Scandinavian hygge in historic stables: the Kensington Mews House in London
Iserlohn, 15 August 2023
A small and cosy home that should feel comfortable and roomy: This was the challenge concerning the Swedish hotelier who was extending one of the so-called “Mews Houses” in the London Borough of Kensington. He entrusted the project to the London and Hamburg-based Finkernagel Ross architect’s office, which relied on Dornbracht fittings in the bathrooms and kitchen.
The magnificent Victorian town houses in Kensington often have former stabling hidden behind them: small, terraced houses that were once home to the horses and carriage drivers of the prosperous upper class. Throughout the twentieth century, these so-called mews were gradually converted into modest apartments. For some time now, they have been among the most sought-after residential properties in London. After moderate expansion, the floor area of the listed Mews House in Holland Park that was built in 1850, now spreads across four levels. They are designed in the Scandinavian style: light, cosy and relaxed, with the emphasis on openness and space. A palette of natural materials and muted colours was used: The floors were often covered with light oak floorboards, and individual walls were often painted soft grey, to suggest three-dimensional depth.
At the heart of the project is the open layout of kitchen, living and dining areas on the ground floor: Here, creamy white kitchen door fronts harmonise with light woods, refined furnishings and light-grey Aurisina marble surfaces. The sink is also marble, and installed above it is Vaia by Dornbracht, created by Sieger Design. With its Brushed Durabrass (23kt Gold) finish, it lends an elegant touch to the reserved ambience. An oak wardrobe loosely separates the dining from the living area, where an open fireplace adds homeliness. Its marble facade emphasises the link to the kitchen, so that everything becomes part of an extensive ensemble. The concept of aesthetic consistency was also applied to the bedrooms on the first and second floor: Painted light grey once again, they have soft, fitted carpets. Beige-coloured curtains frame the floor-to-ceiling lattice windows, creating a comfortable atmosphere for retreat. This is also true with the new basement level, where a small lounge area has become an inviting place to spend time relaxing.
The elegant, restful simplicity of the design is especially influential in the main bathroom: The floors and walls are covered in grey travertine, the rest of the interior concentrates steadfastly on the essentials. Vaia can again be found on the washstand, as well as in the shower, which is only separated from the rest of the space by barely visible glass. The Brushed Durabrass (23kt Gold) finish also makes a nice contrast to the textured, grey limestone here. In addition to this, there is the eye-catching, ample bath: It is accentuated by a freestanding Dornbracht fitting, with a sculptural appearance and warm golden hue that testify to the unassuming luxury.