A townhouse reimagined into a contemporary haven with soul

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Rick Mccullagh

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Calm and inviting, the formal living room is light filled; thanks to ceiling casement windows set in warm hardwood frames

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To maximize the kitchen, a large bespoke banquette sits across designed for casual dining.

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The open plan kitchen is modern and sleek with marble splash-backs. A glossy island is a stunning addition.

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Bespoke seating forms the main dining niche in the kitchen. The walls features the owners' art collection.

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The children bedroom features a bespoke bed with den in fire-engine red for endless playtime.

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Another bedroom features a white-on-white aesthetics with a bubble chair lending a fun jolt of vivid colour.

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The master bedroom on the fifth floor is packed with functional space to accommodate a generous closet and bathroom.

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The master bathroom features "His" and "Hers" sink, marble walls and pared back vanity counter for efficient cleansing routines.

Living in a community centered terraced property is more than reconfiguring a space to suit a growing family.The 7-storey townhouse in Highgate, London underwent a total redesign and refurbishment by the LLI Design team. The project is a Winner in the Interior Design, London category in the UK Property Awards 2017 / 18.

As modern enthusiasts, the owners wanted to create a new environment. However they were concerned that contemporary design could be cold and impersonal. The brief was to create a modern family home with a feeling of warmth and soul. The key to the overall success of the design was to re-think the dynamics of all the spaces and change the existing layouts to provide a design and flow which responded to their brief.

Another pre-requisite is to incorporate the owners' large collection of vintage travel posters into the new design which formed the starting point for the design and formed a strong graphic backdrop to the overall aesthetic.



Although the house was 3500 sq. ft in floor space, with generous room sizes, it is vertically inclined with each room oddly situated on a half-landing with a central core staircase connecting them. Overall, the rooms seemed disconnected from each other without flow or relationship between them. The staircase and hallways were poorly lit and had a gloomy feel.

The design revolved around redefining the interior spaces. Light was brought back into the staircase, by adding extra skylights on the top floor and also adding a floor-to-ceiling window on the third floor half-landing.

Instead of replacing the existing staircase, the current structure was stripped back, re-clad in a greyed oak and re-fitted with a bespoke spindle, banister rail and newel posts, to be in keeping with the new warm contemporary aesthetic.

Other than the ground floor which was updated into an office cum guest room, all the upper floors were given spatial reconfigurations.


First Floor

Originally the kitchen was located on the second floor which was impractical as the heart of the home. The kitchen was relocated to the first floor at the rear of the property which had existing access to the terrace and garden by way of two pairs of French doors in a masonry wall. The opening flood the space with natural light and visually connecting it with the garden.

Full height sliding doors set in varnished hardwood frames were installed, creating a light and airy kitchen with a great view and direct access to the terrace and garden.


Second Floor

Formerly the kitchen but now reconfigured with a larger landing at the top of the stairs to serve as a generous-sized utility room, a gym and a family TV room.

The utility room featured bespoke joinery units to accommodate an airing cupboard, washing machine and dryer. The high level utility room joinery units where white matt lacquer and the low-level units were midnight blue with a white composite worktop. These clean lines were set against a feature wall of Cole & Son Fornasetti "Clouds" wallpaper.

The TV Room featured a bespoke illuminated TV wall cabinet with numerous cupboards and alcoves for displaying items and accessories.


Third Floor

The existing French windows and Juliette balcony over the terrace below were replaced with floor to ceiling casement windows set in varnished hardwood frames to create a welcoming, calming and formal living room. Bespoke storage and display units were designed for either side of the fireplace incorporating a decorative log store feature.


Fourth Floor

Two Bedrooms and accompanying ensuite bathrooms were redesigned as spaces personal to the family's children. In one bedroom, a bespoke fun mid-height bed unit was designed with storage shelves to be used as steps up to the bed; and with a den underneath the bed with sliding doors and an illuminated typographic "S" inside.

Another bedroom was designed to incorporate a secret space to hang out with friends. A bespoke joinery unit was designed; which when opened contained a chest of drawers upon which there is an upholstered seating area.


Fifth Floor

The master suite on this floor was reconfigured to become a smaller but better proportioned bedroom, a luxurious bathroom suite and a bespoke dressing room.


Sixth Floor

On the sixth floor, the fourth bedroom was redesigned to create an exciting environment with a bespoke bed which incorporated illuminated display alcoves.

By changing the dynamics of the spaces LLI Design not only maximized the available space, but completely changed the mood and dynamics of the property creating a contemporary, colourful, warm and inviting home. Moving upwards, one cannot help but feel harmonious with each floor having its own character.


LLI Design,