These two Interiors experts turned a new-build SE1 bachelor pad into a home and it’s Amazing
Think property developments are boring? Allow Jessica Gibbons and Kat Turner from London interior designer practice Field Day to change your mind.
This two-bedroom penthouse in SE1 offers plenty of ideas on how to transform dull “generic” spaces into something startling — indeed, even the surfaces of this urban home have become a big talking point.
Home to a City trader, the bachelor pad is in The Chroma Buildings, the award-winning boutique scheme built on the site of the old Colorama photographic warehouse. From here, the owner can walk to work.
He bought the penthouse when the warehouse was redeveloped, drawn by the apartment’s huge outdoor space of 1,000sq ft — the same size as the flat’s interior.
He says: “I’d been looking for years for a low-rise apartment with outside space in the area but they simply don’t exist. I paid the reservation fee for this flat at the launch event as soon as it was available, subject to a site visit the next day.”
The 50/50 floor plan reflects the importance developers are attaching to creating enticing outdoor space. In 2015, the owner commissioned Field Day to work on the transformation and from the beginning the pair and their client formed a collaborative team. Says Kat: “When someone is looking to appoint an architect or designer, it’s a priority to have a good chemistry.
What it cost
Purchase of flat in 2015: £1,155,000
Works by Field Day and Barton
Interiors, excluding fees: £60,000
“A fan of the London look — minimal, masculine with lots of soft texture to offset the clean lines — the owner’s brief was to step up the universal fit-out with lots of character that would make it his own. And he wanted to impress. He was happy to push the boat out with statement features, which is music to our ears.”
As the layout was already set, the impact had to come from the surfaces. Barbican-inspired concrete walls inject a brutalist feel in the living area, but one wall has a mosaic of white porcelain and copper tiles, adding impact to the space. In the bedrooms, a copper-tinted mirror reflects light and a wall of fluted oak panels casts lovely shadows. Each room makes the most of natural light.
Starting with the lighting, the designers added to the existing scheme. They kept a couple of spots already on the grid system but layered things up with pendants that draw the eye to specific areas.
As well as showing off the materials on the walls, perimeter lighting creates the illusion of extra space. “This was the first step in creating more atmosphere. If the lighting is good, everything looks better.”
The oak-panelled wall in the bedroom was made by a fabricating company called SETWO, who, the women say, is able to make almost anything you can dream up. French company Panbeton installed the concrete walls and the copper-tinted mirror is by The Wholesale Glass Co.
Polished copper adds depth as well as warmth to the neutral colour scheme but it is the concrete walls that most transform the space, lending a raw, industrial aesthetic that suits the urban vibe.
Thoughtful, customised lighting, quality materials and handcrafted details make this property unique. This flat is full of creative ideas that have turned it into the owner’s ideal home.
JESSICA AND KAT’S TIPS TO ADD CHARACTER TO NEW BUILD
- Think about windows. Avoid the “black glass effect” at night by lighting beyond, even from a window box. Or soften the space with a wave curtain.
- Maximise space by using the same colour palette and materials throughout.
- Light the perimeters of a room, highlighting wall features and artwork, to expand space. Add corner lamps for an ambient glow.
- Don’t overlook bedlinen. A duvet can be a design statement when layered up with neutrals in different fabrics or a bold-patterned bedspread.