Visit this Victorian home designed by an architect bursting with clever ideas

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  • When architect Tom Rutt of TR Studio was contacted to modernize this Victorian Chelsea terrace, he knew the space held great promise. The now perfectly designed West London pad had a briefing to follow, and it would take some work to get there.

    “The owners had lived in New York for eight years and also had a tiny lakefront house on Shelter Island in the Hamptons, ”says Tom. ‘Since the family loved the thick forest and sandy beaches in the Hamptons, we have been tasked with bringing that quiet essence back to London.

    The House

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    The brief was to modernize the house and enlarge the lower and upper levels of the ground. This was with the aim of creating a more open and functional kitchen / dining area with a better connection with the garden.

    The five-story terrace had large “bones” and generous space. That said, it had been altered over the years, resulting in a hybrid of disjointed spaces. With a few strategic structural changes, Tom knew the space could be transformed.

    The project

    Kitchen with marble splashback, linear light and wooden bowl on island

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    “Every element was a joy to work on,” says Tom. “In particular, we loved seeing the new kitchen extension ideas come to life. Only a few walls have been removed, but it has become a very light and airy space and it is the new heart of the house.

    “The double-height space in the main stairwell with its curved wall creates a moody and atmospheric space. This is aided by the textured clay walls and lighting interior designers Riley Brooks Studio and contractor Q Projects were invaluable in the success of the project. ‘

    Family room with gray L-shaped sofa and wall sconces

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    “Due to the levels of the existing floors in the main house and the side return, it was difficult to come up with ideas for stairs that helped the house flow. The staircase also had to comply with building regulations and seemed to be there from the start as well, ”says Tom of the challenges he and the rest of the team put together. TR Studio facing this project.

    “We removed the existing staircase structure,” Tom recalls. “And we’ve carefully designed the half landings to be more comfortable.”

    The living room

    Living room with painting on clay plaster walls, cream sofa and window seat

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    “At the end of the day, everything revolves around the living spaces spread over the two lower floors,” says Tom. “It’s the heart of the house where the kitchen takes center stage and you feel connected to the garden. ”

    A tonal palette of chalky earthy hues goes well with living room ideas. “It was about creating a refuge,” says Tom. ‘Balancing the urban environment with the need for calm, and a softness that is often lacking in London interiors.’

    Specialty terracotta wallcovering has been applied to bring a relaxed holiday feel to the property. “Textured clay walls in all key rooms along the main stairwell help connect the spaces vertically,” notes Tom.

    The cozy

    Cozy bedroom with clay plaster walls and modern open fireplace

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    “We used many different textures and finely crafted details in this house,” says Tom. “Not like a stuffy old-fashioned Chelsea, but in a very clean and modern way. with a calming tone as opposed to a loud pattern. ‘

    A stunning mesh sculpture completes the simplicity of the new living room fireplace ideas that include built-in cabinetry below. A subtle Japanese-style rice paper lantern works well against the textured wall.

    That sense of tranquility in the Hamptons was brought to life by earthy, warm, and light colors.

    The kitchen

    Modern kitchen with marble and wood island with bar stools and integrated sink

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    “We used sawn oak veneer on most of the joinery, with touches of satin brass and fluted wood joinery pieces,” says Tom.

    Crafted from cross-sawn oak veneer, Mont Blanc marble, and touches of satin brass, bespoke kitchen ideas evoke understated luxury. Polished Mont Blanc marble paired with simple handleless cabinetry creates a sleek and stylish kitchen.

    The kitchen-dining room

    Kitchen-dining room with integrated wooden furniture, gray chaise longue and open shelves

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    Sleek floating shelves are cut from a recessed niche in the wall. These also complement the warm oak of the custom bench and dining table.

    Natural light, proportions and flow are at the heart of our process. But interiors also need to have texture, contrast and depth so that there are different dimensions or layers in a space, ”says Tom.

    The bar area

    Wooden bar area with wine cellar and sink under the stairs

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    This bespoke cocktail bar on the lower ground floor is perfect for entertaining. Plus, it makes perfect use of space by being cleverly tucked away in an alcove under the stairwell.


    Bedroom with white headboard and white fabric behind the bed

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    Playing with clever bedroom ideas, Tom made the sleeping space feel like a cocoon. This was achieved by hanging a linen curtain along a slanted pole to create a canopy effect.

    The bathroom

    Bathroom with white bathtub, brass fittings and marble sink

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    Natural stone adds warmth and depth to both the kitchen and this master bathroom. Echoing the design details of lower floors, sawn oak cabinetry, brass fittings, and Volakas marble create relaxed yet undeniably chic bathroom ideas.

    The dressing area

    Hallway with wooden cupboards and Crittall glass door

    Image Credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk

    Even the walk-in closet of this perfectly designed West London pillow is inspiring. A walk-in closet with elegant wooden slatted wardrobes leads to the main bathroom. The Crittall style glass door was made from a variety of textured panels.

    Additional words from Karen Wilson

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