Fiona Brass is a talented, up and coming interior designer who has a flair for making homes look modern and practical. I featured Fiona’s project in Estila Volume 2 – The Colour Explosion and today she’s sharing her other stunning project with us. Modern home interior – making new what was old. Over to you Fiona…
The first thing that struck me when I visited this property was the beautiful parquet flooring hidden underneath a mound of heavy furniture in the living room, which was bereft of any natural light thanks to the thick black curtains covering the original sash windows. I knew immediately that I needed to offer back all the light that had been stolen from this period home and encourage the lost original features to stand out with pride once again.
My inspiration for this project naturally fed from the age of the building, which was 100+ years old. It was about respect for the features that already existed and enhancing the spaces to compliment these elements. Each room needed to feed into one another and remain cohesive, however it was imperative that every space had its own individual personality.
In the living room (above), the original parquet flooring laid in a chevron style was restored. The musty yellow undertones were banished and replaced with a natural oiled look. I introduced a loose Moroccan vibe to the area with bashed metal and blue hues. The built in units were kept and restored, painted in shirting from the Little Greene Paint Company and ornate dimpled handles finished each unit.
I wallpapered the walls behind the units to add some interest and chose a subtle pattern, which pulled the entire scheme together. The deep navy sofas were placed strategically either side of the fireplace, helping to draw ones eye to the main feature in the room. Finally, the windows were dressed with linen drapes in tones of white and charcoal grey. The curtains where not lined to allow as much light as possible in this room. The original sash windows were restored and painted throughout the property, ensuring these beautiful features added to the refurbished apartments character.
The kitchen had been fitted many years ago and was very well made. The terracotta floor was also a period feature which I could not justify changing. With this in mind, I worked up a design for this room complimenting the existing floor and kitchen, all the while remaining consistent with the style in the flat. I restored the kitchen completely, repainting it in the same chalky “shirting” paint that was used throughout all the woodwork in the flat. All hinges were replaced with new soft close for smooth operation and I added solid brass knobs for definition and in keeping with the traditional furniture.
I chose a deep denim blue tile with white grout to add some clarity to the overall scheme. Lighting was changed to soft LED under counter and ceiling spotlights, allowing flexibility in ambience depending how the kitchen diner was being used.
The hall was long and narrow without a lot of natural light so mirrored wallpaper panels were built to create the illusion of a brighter area. By building the panels tall and narrow they add a greater sense of space and height to the area and choosing three panels balances the hall in proportion.
The built in floor to ceiling wardrobes were part of the flat when I began the project and offered much needed storage and best use of the space in the master bedroom. These were again painted in “shirting” and finished off with a long, elegant handle, which emphasised the wardrobes height. An additional unit was built into another alcove concealing the radiator and offering up more display and storage space.
The room was painted in “whisper” from the Little Greene Paint Company to soften the south facing room and create a more delicate space for the owners. A metal bedstead played centre stage to the scheme with a feature wallpaper directly behind framing the bed. I used this Osborne and Little wallpaper behind the display unit to ensure a consistent scheme was achieved in this room. Soft, flowing voile panels dressed the windows to create an intimate master bedroom, which will have its owners lingering for, longer in the beautiful space.
Space was not in abundance in the second bedroom. With this in mind, I built a platform bed with storage underneath and had a bespoke mattress made to allow a small double bed in the room. Beautiful and ingenious storage solutions from Ambivalenz offered a transient storage alternative for this tiny room.