In celebration of a London cityscape
From faded to fabulous.
Just a stone’s throw from Paddington Station, high above the hustle and bustle of London’s W2, sits an elegantly renovated pied-à-terre.
Occupying the top floor of a classic Victorian terrace, the three-bedroom apartment includes its own glorious top-of-the-world roof garden. Working with Stella Mannering & Company, the Barr Group team were tasked with providing a bespoke, turnkey build and joinery service.
The much-loved Stella Mannering & Company interiors studio, having long adorned the Oxford St Giles’ corner (well-known, in the early days, for its glorious tassel tiebacks!), is now based in Woodstock, where it continues to thrive. Stella’s warm engaging manner, wealth of experience and natural flair for interiors has been instrumental in dressing North Oxford’s townhouses for decades. Clients return again and again, for fresh interpretations of her trademark, fabric-rich look. As such, Stella and her talented team find themselves working on projects across London, the Cotswolds and further afield.
In recent years, Stella has worked with the Barr Group team on some wonderful projects, and had also worked previously with her Portland Terrace clients on their North Oxford family home. With established relationships and understanding of her client’s lifestyle and aesthetic leanings, she was perfectly placed to offer a turnkey service for the renovation of their West London apartment.
The apartment has been in the family for many years. Used as a London base for weekday working, for teenagers and overseas visitors as easy uptown access, and later for their 20somethings as a career launchpad. Much-loved and well worn, the apartment was ready for a full makeover The brief was to create a tranquil, contemporary space which maximised the abundance of natural light and celebrated the incredible views across the capital.
“We used cool steel, sky blue and aqua tones, layered with luxurious textures, to create a bright, restful, modern city home, says Stella. “Our clients trusted us completely and gave us free reign with all aspects of the design. In turn, Barr Group interpreted our designs precisely and to an exceptionally high standard; the finished space is exactly as we intended.”
A complete strip out and refurbishment was required, and for this Stella turned to Chris Leigh-Cattrall, Barr Kitchens and Barr Joinery Director. Chris worked with Stella to project manage the build, which included a full made-to-measure cabinetry service. After the strip out, internal apertures were enlarged, and structural beams inserted where required. Plumbing, heating, and electricals were updated and new radiators, sanitaryware, tiling and flooring was installed. Bespoke Crittall-style internal doorsets for the new kitchen and lounge entrances add a touch of drama to the hallway and highlight the statement metal spiral staircase leading to the roof terrace above.
Cabinetry throughout the apartment has a strong Italian influence; the kitchen is elegant and linear, with a layout designed to showcase a wall-to-wall window which opens out onto the eclectically London-esque terraces behind. Contemporary, flat-fronted cabinets are finished in a low sheen Fescue by Little Greene, trimmed with fluted dark walnut, and subtly adorned with brushed black Viefe linear handles. A fine ‘marbled’ Dekton worktop feeds into a book matched dark stained, burnt oak enclave, housing an inset cooker hood and flanking cabinets. A Lusso Cubo undermount sink in gunmetal is matched with a gunmetal finish Quooker Fusion tap, and the latest Miele appliances ensure functionality and efficiency. Over the table a circular Roche Bobois suspension light walks the perfect line between statement and simple, allowing the cityscape beyond to retain centre stage.
Throughout the apartment, linen-weave wall coverings by Arte are paired with sumptuous Mark Alexander fabrics, adding warmth and depth to every space. In the living room a William Yeoward rug sits central to a whole wall of bespoke cabinetry, exuding a distinctly European vibe. As part of the apartment’s remodelling, the internal aperture between the kitchen and living room was enlarged enabling the sharing of views and natural light from both sides of the apartment.
Despite its modern vibe and neutral colour scheme, used to draw focus to the film worthy cityscape beyond, the apartment exudes textural warmth and luxurious comfort. Although her clients, like herself, love colour, Stella and her team felt that it was vital to work with the urban hues of clays and greys surrounding the building, effectively tying the shapes and shades of the surrounding rooflines into the apartment itself. Each of the bedrooms is adorned with its own tailormade storage, with matched fabric-backed cabinetry and upholstered headboards.
Set for use at a moment’s notice and fully equipped for family and visitors alike, the Barr Group team revelled, once again, in delivering the Stella Mannering & Company vision… the perfect Paddington pad.