Kensal Rise 2 | London W10

Bright Scandi Interior with Mid Century Modern Millennial Appeal

Purple Design were engaged by a property developer that we had worked with previously to carry out an interior design and all the furnishings in two of their properties within a mixed use re-development in Kensal Rise, at the top of Ladbroke Grove, which is fast becoming the creative happening hub of the Notting Hill area.

The Reading Rooms is a conversion within a Victorian building of historical significance. The Kensal Rise Library building was opened by Huckleberry Finn author Mark Twain in 1898. It was Ernest Hemingway who said all modern literature comes from Huckleberry Finn, so the library has the added literary significance of that endorsement. The scheme was granted planning permission with a stipulation on retaining the public library on the ground floor and refurbishment of the library for the benefit of the community as part of the scheme. The house was an extension to the original library building, built in the same red brick exterior with paned window frames matching the originals.

Most of the projects Purple Design work on involve an extensive renovation with building works, specialist finishes, joinery, kitchen and bathrooms that take time to achieve, furnishing with bespoke furniture that has taken months to have made and upholstered.

The brief for this project was to design and deliver the interior scheme and furnishings choosing all the furniture and furnishings down to dressing the beds and choosing the artwork and objects. This project had a very quick turnaround – there was no time to have furniture made bespoke – so we had to be resourceful in finding the best quality furniture that could be covered to fit in with our design scheme. Bringing selected iconic vintage pieces into the mix gave this brief the assured finish it needed to stay ahead of the curve and met our tight timings as it meant the furniture was already made.

We furnished the house with a bold mix of Scandi style, exuberant colour, graphic print woollen weave rugs, and retro furniture and objects, with a few serious statement vintage pieces of furniture to anchor the overall feel of the house in a discerning knowledge of movers and shakers among the mid-century designers and makers.

Some of the pieces thrown into the mix of furnishings are so iconic they’ve become second nature to us, but they represent turning points in design.

The classic metal angle-poise Grasshopper floor lamp was designed in 1947 by Greta Grossman, a designer of classic modern designs in 1940s and 1950s – her cobra lamp was exhibited at Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1950. Greta Grossman was influenced by the European modernism movement led by architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as founders of Bauhaus movement.

The desk in the study is a vintage piece with classic mid-century lines, while the desk chair is a 1960s ‘Elbow’ armchair with black leather seat by the Danish designer Erik Kirkegaard – a classic piece of design for those in the know.

The storage cabinet in the study is an original vintage piece of furniture with storage drawers stencilled in type-fonts that will appeal to a graphic designer.

Objects like the retro style alarm clock are a fun pop of colour that interplay with the abstract artworks. Australians Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd of Inaluxe are the creative duo behind artworks of geometric triangles, oblongs, square-ish circles and egg-shaped ovals in tones of olive, ochre, avocado and chalky blue. Their philosophy to be passionate about the creative process sets the ambience in a room.

Artwork by Simon C Page a mathematician turned artist, inspired by Swiss Bauhaus movement, who reduces shape and form to create an abstract minimalism. He creates striking geometric designs and has won awards for science exhibition posters.

The deep-seated sofa in the living room, effortlessly fuses luxurious comfort with clean lines, and the azure blue velvet is a dream combo that sings with the red coffee table and artworks with the vibrant positivity of red gerbera.

The living room has glass doors that open onto a small garden and the sofa is piled with tropical print cushions that draw attention to the plants inside the house and out in the garden. The pouffe seats around the coffee table have a smaller chevron design echoing the chevron flax linen cushions woven on a handloom, and handwoven indigo plant dye rugs on the living room and bedroom floors that pay homage to the graphic patterns of artist Bridget Riley.

The bedroom has the same well-made bed with curved headboard, covered in a grey linen as seen te. Mustard yellow waffle blankets on the bed play to the beautifully designed armchair – the splayed legs keeping in line with the mid-century theme.

The kitchen is set out in the same was as in the loft apartment, with white gloss wall cupboards, white corian worktops and a splashback of urban glass tiles.
We brought in the Flowerpot pendant lights designed by Verner Panton over the counter – this time in coral colour, and the fabulous swivel bar stools based on the iconic 1960s Eiffel chair design by Eileen Gray. The walnut dining table with matchstick angled legs, continues the mid-century style.

The building was already full of character. We added the colour and energy. The house was delivered fully furnished, bursting with colour in the soft furnishings and punchy artworks. The interior design scheme has the fast-paced freshness of Scandi style that is so popular with the youthful millennial image of success, combined with original vintage pieces for added kudos and value.

The property went on the market as soon as the furnishings were complete and generated a lot of interest. It was a successful development with a stampede of interest. The house sold within two days complete with all the furnishings.