New House in Berkshire I
When architect, Gregory Phillips and his family bought a semi detached house 8 years he didn't realise that the house would become a laboratory for ideas that he would use on some of the most glamorous houses in England. Gregory Phillips Architects has won national and international awards for both the interior design of houses and the architecture. He designs new houses and substantial extensions and refurbishments. His clients include many from’ the rich list’ and many are leaders in their fields in the world of finance, technology, property and sport as well as entrepreneurs. He does also work on more modest projects that offer interest and excitement to the office. Working on his own house over 8 years has allowed him to make sure his ideas and products that he uses work well and to ensure that he understands how houses have to accommodate the changing needs of a family. He has also developed his own tastes and the upgrades to the house mirror the increase in expectation that his clients have demonstrated over the last 8 years. The house he bought was at first glance a very ordinary metropolitan style semi detached 30s house. It had been left in a poor state and had an extremely ugly rear extension that looked more like a portakabin than a house. ( you have the image) Over 8 years Gregory carried out several distinct projects as and when funds were available and when the family's needs changed. Gregory advises his clients to carry out the work at one time, it's easier for them that way as Gregory can take care of all their needs, he is both a members of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Institute of Interior Design. His office designs the architecture, interiors and landscape, offering a total solution¹ where clients wish. However on his own house, he extended the level of control and also project managed the works sourcing the labour and all materials. He would not advise you do this at (your) home!
In the first six months after the purchase, the wiring was replaced and plumbing upgraded. Walls and ceilings were plastered. Gregory says this phase was necessary just to make the house safe and liveable. Whilst this was happening, planning consent was achieved for the future ground floor and roof extensions to the house. Then after a year, the major project was carried out whereby the house was extended, the garage converted to be part of the house and the kitchen and bathrooms were replaced. The house was decorated and furnished with Gregory's favourite pieces. After this the house started winning awards and gaining acclaim. Including (see website for details)
People loved the house because of the extensive use of glass, the inside/outside experience. Truly a modern house hidden behind a standard 30s semi. (See articles on web site).
Then after a gap of 4 years, gregory decided that with his youngest daughter now 10 years old, that he and his wife would enjoy a luxury bedroom suite on their own floor, so a roof conversion that included a spectacular balcony with views of the garden was in order. The project included a bedroom with beautiful whitened ash flooring and straight grain stained grey oak cabinetry, all to Gregorys specification. There is a dedicated dressing room area with shelves for Sara¹s shoe collection, ever women¹s dream? Then their is the marble ensuite bathroom with free standing bath, steam room shower (with built in sound system), all with views of the trees. Ample storage is provided a there is even a ‘man cave¹ and loft spaces for extra storage. The bedroom is set up with a home cinema audio/visual system, lutron lighting giving mood settings and with the balcony, it truly gives you everything a main bedroom needs. The new top floor illustrated Gregorys growing love of exquisite finishes and craftsmanship, something he likes to provide for his clients.
Following on from this, in the next stages of work, gregory upgraded the front garden and continued with developing the rear garden , one of his passions and an on going project since 2007. What he did to the front garden involved, upgrading the yorkstone paving, a new resin bonded gravel drive, new planting including 3 dramatic. Quercus Ilex trees adjacent to the garden entrance path and beautiful planting. The rear garden evolved as follows..initially when the extension was added to the house, Gregory redesigned the garden adding 7 bleached beech trees, hedging and a stunning assortment of plants, bulbs and grasses. However more recently a yorkstone path and a new lawn with drainage has been added. Gregory has formalised the garden into external rooms¹ with the most emphasis on the room most visible from the house. Always keeping in mind the painterly view that there should be a near view, mid view and long perspective. Gregory says ‘if you have a lot of glass, you need a fantastic view" Gregory's work always incorporates internal spaces that enjoy the exterior spaces.
Gregory has a different approach to many other architects and designers. Some consider big ideas. Many designers concentrate on making objects, some can achieve high levels of craftsmanship, some consider energy conservation. There are those that can select furniture but need help on the bigger picture. Gregory considers the project in a holistic manner. For him it is about lifestyle, comfort and all of the above. It is not a linear process but iterative and his experience building houses for himself and others is funnelled into every new project.
He views the house as a sanctuary as well as support for your lifestyle. Gregory and his wife have always been followers of the contemporary art world. Indeed Sara worked at the Royal Academy. Gregory has designed several commercial art galleries in London and has worked for art collectors. So the house incorporates modern art that they have bought and inherited from family, including Sara¹s grandmother Tania Gordon who painted vibrant canvasses with the use of thick oil paint. However, Gregory has also added to the collection with his own paintings. Which include large abstract paintings and some figurative work.
The house has accommodated large parties from friends, teenage parties, regular family dinners, children¹s sleep overs as well as life drawing classes which Gregory organises, local community talks and meetings. People also use the house for photoshoots.
Gregory has found that over the last 8 years his clients expectations for their houses have risen. Everybody wants a high level of luxury and most of his clients have stayed in fantastic hotels around the world and want to replicate the luxury. However they want to create a home that is bespoke for them. Gregory’s office is situated in Savile Row, so combined with his approach to design, Gregory knows how to provide bespoke houses and aims to replicate and surpass the level of service obtained when you have a bespoke suite made.
However if you ask Gregory has he finished, he will say, no, I still have a few more projects in the house up my sleeve and then I will think about, one day, building a new house.
Muswell Hill Exterior View
Muswell Hill Family Room
Muswell Hill Sofa-Bookcase
Muswell Hill Bookcase
Muswell Hill Bedroom
Muswell Hill Bathroom