A tiled floor that drops six feet at the push of a button to become a swimming pool? That’s a way to convert your basement you probably hadn’t thought of before.
The original Mayfair Recording Studio in London’s Primrose Hill was surrounded by neighbouring properties on all four sides, which could not be encroached upon during the redevelopment of the site – the construction of Eglon House. With an investment of £6M, the 1200 sq m building is a feat of engineering. A 2.1×2.1m high door was the only access point to the site, which was to feature a four-storey working and living space with a basement and courtyard. With a desire to minimise any movement to the existing perimeter walls, to speed up the construction programme and enable the site to always be accessible during the build, Symmetrys adopted a ‘top down’ construction method to revolutionise the space.
Contiguous piles were installed adjacent to the boundary walls to form new perimeter walls, allowing Symmetrys to build from the ground up while the basement was being simultaneously cut. This ensured the most cost-efficient solution, as the structure could be built quickly, reducing labour costs, as well as the use of materials being more efficient.
The result is an architectural homage to one of the most celebrated buildings in Paris – the Maison de Verre, or House of Glass, in the 7th arrondissement. It brings industrial materials to a domestic setting, incorporating life, work and art in to one structure. The original moulds for the glass have been recast to recreate the façade of one half of the building, and Parisian sofas have been recreated to fit the structure perfectly. Many other features, including the lift and cinema room, have all been made in Britain. However, the stand-out feature is the swimming pool, which emerges as a large tiled floor descends six feet and becomes inundated.
Eglon House also incorporates several sustainable design features, including two green roofs and living green walls, aiming to reduce urban heat island effects, improve biodiversity in the area and provide an attractive view for neighbours. The home also makes use of solar photovoltaic panels at roof level, providing energy to the grid and solar thermal panel to provide hot water. In turn, this will result in a 30% carbon reduction at minimum, compared to the 2006 Part L baseline regulation.
The residential property boasts five bedrooms, two kitchens, two double-height reception rooms and an expanse of unallocated space that could be given a myriad of purposes, being used for work, private collections or entertainment. NW3 Interiors absolutely love the transformation that has occurred on this project and we were blown away when we first saw shots of Eglon House.
19th January 2018. The streets of Paris were cold, but that didn’t stop a huge turnout for the Maison in Paris Exhibition. Whilst we queued to go in, we were surrounded by swathes of people from all over the world, all passionate about interior design. Outside the venue, there was a buzz as design students conversed with high-end interior artists. Inside the venue was some of the best-quality design we’ve had the pleasure of observing, combining Parisian chic with a rustic edge. Here are our highlights!
One of our favourite parts of the exhibit is this gorgeous dining room set, that combines a traditional colour scheme with an eye-catching light fitting. This set also hinted at a running theme we spotted throughout the day – chevron cut into various pieces of furniture.
Having such a traditional colour scheme made this fabulous light fitting stand out even more, but the subtle differences in tones of brown and beige ensured that it didn’t look mundane. We loved this set-up and were very inspired by the beautiful colour palette!
The Duistt part of the exhibit is another aspect that we adored. Not only did they create a stunning set up that combines minimalism with comfort, but the business is a female set-up with an ‘mumpreneur’ who both designs and manufacturers! We’re hoping to buy one of the chairs to have in our showroom in the near future.
This living room set is another example of the use of a subtle colour palette, using splashes of blue and yellow to break up the tones of white and grey. Overall this creates a calming space to relax, and the patterns in the mirror help to break the design away from the conventional and into the contemporary. We both also noticed that several of the designs used real fur – which is controversial but not uncommon within the design industry.
This shelving arrangement really caught our fancy due to the use of different tones of pink and gold and the fact that it’s from our trusted brand partner Arte! 2017 saw the world become obsessed with rose gold and this part of exhibit reflected that. It also continued with the chevron trend which seemed to haunt pretty much every part of the exhibition.
We were also pleased to see so many suppliers offering cool furniture at high-street prices, meaning you don’t have to splash out a fortune to make your home look high-end.
The Pantone ‘colour of the year’ ultra-violet was not well represented at the event, with only one supplier choosing to focus on it. Other parts that we thought were amazing included the leather strapped Henry chair by VIP and friends, and the work by eichholtz that we found visually stimulating.
Molly and I had a truly memorable day, and loved every minute of the show.
I have just returned from an incredible 5-day trip to Marrakech, Morocco, and my adventure took me to some beautiful places. Having returned and settled into 2018, I can share my experiences with you – some of which I think you’ll love.
I stayed at the Selman Hotel in Marrakech. The interior design of the hotel was fantastic, with gorgeous features reflecting the Arab-Moorish culture. I was surrounded by beautiful colours and fabrics which created a warm, comfortable atmosphere. The hotel’s interior showed what a key role symmetry plays in Moroccan design, which was reflected in the design of the 80-metre pool. They used gorgeous materials and tiles which made a feast for the eyes!
An interesting addition to our stay was the discovery of the Equestrian Art Centre located at the back of the Selman Hotel. Arabian horses were kept in stables, and we had the pleasure of watching a spectacular dressage show. A horse whisperer would speak to the horses and they would perform and dance to music. It was an amazing element to have seen and experienced.
Despite staying in the luxury hotel, we wanted to explore Marrakech and find the secret, hidden gems of the city. The first one we found was Limoni, an Italian restaurant slightly off the beaten track. Serving fresh, homemade Italian food, it was one of our favourite culinary experiences in Marrakech. We walked through the low door into a light and bright, spacious courtyard, which was a pleasant change from the centre of Marrakech. The interiors were nice but the food was the star of the show.
Another gorgeous restaurant we had the pleasure of visiting was the Dar Cherifa. After a day of walking, shopping and exploring the markets, we were met at Dar Cherifa by a man who led us down an alleyway with a lantern. He took us through a very short door into a space rising as high as 30 metres. Situated in the heart of the souks, this hidden jewel was home to delicious, traditional Moroccan food.
Despite the secret beauties of city, the vast number of people and dust in the souks and the medina were quite challenging. So, our visit to 33 Rue Majorelle was a welcomed change. 33 Rue Majorelle is a department store and a fantastic place to buy your Moroccan bits and pieces without the hassle of bargaining and heckling. From beautifully hand-crafted boxes to napkins, 33 Rue Majorelle was a much calmer environment to purchase all kinds of Moroccan goods.
My trip to Marrakech allowed me to experience some beautiful places and food, but my top tip for those of you who plan to visit Marrakech – avoid a two-hour trek on a camel! Although the scenery you get to view on a camel trek is stunning, 10 or 15 minutes is enough (two hours will put you in pain for the next few days).
Despite this, the beautiful hotel and some hidden gems allowed us to indulge in Moroccan food and completely immerse ourselves in the culture. I look forward to our next trip and thinking about aspects of Moroccan design moving forwards.
A common error when it comes to designing your own home usually occurs the moment you walk into your favourite chosen home store. Overwhelmed by a variety of styles, colours, patterns and little trinkets it’s easy to find yourself in a deep pit of random cushions and a large selection of animal themed ornaments. Not only do you have loads of options to chose from but the object usually comes in every colour under the sun, making it harder for you to keep to a colour palette and finalise important decisions. Before you go interiors shopping for your home, go around your house and write a list of things you need per room ie. 1 lamp and lamp-shade for spare room, 2 cushions and an ornament for reception room. Treat it like you would a grocery store, know your recipe, buy your ingredients and you end up with a pie that Gordon Ramsay would rate 5 stars… don’t and well, you could be appearing on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen.
Think about what would look good, what compliments your existing interiors and what colours would suit the space. Before you buy anything decide on a colour palette for each room consisting of no more than 3 colours, always stick with a neutral base so you have the flexibility to change your mind. When you’re going round the shop you’ll only buy what you need and what will look good. If you’re out and you see something you like when you weren’t planning on interiors shopping, just stop and visualise where you will put it and if it will look good… just make sure you always keep your receipts.
A big no-no when buying interiors for your home is impulse buys, or buying on a whim! Often I hear of my clients going abroad and spotting something and thinking “oh yes! I’ll buy this” only to get home and realise they have no where to put it. Not only is it a waste of money but your beloved item gets thrown into the basement and adds to the clutter monster that is growing in the depths of your home. Of course, be inspired by your travels! Take inspiration from other cultures and buy ornaments that you love and wonderful hand-made cushions and throws… all I’m saying is…think about where that item is going to go when you get home.
Another thing to contemplate when you’re buying interiors is the quality. Likelihood is, if you buy cheap it will look cheap. Things that are poorly made often look & feel like they are bad quality, 1 cheap looking ornament or piece of furniture can throw an entire room off balance. Your home will be your home forever, invest in it; an £800 chair will last you a life time an £80 chair will last you 2 years if you’re lucky. Comfortable dining chairs are a must and soft and quality beds pillows and linens are an essential. If you invest in your home you’re investing in yourself and your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to stick to brands you know and trust, which is what we do here at NW3 Interiors. We only supply furniture from top-brands who have an established reputation for quality, luxury furniture with iconic and timeless designs.
The client from our “Frognal Apartment’ project are an international couple so it’s tempting to include a plethora of global artefacts. This makes it interesting, just be aware of the balance. Our client was very happy with how we added new items to their home, incorporating their existing items and style whilst adding furniture, curtains, decoration, lighting, tables, bedside tables, lamps, bedroom bench, storage and shelving.
Contact us to see how we can take away the drama and decisions to help you enjoy the process of a harmonious home.
It’s hard enough moving house, let alone country…let alone moving to a new house in a new country with furnishings that just don’t seem to work!
Can you imagine the despair?!
We were approached by a family of 4 living in West Hampstead to help them with their home. They had recently moved from Dubai and had since moved the majority of their belongings over to their new home in Hampstead.
They were lucky enough to enlist the help of NW3 Interiors to get on the case because although we have a our own style we can also adapt like little interior designer chameleons and exert our knowledge onto other styles and interiors.
Walk into this beautiful home…
We started by discussing with the client their style, what they would like and what they would need. One of the main issues for us to solve was to figure out a way to integrate their existing furniture, which was an eclectic mix of middle eastern furnishings with bright colours and eccentric patterns into a period, West Hampstead home. Another one was to utilise a small existing outdoor area and make it a useable and functional space, as well as making it super duper pretty… (always).
Our boldest statement and design solution was to stain the wooden floor almost pure black. This created a beautiful base colour for all of their statement pieces to pop, working in contrast with all of the patterns and colours allowing their stunning pieces to flourish in the space. We continued the black flooring from the front door to the back door and even to an outdoor space, allowing a seamless flow throughout the home. We also replaced the white framed doors in the kitchen with large glass panelled doors with black frames to frame the view of the garden. The doors were to designed to be pushed back and opened up to allow them to connect the garden and the kitchen in the summer time.
We solved the awkward space between the two rooms were also connected by a black wooden flooring that helped to connect the two rooms and created a beautiful little space perfect for a book and a side table, perfect for outdoor reading. We installed bulb lighting that was spread up and across the wall and over-head to create a magical outdoor area. The client is really happy with the service and result, see the review on our Houzz page. If you’re considering changing your home for the better, get in contact here.
In the UK, 58% of properties taken off the housing market this year were withdrawn rather than sold. It’s a confusing time trying to navigate the housing market, especially in areas that are hugely effected by the stamp duty rise, such as Hampstead. For example, Stamp Duty Land Tax for a £2 million home is £153,750. Since selling your house has become increasingly more expensive and difficult, residents are instead choosing to invest in their homes.
Why you should invest in your home
Investing in your home, rather than selling it, has three main benefits.
To save money
Many aspects, including the stamp duty rise, has made it more and more expensive to sell your home and move, especially if you are planning to trade up the housing ladder.
It’s less stressful
In the UK it is now more likely that you will struggle finding a buyer, than successfully selling your home. This can be difficult in itself, not to mention the stress that moving brings if you are in fact successful.
To improve your life at home
Rearranging your rooms can be more convenient for your daily routine, while purchasing additional furniture can help you to relax and unwind from your day.
To fall in love with your home again
Revamping the house and rethinking the space can revitalise how you see your home. It’s easy to get used to your layout and décor, but as your life evolves you can invest in your home to keep up with your changing priorities.
How to fall in love with your home again – ways of revamping
Adding a statement piece
Select statement pieces can be key to helping you relax, by offering either tranquillity, convenience, or both. Great examples to choose from are a comfy lounge chair like our lovely Saarinen Womb Chair by Knoll, a table in that space you’ve always needed one, or a reading light set up in your favourite spot to curl up with a book. These seemingly small improvements can help you enjoy your weekends and improve your ‘me time’.
Re-arrange your rooms
As you and in many cases your family, grow and develop, your needs will change. Undoubtedly, the functions of your house will change alongside this. However, moving home isn’t always the answer – simply changing the rooms themselves may do the trick. For example if your young family is growing up, you could turn the playroom into a dining room, a neglected dining room into an office, the always empty spare room into a gym. Even swapping rooms around as your priorities change: if you’ve started working from home a lot swap your study with a larger room that’s barely used. The possibilities are endless, and the results are fantastic.
Make your garden a room
Don’t forget about outside! No longer simply a space for flowers and a sprinkler, with the right items you can make your garden a fully functioning space. In the summer, it’s easy to make homely by adding outdoor furniture and that all important barbeque. But it doesn’t stop there – there’s a great range of outdoor furniture that will survive the winter months. In addition, outdoor heaters (fire pits) and lighting can create a magical atmosphere.
If you’re thinking of choosing to spend money on improving your lifestyle at home, or to find more ideas on how to invest in your home, head to http://nw3interiorsltd.com/ and get inspired.