From the outside, you might not be inclined to think that this terrace townhouse could be host to such innovative and contemporary design within its walls, but you should never judge a book by its cover. This residential house in Highgate, London has been re-designed by architecture and interior design firmTG-Studio . Originally conceived by architects Ted Levy, Benjamin & Partners, this structure is a typical example of a London townhouse circa 1960s. It now has a much more up-to-date story to tell – a story that plays ingeniously with light, reflection, and sense of scale.
TG Studio sought to leave the outside of this 60s townhouse looking identical to those of its neighbors. From this initial glance, you'd expect to see a rather traditional assortment of furniture and rooms within: a neutral-toned interior punctuated with woven rugs, antique lamps, average ceilings, your usual array of family pictures, etc. However, the interior of the home is a complete contrast to this 1960s facade.
It's a far cry from the yellowed, time-tested floral wallpaper that you'd be expecting in a 1960's townhouse, that's for sure! This kitchen is stunning and sleek, with light flooding through the large window and bouncing off the shiny surfaces of the countertops. Thin kitchen features both contemporary and traditional design – notice how the sink is placed in front of the kitchen window, a very customary layout that speaks to years of tradition, and how the sleek cabinetry gains modern momentum from their handle-less faces – a more contemporary element.
Right next to the stunning white kitchen, you can see an equally stunning white table with matching chairs. The yellow legs add a central focal point of colour, linking your gaze to the interesting, oversized pencil propped up in the corner. This is the first hint of the playfulness to come – these designers love to play with scale, and the oversize pencil is a great example of how they've taken a small object and made it a large, intriguing conversation piece that ties the room together.
The bathroom maintains a classic, simple look in a traditionally tiny space, but the bright white found absolutely everywhere gives it a fresh, pure look. A niche has been added, housing (appropriately) white ceramic vases and adding a unique point of interest in the room – beyond playing with scale, it's obvious that these designers like to play with depth, and this unexpected niche is a great example of this tendency.
Here, the designers have unleashed their wild sense of scale with this apparently miniature living room. What makes the marshmallow-white couch and ottoman seem so tiny? Why, the standing lamp that looks like it was taking from a college student's dorm room desk and magnified to be ten times its original size. In an otherwise symmetrical, plain, and square space, this statement lamp proves that one element alone is enough to give an entire room a unique personality (However, its placement next to the large window is rather intriguing; it seems it might be better suited on the side of the room that's farther from the window, as the window already seems to provide plenty of bright light).
The entire interior of the home has been gutted – what was once a typical, vertically oriented home with one level stacked upon the another, this new design features a split layout that keeps things feeling friendly and connected despite being separate spaces in a narrow, vertical structure. Here, you can see the dining room in the middle, with a bedroom visible above and the living room below – a nice arrangement that turns the kitchen into a convenient central point (and there's more on these eye-catching stairs later!).
Speaking of depth, just have a look at this statement staircase! Opening up this vertical staircase – instead of enclosing it between walls – was by far the smartest move in this design project. The designers have taken advantage of the home's vertically oriented nature – having gutted the entire interior, a central staircase has been installed in order to connect the open plan home, not only physically, but visually as well. From this view, you can see the complex series of stacked, mezzanine floors allowing the entire body of the home to converge at a central, twisting spine. This home must benefit from excellent air circulation, thanks to this staircase!
A playful poster is reflected in the transparent railing of the stairs in a view that plays with your senses, not unlike an optical illusion. This staircase offers a wealth of interesting perspectives with nothing more than a smooth white pallet, transparent railings, and light wooden rungs.
A view looking down at the staircase shows how the design plays with depth, once again showcasing the beauty of this staircase's simple – yet captivating – design.
Here, on the top floor, a skylight lets light down into the room, and a large, leaning mirror reflects the light across into the covered space off to the right. A clever way to get natural light into a windowless space!
White prevails once again in this bright master bedroom! The floor in this room also offers a highly reflective surface, creating all the more light in this already well-lit space. A wall-mounted TV is visible from the rolling chair, but not from the bed, a good design if you're trying to avoid watching too much TV before bed.
A stack of large books alludes to the more antique nature of the home, as does the traditional shape of the armchair beside it – the only difference is that this chair has been given a modern makeover in pure white.
This room has the same size of a traditional children's bedroom – enough space to sleep in, but not much more (kids should spend more of their time outdoors, right?). However, the colour scheme has kept things light, with playful bursts of bright colours throughout. In addition, the parallel orientation of the bed and the shelf help direct your gaze to the window, visually lengthening the space (and drawing your eye to the great outdoors, the ultimate children's room!).
If you enjoyed the sleek, modern look of this family home, you might enjoy a tour of a Mexican home featuring stunning yet simple design.