Luxurious London Living9 July 2021
A grand London property that was in need of complete renovation was the perfect blank canvas for Schiller Beynon Interior Design. Extended over time, the 1950s house was in desperate need of a vision to create a space that was as welcoming for entertaining as it was for living in the 21st century. To begin, designers Lisa Schiller and Kim Beynon worked with architects Shape+ to open up the ground floor into a series of flowing rooms, creating a much more family-friendly living space.
“Every area was considered from every angle,” explains Lisa, “with perhaps the most impressive view being from the front door looking into the house and beyond to a new sculpture installation in the garden.”
Upstairs the galleried entrance retains all the original features while allowing for a substantial series of changes to the bedrooms in order to create impressive spaces each with their own ensuite. “The master bedroom offers particular wow factor with his and hers dressing rooms and ensuites,” adds Lisa.
Throughout the property, Schiller Beynon selected stone and tile from Artisans of Devizes, for everything from flooring and splashbacks to vanity units and window sills. “We have worked with Artisans of Devizes for over a decade now,” says Lisa, “as the team are just incredibly supportive. They are a trusted pair of hands with a wonderful selection of natural stone and other products. We never fail to find something interesting when we come to specify.”
On the ground floor, Artisans of Devizes helped Lisa and Kim identify the entrance hall stone and extend the original flooring into adjoining corridors with exacting detail. “The ground floor saw us developing schemes that played on the exquisite existing entrance hall flooring,” confirms Lisa, “which comprised Verde Oriental Marble, Verona Rosso and White Marble cut into incredible patterns. These stones formed the basis of our entire scheme, as we took these colours into the adjacent rooms, playing with monochrome and dark green tones, with other spaces embracing the rusty red of the Rosso marble. We used these themes on repeat, using different textures and wall colours and pared-back curtain fabrics, which were then dressed up with alabaster light fittings, interesting ceramics, bespoke rugs and interesting upholstery that really finished the look.”
The interior design as a whole was carefully curated to maximise space and light. This is demonstrated wonderfully in the kitchen, which features an architecturally designed glass link with a Crittall glazed internal wall that leads to a spectacular family kitchen beyond. Drenched in natural daylight, Lisa, Kim and the team were able to go bold with their kitchen finishes, with an entire wall and joinery decorated in an almost black finish warmed up with woven rope pendant lights, wood, marble and a statement antique brass extractor hood.
A heavily panelled dining space provides a luxurious room in which to entertain with dark neutral tones played out in a mixture of paint finishes, textured wallpapers and Églomisé mirror. Other specialist finishes such as textured wallpapers and polished plaster were used to add interest throughout the building.
The upper floors were reconfigured to create large bedrooms, each with their own ensuite. The master bedroom offers a particularly bold scheme with wallpaper, lacquered furniture, upholstery and curtain fabrics all taking inspiration from an elegant shade of blue. “It made sense that we took the same tones into the his and hers ensuites that fell off the bedroom space,” explains Lisa. “Rather than opt for ornate slab work, we decided to create a luxe feel through using more intricate cut marble shapes playing with the wonderful range of formats and shapes within the Artisans’ Aliseo range for a more playful take on luxury stone – its honed finish creating its own understated luxury. Particularly impressive was the flooring in the master enuite, where we took square panels of Aliseo Teardrop mosaic and framed them with Artisans’ French Blue polished marble stone to add interest and a hint of colour. These stone sections helped us zone the floorspace and also create interest in within the shower walls.”
Elsewhere, the guest bedroom was inspired by a beautiful Christopher Farr Carnival fabric in an Olive colourway, which was also used on an end of bed ottoman. “We took the green and subtle pink tones in the pattern and brought this to life across the room scheme,” says Lisa. “In the ensuite we used Artisans’ Avebury Plaster Ceramic tiles in a herringbone pattern across the back wall of the bathroom.
“The playful colours were then toned down and complemented perfectly with Artisans’ Taj Mahal honed marble stone across the floor and vanity worktop – its warm veining playing perfectly to the colour palette and a wonderful contrast against the paint finish to the cooler grey green walls.”
On the second floor the bathrooms are more playful, as Lisa explains, “Keeping everything monochrome with white tiles and matt black hardware and shower frame finishes provided the perfect framework from which to introduce Artisans’ Waldorf stone, which carries such beautiful natural veining that it became the star of the show running along the floor and up the shower wall.” A further ensuite features Artisans’ Lombardo stone with a combination of hexagon and rectangular formats to add interest.
Practicality is key for any successful design, as Lisa knows all too well, “Kim and I both have busy households so we know the importance of robust finishes that stand the test of time. Stone is such a hardwearing material, it is often our natural choice for through areas such as kitchens, entrance hallways and corridors. At Schiller Beynon HQ, every project we take is of great importance to us. As a small team, we genuinely live, breathe and sleep interiors. Many a night we are walking the floors in our minds! As founders of Schiller Beynon Interior Design, Kim and I work incredibly closely together and that wonderful working dynamic means that we know just what the other is thinking and that brings clarity for our overall project vision. Once the key decisions for each project are made, we work tirelessly to ensure the dream becomes a reality – just as we imagined.”