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Home Bird Marylebone, London

I love London, I always have. When I was young I dreamt of living there and I hoped one day to be right in the middle, where it is all happening. I eventually arrived. I found a flat in Marylebone on the top floor of a town house that was rebuilt after war, the views are spectacular including the 18th century Church of St. Marylebone. I bought the cheapest flat on an expensive street.

With the renovation money in the bank, the measured survey of my apartment still sat untouched, as there was always another project that required immediate attention. Each time I glanced at the plans, I just couldn’t see the vision, something I do everyday for others but for myself, I didn’t find it so easy. I decided to create a brief covering how I wanted my to home to look and feel and how it should be laid out and consult with the fabulous team that I work with.

Although the flat has great views and has the perfect east/west aspect, it is quite compact with low ceilings. It would have to work hard to accommodate my lifestyle and belongings and be a haven from a busy life. I wanted the best but didn’t want bling, just intelligent design with just the occasional moment of exuberance. The nearest comparison could be a bespoke suit, elegant but with a rather naughty, slightly lurid lining.

Wanting to take advantage of every square inch I decided to take a look at how the Japanese manage to live well in small spaces. I liked how they can make each room multipurpose by using sliding doors that can be opened to create open plan living or closed to create an intimate space. I decided to let most of it go most of my furniture, here was my chance to start afresh and find pieces that worked for me and look considered.

As I spend most of time there in the evenings I preferred to have a dark, warm atmosphere, a sort of modern gentleman’s club style. I achieved this with the use of oak stained in grey offset with either shiny or white surfaces that pulled light right into the heart of the flat so that the space didn’t look gloomy.

It has taken a while to achieve my dream, living in a beautiful part of London in a lovely apartment but here it is. I do hope it is a useful case study on how compact urban living can be pleasurable and individualist too, especially if you commission an interior designer!

Photo Credit: Juliet Murphy