then we refine.”
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For this particular house, all the walls were taken down and the space was entirely reconfigured, creating an extra 550sqft. The most striking space is the drawing room. With a grand bay window looking over the London streets and an imposing seascape painting on the wall opposite, it must surely be the hot topic at any dinner party.
“It all started with the art,” says Glaister. “They love the oil painting that is hanging above the sofa and everything flowed from there, palette-wise. The wife loves tassels, so we reupholstered the sofa and added the biggest, most scrumptious tassels.”
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To create the illusion of more space, the designers added antique mirrors from Rupert Bevan on either side of the mantlepiece, which reflect the afternoon light and blend in beautifully with the furniture and art. “We wanted the drawing room to feel like it’s been with them forever, filled with pieces they could have inherited, but with very contemporary chairs added in,” says Miller-Robinson, “We always aim to bring period pieces up to the times.”
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In the kitchen, the duo wanted to create a sleek, modern space that could transform into a dining room in the evening, but would also be a hub for the entire family during the day. The owners had previously lived in New York and liked the industrial-chic aesthetic, so they added brass details to the metal framing, which complements the flooring.
“We typically have a husband and wife both as clients, and while they may think they have aligned tastes, the details often differ,” says Glaister. “The kitchen was an example of this. The husband is a passionate chef and when he’s not working, he’s thinking about cooking, so he wanted every professional appliance you can imagine. The wife just wanted somewhere to make a cup of tea or a gin and tonic, so we solved the problem by making the size of the island—which is itself a really beautiful piece—adjustable depending on who is using the space.”
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The designers went for a similar solution in the master bedroom—where the wife wanted a TV and the husband didn’t—so they simply created an adjustable screen to cover it. The Soie de Lune handwoven silk headboard is a particularly beautiful piece here and ties in with the curtains in the study, which are from the same artisan brand.
Elsewhere in the bedroom, fabulous floral panels by British artist Flora Roberts light up the space, while in the master bathroom, the églomisé glass mirror by Studio Peascod is a work of art in its own right.
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Each of the children’s rooms is infused with their own personality and with pieces that show their generation’s commitment to sustainability and upcycling, including the white re-purposed canework on one of the daughter’s wardrobes.
“Personalisation is key in this consumer-driven, Instagram world,” says Glaiser. “People are clicking and buying, and ending up with a lot of the same things. Our clients want a home that is unique and personalised.” With this duo at the helm, a beautiful, bespoke house is guaranteed—wherever you are in the world.
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- Photography Simon Brown and Alexander James