Once a dilapidated flat in an apartment block, this elegant London riverside home is now awash with luxurious textures and warming tones, while retaining its Victorian roots
The owners raised their children in a five-bedroom semi-detached house in Clapham. But with both teenagers away at university and boarding school, it no longer felt right for their lifestyle. They planned to move further into town until a stroke of serendipity changed their minds.
The owners began looking in the Borough area. However, one day, they were browsing properties online and spotted a place for sale in a block of Victorian flats in Putney. They lived in the area early in their relationship, so they decided to take a look.
It is around 260 square metres on the fifth and top floors of the block, with views of the river. It was in really terrible condition when the couple bought it. The previous tenant was on a peppercorn rent and did not even have central heating, just two bar heaters. Sadly, she passed away and the trust that owned the apartment put it up for sale.
‘Being able to start from scratch was a draw, as was the proximity to the river. I was born and brought up in Hong Kong, so I love being near the water. Additionally, there was our connection to the area. Mainly, though, it just felt right,’ explains the owner.
The couple used interior designers Caroline Doyle and Nikki Maraviglia of Fig London to help them achieve their dream home.
‘Caroline’s son was in the same year as our son at school. She and Nikki helped us with our house in Clapham, as well as a property we have abroad. They are brilliantly pragmatic and excellent project managers who create unified designs with lots of unusual, fun pieces,’ he says.
Panelling adds architectural interest to this area, while making the entrance appear more grand.
This scheme takes its cue from the paintings and view of the river. ‘I mostly used blues and greens to echo the changing colours of the water,’ says interior designer Nikki Maraviglia.
A rich wall colour combined with walnut veneers and patinated leather make this space a cosseting retreat.
‘The brief for this space was a contemporary, open area that would provide a sympathetic backdrop to the dining and sitting areas,’ says kitchen designer, Andrew Hall. Flush doors with groove handles spray-painted off-white and sleek quartz worktops from Caesarstone create a chic, neutral look.
An island overlooks the dining table, which has perspex plinths to make it feel like an extension of the island. The table’s solid walnut top and gently curved velvet chairs add warmth.
Contrasting earthy, textured black wall tiles with graphic patterned floor tiles gives this space a strong identity.
Carving a desk area from built-in wardrobes streamlines this room and makes it feel more spacious. Blackboard paint and an orange gloss desktop add a playful edge and connect
it to the overall design.
This room includes several items that James and Jessica brought over from their previous home, including the ornate headboard, which has been reupholstered to give it a new lease of life.
At the heart of this bathroom is a roll-top bath, overlooking views of the river. A boldly-coloured ottoman enlivens the otherwise neutral scheme and provides a useful seat or repository for clothes.
Photography ⁄ Richard Powers
Interior Design ⁄ Caroline Doyle and Nikki Maraviglia of Fig London
Kitchen Design ⁄Andrew Hall