Black & White House



Client: Private
Budget: N/A
Location: Islington
Status: Completed, 2023

Photography: Mariell Lind Hansen

A simple, minimal canvas to house and showcase a collection of classic, sometimes quite colourful, collection of mid century furniture and objects.

Black & White House is a mid terrace listed house in the Canonbury conservation area of Islington. Our client, a professional couple, wanted to make modifications to the interior layout and flow to better suit their lifestyle which includes working from home and entertaining friends, including overseas visitors that could stay with them as guests. The house was unmodernised in decades and required comprehensive refurbishment throughout.

One of the main challenges was to balance heritage related requirements and restrictions that come with a listed building, whilst addressing our client’s desire to modernise. Time was also a complicating factor, with our client moving back to London after a period of living and working in New York and needing a particularly fast paced programme. Design development largely occurred with client and design team on separate continents.

Our priority was to focus on a new improved internal layout and associated details so that an application for listed building consent could be made ASAP, paving the way for detail design and on to site.

As designers themselves, the client has amassed a collection of mid-century furniture and objects they’d be bringing back with them. The idea of The ‘Black & White House’ emerged as a guiding principle toward the creation of a blank canvas to house and showcase their collection of sometimes quite colourful pieces. Neutral colour and minimal detailing would be employed throughout.

A range of reasonably well preserved historic features (cornicing, ceiling roses, handrails etc) contribute to the house’s unique character. These are juxtaposed with contemporary finishes, fixtures & fittings, joinery detailing and bathroom designs (and kitchen  by others) and our client’s mid century furniture.

This juxtaposition of contemporary elements with original historic features makes for an end product that is warm, soulful and distinct.


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