19 Jun 2024

An Elegantly-designed, Family-friendly Townhouse in Kensington

When a French family relocated from America and settled in London's Kensington, the expertise of multidisciplinary creative studio OWN LONDON provided the perfect solution to their home renovation aspirations.


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With a passion for entertaining and an appreciation for ceramics and art, the owners tasked OWN LONDON to transform their outdated four-storey, six-bedroom home into a light-filled modern space for practical family life. The result is a fusion of artistic creations, colour and functionality that suits this busy young family.

"OWN LONDON was recommended by a mutual friend following the fantastic transformation of their own home,” says the homeowner. “The team prides itself on attention to detail and respecting the budget; every problem had a solution, and every inch of space was optimised to the fullest, they more than exceeded our expectations. As a testament to how we feel about working with OWN LONDON and how pleased we are with the result of our forever family home, we are already discussing another project with them. I would and have recommended OWN LONDON to anyone looking to build their dream home.”

Entry into the elegant stucco-fronted townhouse is lit by bespoke ceramic Laura Huston lights. Inside, a spacious open-plan living and dining room has a clever half-island divide and views out into the garden. Unique pieces of hand-crafted furniture sourced from across the world are peppered throughout, from the console table in the hallway sourced in Porto to the living room side tables from Moroccan brand LRNCE. A three-seater sofa in George Spencer fabric anchors the living room and faces a television hidden by a linen canvas embroidered with 17 types of weave, designed in collaboration with a specialist artisan. A croissant-shaped sofa upholstered in Romo mohair velvet sits in the bay window to provide additional seating. The bespoke rounded coffee table in travertine with Gesso-cladded legs by Chelsea Upholstery has a soft leather-wrapped band around the outside, which renders it perfectly childproof.

A cleverly-concealed cocktail bar and coat storage unit in hand-finished antique brass marks the division between the two ground-floor spaces. For hosting, a large burl wood, 10-seater table takes centre stage in the dining room, with slipcover chairs in red- and blue-striped fabric from Studio Atkinson. Console tables with bobbin legs are by Alfred Newall and are positioned at either side of the marble fireplace for elegant, open storage. Art in this space is eclectic and eye catching, including blue- and white-patterned ceramic fish by British Artist Joesph Dupré and a bespoke, hand-painted puzzle by BDDW.

Associate Director of Interior Design, Alicia Meireles, led the FF&E on the project, and explains: “A huge benefit of working within the OWN LONDON team is the ease of communication between the different disciplines. We come together daily, and I can sit with a member of our construction team face to face and check the feasibility of plans or discuss them with the interior architects. Combining finer details with engineering requires a conversation, and with us all being in house, this is something that could take place in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks liaising between different contractors.”

On the lower-ground floor is a light kitchen with storage and preparation space aplenty. Banquette seating in red-striped Flora Soames fabric and a bespoke dining table overlooks the garden terrace. A tribute to the owners’ French heritage and sourced by the client’s mother is a collection of old-fashioned, illustrated menus from restaurants in Normandy, which have been displayed in quirky decorative frames adjacent to the kitchen table.

Upstairs, on the first floor, is where colour and pattern explode. Understanding that the children often play together, OWN LONDON decided to create one large space that can be separated into two bedrooms with sliding pocket doors when needed. The layout of each bedroom mirrors the other; each has a day bed with padded headboards upholstered in either Synchronic Brazilian Rosewood fabric by Harlequin or Ottoline fabric by Celadon & Brick. Both beds pull out into full doubles and sit within bobbin-trimmed alcoves created to house clothes and toys. Silk Avenue swirly patterned rugs by Nora Chou feature in both rooms in different colourways, designed in collaboration with OWN LONDON. Colourful Linwood cushions with ruffles add to the playful palette, and quaint roman blinds by Tissus d’Helene dress the windows.

Also on the first floor is a fourth bedroom, currently being used as a nursery, and a family bathroom with playful, multicoloured tiles and clever built-in storage. A terrace, accessible from both spaces, offers a tranquil retreat.

At the top of the house, the principal bedroom features serene greens and blues with hints of burnt orange and yellow. The space exudes calm sophistication, peppered with vibrant accents in the art pieces, vintage objets d’art and bold rug choices. The bed, upholstered in the owners’ favourite woven fabric, Spa by Cristian Lee, sits between decorative Maison Sarah Lavoine bedside tables. Extending from the suite is a mint-green dressing room and elegant marble bathroom with a new skylight.

Outside, the garden is separated into three spaces; a lower terrace with playful, stripy banquette seating, a stylish main lawn area with a bespoke L-shaped sofa, a Gervassori coffee table with Honore deco upholstered armchairs and, finally, a timber-constructed guest house, with a shower and bathroom. This additional space will be used by the owners as a home office. This can also double up as an extra guest bedroom if required. A terrazzo-topped coffee table from Kam Ce Kama, a Rowen & Wren armchair, walls adorned in powder-blue Soane Britain wallpaper and zig-zag patterned Blithfield curtains are features of note.

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