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Christine May Lewsey Christine May Interior Design

Apartment for Professional Couple, Limehouse

This previously dreary flat situated in a 10-year-old block overlooking the River Thames, had been used as a rental property. The new owners had been living there for two years whilst trying to decide how to make it homely. We met at Grand Designs Live where I was an ‘expert’ giving advice to dozens of people looking for varying degrees of help with their homes. 

‘She’, a semi-professional cook, wanted an open plan kitchen with a larder plus a space where she could store her recipe books and work at her laptop. Structural walls and budget constraints prevented us from making the room entirely open plan but we cut back the walls and opened the existing hatch as far as we could. We added a glass bar to the hatch and had a bespoke wine rack made in walnut to match the new floor and existing table and chairs. The kitchen is bespoke and made by a local company, who also made a pin board for the client to display her collection of champagne corks. The client’s favourite colours are greens and browns; we added pops of orange to brighten the autumnal tones.

The gas boiler was situated in a wardrobe in the master bedroom, taking up valuable hanging space. After performing a cost analysis, our solution was to change the boiler for a much smaller, but much more efficient, electric boiler, which we hid in the large cupboard in the internal entrance hall. Still more wardrobe space was needed so we ‘stole’ about 800mm depth from the adjoining guest bathroom, which enabled us to install another double wardrobe in the alcove we had created.

Although the guest bathroom is now considerably smaller, our clients still wanted a bathtub as well as a shower and extra storage. We persuaded them to have a shower over the bath and we found a tub, which narrowed at one end so that we could fit in a vanity unit, giving them the additional bathroom storage they needed.

‘His’ study doubles as a guest bedroom; the sofa bed provides somewhere to sit back and read whilst the bespoke limed oak furniture provides all the work surface and storage required.

Total cost including contractors, bespoke joinery, kitchen, bathroom fittings and soft furnishings approximately £125,000.00

We designed a lighting scheme that allows each area to be ‘zoned’.

We designed a lighting scheme that allows each area to be ‘zoned’.

The clients have personalised each room with their favourite family pictures and decorative items.

The clients have personalised each room with their favourite family pictures and decorative items.

A larder was created at the end of the wedge-shaped kitchen. As well as storage there is an additional well-lit work surface.

A larder was created at the end of the wedge-shaped kitchen. As well as storage there is an additional well-lit work surface.

The scheme in the master bedroom reflects the clients’ preference for simplicity.

The scheme in the master bedroom reflects the clients’ preference for simplicity.

The en suite is clad in a mix of limestone and mosaic. Orange accents are a feature of all the rooms in the flat.

The en suite is clad in a mix of limestone and mosaic. Orange accents are a feature of all the rooms in the flat.

The study has bespoke limed oak fitted furniture. The sofa becomes a double bed for guests.

The study has bespoke limed oak fitted furniture. The sofa becomes a double bed for guests.