Designed with its 19th century setting in mind, this live-and-eat-in kitchen sits at the top of a converted Georgian school
London-based interior designer Adam Bray has over 25 years of experience working internationally on residential and commercial projects, and has designed textiles, colour ranges, furniture and lighting for various retailers. His approach to interior design is informed by his background as a former antiques dealer. Nowadays his work stretches from penthouses to terraced houses, or private villas; all composed with an eye for individuality.
In the 1800s Grange Hall was an austere infant’s school where pupils hunched over slates in serried rows, warmed by a single fireplace. When the East London school closed in the 1930s the building slid in to dereliction serving stints as a social club, snooker hall and electrical warehouse. Now, Grange Hall has been restored and converted in to this inviting townhouse (one of nine in the development) where as developer Amit Green puts it: ‘We’ve designed the interior to complement the Georgian architecture. It’s neither a pastiche nor starkly modern.’
The most striking aspect of this three bedroom home is the top floor, where a canopy of restored beams crowns the live-in kitchen. ‘The drama of the roof suggested this upsidedown lay out, with the public space at the top and the cosier bedrooms below,’ says Amit, a trained architect, who collaborated with architects Nissen Richards and interior designer Adam Bray to design the ‘sympathetic’ space where the ceiling soars to a cathedral-like five metres high. The architecture also influenced the choice of kitchen, by British Standard, sister brand of Plain English, known for its elegant, Georgianinfluenced joinery. ‘The typical developer sleek German kitchen would not have fitted. We liked the classical cabinetry; the doors have a wooden frame and the drawers are dovetailed, so there’s lots of attention to detail. The lack of wall units gives the space that freestanding feel of traditional furniture,’ says Amit.
There are nods to the heritage of the setting, with units painted on site and in a British racing green. ‘The colour varies in the light from a blackish to deep green,’ says Amit. Chunky Carrara marble worktops with generous splashbacks offset the gleaming Britannia range chosen to ‘echo the freestanding feel of the kitchen’, and attention to detail also stretches to the lighting. Instead of downlights, solid wall fitting cast golden pools of light. Above, uplights perch on the beams illuminating this home’s greatest asset, the architecture.
Photos by Alexis Hamilton
Article by: Serena Fokschaner