The beautiful vista from Sue and David Black’s newly transformed ensuite bedroom in North London played a major role in their property purchase.
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“When we first moved into this five-bedroom mock Georgian house 15 years ago, we barely looked inside,” says Sue. “We just knew we could make it amazing as long as we had the view of the fields and beyond,” she adds.
Here’s how they fixed it up.
The project in a nutshell:
The property: A five bedroom ‘mock’ Georgian house in North London
Who lives here? Sue and David Black and their two boys
The designer: Ana Martins, co-owner at Martins Camisuli Architects
Having converted the loft to include a new bedroom and bathroom when they first moved in, it wasn’t until 10 years later that the couple were finally able to embark on a project to make the interior design as stunning as its view.
“When we first converted the loft we weren’t allowed to put in a dormer – instead we had to make do with standard windows,” explains Sue.
“When we finally managed to get permission to install full floor-to-ceiling windows, we decided to completely transform the room into one large open-plan space,” she says.
To help with the new design, Martins Camisuli Architects were brought on board. The company created the new open-plan layout and extended the front-pitch roof to add height in the loft. “I saw some of Martins Camisuli’s work online and liked the look of it,” says Sue.
She adds: “It’s contemporary yet eclectic and they have a love for natural materials, which we have always favoured.
“We love the mid-century modern look and I wanted to find a designer who could incorporate a touch of that here.”
Now, the new scheme has a sophisticated palette, with wood, white, glass and metal finishes combining beautifully to make a stunning style statement.
The open-plan area is clearly defined into stylish ‘zones’, with a statement bath taking pride of place by the window. A wooden-clad shower and WC ‘pod’ bridges the gap between the bath area and bedroom and there’s also a separate dressing area to the side of the master bed.
“We were desperate for a bedroom that has privacy as we had been sharing a floor with our two teenage boys and they always seemed to gravitate to our room,” explains Sue.
“I never had peace and quiet, so I was determined to create a new space here that felt like a sanctuary away from the hubbub of everyday life,” she says.
Although the crittal windows stretched their budget, Sue feels that installing them was the best decision they could have made. “They have transformed the space like no other window style could have done,” she says, “and they frame the view so beautifully that I’m still blown away every time I walk into the room.
“We chose black fixtures such as the radiator, taps and lights to complement the finish of the window frames, which I think really works.”
The couple are delighted with the results and particularly love the smooth Sapele veneer wood used to house the WC and shower. “I think the pod in the middle of the room adds an air of luxury,” says Sue.
“The veneer is so beautiful and tactile and it warms the room, creating a hotel vibe that we simply adore,” she says.
We speak to Ana Martins of Martins Camisuli Architects, to hear what she has to say.
What was the brief and how did you go about fulfilling it?
The house had been re-built over the past 10+ years and we were asked to redesign the loft to create a new master bedroom with a bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. We started by thinking of the practical things that needed to be incorporated, such as a bed, bath, shower, his wardrobe, her wardrobe and so on, and then thought about the overall feel.
We wanted to maximise the light in the room and to use eye-catching materials such as the wood and glass. Spaces need to reflect the character of those living there so it was important that the owners were involved in the process from start to finish.
Tell us about the open-plan layout and how it works…
Certain elements were requested by the owners, such as the bath, so we made this a feature of the open-plan space – they had a clear vision of relaxing in it whilst enjoying the view of the surrounding landscape. The pods for the shower, WC and wardrobes were our idea as they discreetly hide functional spaces without being overpowering.
We decided on a glossy and tactile timber cladding as this gives the room a somewhat nautical feel and provides a lot of space, light and luxury. A combination of windows and good extractors controls the humidity levels throughout.