It’s always a big decision when decorating a period property how much the interior should reflect the age of the building. Should you choose classic designs that are in keeping with the home’s era or does contemporary décor provide a more forward-thinking alternative for today’s lifestyle? And how can you successfully combine the two?
More related content:
- Modern bedroom design for a Qatari new-build villa
- Shutters and minimalist design from a full house renovation
- Neutral colours and a mountain range mural for a baby’s nursery
This apartment at Islington Square opts for the best of both worlds; it sits inside a restored sorting office, which is one of three main buildings surrounding a square hailed as London’s new Covent Garden, including a new-build with a grand Edwardian facade and a striking new curvaceous design.
The property in a nutshell:
Designer: Jaki Amos, co-founder and design director of Amos and Amos
Style: Contemporary luxury with historically inspired details (bedroom) and an industrial-styled bathroom
Design feature: High ceilings, large original windows and heritage colours are complemented by plush fabric finishes in the master bedroom, while the master ensuite boasts a striking utilitarian look
“The idea of ‘three sitting architecturally as one family’ is a theme that is picked up on throughout this apartment’s interior,” says designer Jaki Amos who created the schemes. “For example, there are interlinking triple mirrors above the bed, which come together as one statement piece,” she adds.
The master bedroom also boasts a generously sized bespoke wardrobe, and there are handles that emulate a detail found on the Edwardian fittings left in the mail centre. The bed doesn’t feel dwarfed in the room either with thanks largely to a 2.4m wide headboard, which is also made up of three luxuriously padded panels.
In the adjoining ensuite, the feel is distinctly industrial, with metro-style wall tiles inspired by ones used in the original stairways and smart black brassware.
The finish is seamlessly carried through on to the trio of heated towel rails, custom-made shower enclosure and bespoke mirrored cabinet above the WC. “We love the master ensuite with its wall-to-wall mirror behind the bath, which really opens up the room,” says Jaki.
She continues, “It’s reminiscent of a boutique hotel suite and fits the brief perfectly for creating a luxury space for modern living that is sympathetic to the Edwardian building without being a pastiche.”
Jaki’s favourite design element is the brass detailing that runs throughout; from the wardrobe handles and electric fascias to the lamps and taps specified in the kitchen and second bathroom. “These are reminiscent of the Royal Mail crest that appears on all of the original Post Office’s branding,” she explains, “and although it took a very long time to find gold tap finishes that would stand up to the specification criteria, we were committed to getting every detail exactly right in creating the perfect bedroom and ensuite.”
We ask Jaki some more intricate questions and glean her expert advise.
Why the oversized headboard?
We love our headboards, they really define a bedroom. I think in bedroom design generally if you choose large, statement items, they can actually open up a space. There’s usually only one wall left after wardrobes, windows and door so we like to do something really bold with the space and for us headboards are the feature.
How did you select the wall colour?
We opted for a Farrow & Ball paint as this limits colours to a historical selection, and chose green as it’s on-trend and neither too trendily scary nor too safe.
And the wooden flooring?
We wanted a wider plank than the standard 180mm and chose this desaturated finish to open the space up. It’s a white oiled oak that has a slight grey tone to it and it won’t yellow over time.
How did you link the bedroom and ensuite?
I try to stay away from everything matching; each room has its own identity and as one they all come together to tell a story.
What helped you to devise the bedroom layout?
Besides maximising natural light into the room, the layout was heavily dictated by the Lifetime Homes design criteria that provide a model for building accessible and adaptable homes. There is a long list of constraints to adhere to such as walkway distances and areas free under sinks for wheelchairs.