Interiors: A passion for restoration in Primrose Hill
- Credit: Archant
An offshoot of a thriving architectural interiors firm, Primrose Interiors was formed in December last year as a standalone business to provide furnishings and furniture for domestic spaces.
The original business was formed 25 years ago, offering refurbishments to houses. Founder and director Sean Gould realised that his clients were increasingly keen to continue working with the same company to provide their sofas, lighting and other decorative needs. They will even create marine tanks for clients, and the showroom displays a jelly fish tank integrated in a shower room.
As well as four in-house designers who work from the showroom on Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Interiors have a team of specialists they work with for various projects.
They create bespoke joinery for clients, either from scratch, or copied from original pieces.
Alternatively, for clients who love the special patina of age, interior designer Hélène Théodoly says that they often maintain a long term relationship with clients who may hanker after specific vintage or antique pieces that the company will source for them months after the original project was completed.
Based in Primrose Hill, with the majority of their clients’ houses nearby, it is unsurprising that a significant area of expertise built up by the company involves the sensitive integration of old and new, based on an understanding that for old houses, components can’t be factory made but need to be bespoke.
Théodoly said: “I often get asked about mixing old and new, which is a recurrent and popular theme. There are many ways of approaching this but what I get passionate about, is a project where the owner wants to lovingly and painstakingly restore the originality of their individual flat or house. Of course while integrating all the modern technology (sound, image, lighting, security). But fundamentally preserving the old, using today’s technology to make it last another 200 years and not let it be lost.”
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One of the most complex of these preservation projects the firm have undertaken recently involved the restoration of an 1865 house in Belsize Park.
“Particularly striking was an original cantilevered staircase, with its iron rail and Portland stone steps, the only one in the street of similar houses still preserved,” says Théodoly. “We can reproduce an entire cantilevered modern staircase of course, making new is not a problem at a price, but it would look perfect, the Portland stone steps would be perfectly flat and the edges perfectly square, the railings sparkling new and there would be no patina on the wooden banister.
“Instead we restored the old, removed 2 steps that had a hairline fracture due to the heavy traffic of today’s houses compared to 1865, custom built 2 steps to match, had a specialist cut them further on site to make them fit the old imperfect space – all very labour intensive – and supported it all by a glass panel as per an engineer’s calculation with his guarantee that the stairs will last another 200 years and beyond. The result is priceless, something that money cannot buy in a shop.”