daab design has sensitively restored a 19th century semi-detached terrace in Kensington for a family of five, resulting in a minimalist monochrome interior contrasting luxurious materials and delicate period features.
Years of poorly-executed renovations, unsympathetic partitioning and layers of inappropriate finishes stripped the Grade-II listed terrace of its beauty. Battersea-based architecture practice daab design was selected to draw on their conservation and high-end interiors experience to redesign the plan of the home to suit the needs of a modern family.
daab took inspiration from the monochrome façade and dark ironworks, creating a family home that contrasts bright and dark, soft and sharp, and light and heavy at every turn. The ground and lower ground floors are an expression of rich yet understated detailing, defined by open living spaces with textural art and iconic Pierre Jeannerret furniture. The clean, high-tech kitchen is floodlit by skylights and glowing strip lighting, flanked by floor-to-ceiling suede panelled concealed doors and crittall room dividers to one side, and a lush rear courtyard garden along the other.
Quiet spaces for study and rest are found at the top of the restored original mahogany staircase finished with a French high gloss lacquer. The master suite enjoys a relaxed atelier feel, complete with a fluted glass crittal bathroom, marble-lined chests of drawers, and carefully designed views out to the private terrace garden.
Materiality is at the heart of this home. Warm timber, soft fabrics and fine plaster detailing are married elegantly with marble, iron, steel and glass. The six bathrooms are tiled with Salvatori stones, reflecting the morning light, while a Lebanon cedar dressing suite complete with separate shoe wardrobe was specially tailored to suit the owners’ personal fashion collection.
The upper levels and front façade presented a challenge in balancing preservation with modernisation. A painstaking survey of original neighbouring houses allowed daab to maintain and celebrate the heritage of the home’s delicate wrought iron lace verandah, tall, heavy, intricately moulded shutters, fine architraves and soft ceiling details. The architects considered the environmental and safety aspirations of the family, flexing their conservation expertise in sourcing a historical glass replacement that allowed for double glazing.
daab has achieved a delicate balance between upgrading a Regency terrace to the need of modern living while addressing Listing requirements and revealing heritage features, working to time and budget. The result is a striking monochrome home full of elegance and atmosphere for a contemporary family.