Timber accents provide an earthy element that is woven throughout the home
Timber accents provide an earthy element that is woven throughout the home

Champagne chic: London mews house


Set in London’s upmarket Belgravia, not far from Buckingham Palace, this traditional mews house has been given a homely makeover

In an area where houses have an average price tag of £7 million (approximately AU$12.5 million) and with notable personalities such as Roman Abramovich, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joan Collins calling it home, not to mention it being the setting for TV show Upstairs, Downstairs, it’s fair to say Belgravia is a pretty nice place to live.

This Belgravia home, on one of London’s traditional mews (a small street off a larger road traditionally built as stables and accommodation for grooms), is rather special. Originally set over three floors and with an impressive 17,000ft2 area, including two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage, the interior just didn’t live up to expectations.

“The property was lagging behind what is offered in such an affluent area,” says Roselind Wilson, the interior architect charged with the revamp. “It was tired and outdated. Mews houses don’t come anymore expensive to buy anywhere in the world than they do in this part of London. A mews house is always a special project. It comes steeped in character and charm, with compact proportions that make it cosy and quaint.”

Changes to the structural interior layouts, furniture placements, designs of the kitchen, bathrooms, as well as all interior finishes and details including doors, skirtings, joinery, architectural and decorative lighting, the staircase and wall finishes were all part of the plan. The client is a property developer so they wanted it to appeal to the type of buyers likely to be looking in the area.

One of the major changes was to extend the house into the basement; it was to remain a two-bedroom property but over four floors rather than three. The basement was where the new kitchen and dining area would be housed; however, there was one issue: this floor has no windows. To create the illusion that the outdoors is not far away, a wall of fake greenery was installed to great effect.

The living and entertaining areas are on the lower floors, together forming an expansive reception room on the first floor. The master suite runs across the entire top floor and includes an ensuite with Turkish lilac marble and porcelain tiles.

Once the reconfiguration was complete, Roselind’s team, who work in both London and Cape Town, also had a specific idea for the decor. A textured feel with top-quality finishes was the look Roselind went for.

“Materials used are luxurious, textured and defined without being bland. We aimed for a sense of light and warmth; we did not want to go for the cold effect of silver or overstated gold so we opted for a champagne palette to provide a sense of warmth and comfort,” she explains. “This palette was layered through textures in timber and bronze and then echoed through a soft, understated green in leathers and fabrics.

“Bleached floors and textured timbers set against polished and honed marbles with exquisite veining and textured tiles, as well as understated wallpapers, create a subtle sense of glamour. The layers of texture in the finishes allow you to step into the property and feel as though you have been transported to your own sanctuary as it has a wonderful sense of calm.”

In the kitchen, textured timber veneers were chosen for the base cabinetry, with a bespoke battered copper splashback and concrete-effect work surface adding modern touches. Light-stained floors are offset against the dark bronze detailing of the stair handrail as well as the battered bronze of the wall and pendant lights.

Other key features include bespoke joinery, LED lighting and oversized artwork to complement the proportions of the rooms in this most desirable of properties.


Project Details:

  • A hugely desirable and traditional mews house in an exclusive part of London
  • The home has undergone an interior revamp instructed by a developer
  • Reconfiguring the space and matching the interiors to the location were key aims
  • Texture, light and warmth are important features of the finished creation


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Photography by Richard Waite