Susan Van Meter
From Bland to Beautiful, a Bloomsbury Townhouse Refurbishment
At Susan Van Meter, our interior design projects cover most parts of London. One of our completed projects, a four-storey property in a highly desirable Central London location is tucked away in a mews near Grays Inn Road. The client was either going to move or renovate. After a couple of meetings with SVM, the client had a good understanding of the costs and time involved to create his dream home and after reviewing moving costs compared with a redesign, chose the latter. It made perfect sense to stay put.
The house was bland and tired. Having traveled extensively, the client had an amazing collection of art and sculpture from around the world and several pieces of furniture which he wanted to integrate into the new design, to reflect his life and personality.
The client was very open to the use of sustainable interior products and UK-designed and manufactured materials such as paint, lighting, carpets, and fabrics.
The Clients brief included:
Creation of storage space involving new joinery
New entrance lobby and storage for a bike and other items
Repairs to water-damaged walls
Solving minor structural and remedial issues.
New colour scheme throughout
Introduction of Pattern and Texture
Integration of client’s art collection
The first area to tackle was creating a separate entrance in the long and narrow hallway to store his bike. We exchanged ideas and agreed on a preference for a Crittal-style door and partition with reeded glass. The client wanted the style to reflect industrial materials and details.
Rough Living, is a locally-based company specialising in metal work that could make the partition, the storage for shelving, and the bracket to hang the bike off the wall. We sent them our drawing, as you see below, that is typical of an elevation we might create here in the design studio.
The above drawing was used for pricing purposes and to give the client an idea of style and proportion. We then go on to create 3D realistic renders, as we did below for this project.
Industrial stying to the Entrance Lobby
Wine storage and entrance hall.
Before and after of the entrance hall.
Storage, in general, was a problem, as it is with many central London homes. The client had a large wine collection and nowhere to store it. We designed a cupboard that better utilized the space. We did this for the second and top-floor landings too. Looking at the available space and being creative in a simple and practical way provides solutions to most interior design problems.
We introduced colour using Farrow & Ball paints. They are made in the UK with good sustainable commitments. They have recently been sold to a Dutch company but retained manufacturing here in the UK.
Teals and blues featured predominately in the client's artwork, some of his favourite colours. We decided to be brave and introduce a beautiful rich teal, Inchrya Blue to the three stairwells and some of the woodwork. This pulled the home together, grounded it, and created continuity.
One of my favourite carpet companies is Roger Oates. They produce beautiful stair runners in many different patterns and colours. As you can see it made a real difference to these staircases, seen above.
Kitchen, landing, and stairwell images; walls are Hardwick White by Farrow and Ball.
The client wanted to introduce pattern and texture to the overall feel of the house. We used a classic William Morris wallpaper in the main bedroom and an exotic Zoffany-designed wall covering in the guest bedroom which provided a strong aesthetic. Both papers are made in the UK and therefore tick the sustainable box to some extent.
Some details of the main bedroom and lounge
NOTE: It is essential to use a contractor you can trust to do the work for the success of your design project. We use our regular builder who is reliable, honest, and produces excellent work.
The top floor landing required additional storage to house a home printer, a step ladder, which is concealed in the slim vertical cupboard, and more books. To fit it all in, we moved the landing outwards over the stairwell, added new joinery, lighting, and decorated throughout to create a more cohesive and usable space.
Our client is exceedingly happy with the end result. As a designer, it is always gratifying to know that we have succeeded to deliver, beyond expectation, a home that reflects our clients' brief and personality, with the added bonus of increasing the value of the property and not costing the earth!
Contact us today for a free home visit and consultation.....
The four design philosophies of my business are to be the B.E.S.T :
Beauty, Empower, Sustain, Transform
We are always looking out for companies manufacturing sustainable products to add to our preferred supplier list. If you would like to be considered, please contact me here.