The streets of east London can be a loud, vibrant assault on the senses, but this Victorian house in the heart of Clapton possesses almost monastic levels of serenity. It’s surprising, then, to learn that it’s a home born out of countless conversations and creative collaborations.
Bought back in 2014 by Ed and Reema Stanbury – the couple behind trendy workout spaces Blok Gyms – the house was unloved and unlovely, with shabby 1970s wallpaper and dodgy carpets. Busy growing their business and with little time for domestic renovations, Ed and Reema put the project in the hands of design studio Daytrip’s founders Emily Potter and Iwan Halstead, who they had worked with on commercial projects. ‘They trusted us to do what we felt was right, so we had an open brief,’ explains Iwan. ‘It was our first residential project so we wanted it to sum up our style: simple and serene, full of natural light and considered materials.’
Extending into both the cellar and the attic was the first job. There are now five floors, with the kitchen moved to the lower-ground level to create a new living space that opens onto the garden and is kept cosy in winter by a wood-burning stove. The materials used are all important, with the limewash plaster walls, softly polished concrete floors, marble and Douglas fir timber chosen, in Iwan’s words, ‘to bring a sense of softness to the house’. ‘They interact with shafts of daylight from the skylights and will develop a patina with age,’ he adds. Likewise, a tonal palette of whites and creams helps to make the old and new parts of the house sit seamlessly together.
Already fans of Sophie Pearce and her London design store Béton Brut, Emily and Iwan asked her to create a scheme of furnishings that would complement their pale and interesting interior. ‘It was a happy alignment of tastes and visions,’ says Sophie, who describes her approach as ‘using lighting and furniture to elevate interiors to a higher art form, imbuing them with sculptural qualities’. It’s an ethos that is especially visible in this home. ‘By keeping the aesthetic minimal we’ve created a retreat-like place of calm,’ she adds.
A large part of that feeling of calm must also be credited to the collection of art on display. For this, Sophie turned to stylist Laura Fulmine and her new company M.A.H (Modern Art Hire). Her mostly abstract pieces pick up on the tranquil colours of the interior, raising them to more than the sum of their parts.
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration January 2020
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