Warm and white: comfortable living in a Regency terrace home
- Credit: Archant
Working on a listed property can be tricky, but interior designer Hazel Collins knows just how to transform a period property into the perfect London pied-à-terre
“We combine old and new to create a warm space which people love to live in,” says Hazel Collins, who set up her Hampstead based interior design firm in 2005 after refurbishing her own Grade II listed property.
One of her most recent projects was a complete redesign of an apartment on Nottingham Terrace, one of the beautiful Nash terraces that flank Regent’s Park.
The client was a Canadian family of five who needed a flexible live / work space in London where they could spend their extended visits. As well as serving as a family home the space also needed to afford privacy for work meetings and space for them to indulge their love of cooking and entertaining. The property required a total structural and aesthetic overhaul, and Collins was set a budget of £450,000.
“We all wanted to retain an open plan space while creating private areas,” explains Collins. “We achieved this by installing a huge pocket door to close off the living room and another to close off the kitchen from the entrance when required, giving the clients the flexibility they need.”
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The property hadn’t been updated since the 70s and was very staid and boxy in style, so they moved the staircase and reconfigured the top floor to allow for a more open plan style of living.
Working with a property set in such an iconic piece of architecture came with its own set of challenges. As part of the Crown Estate all building work was tightly monitored and subject to strict limitations.
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The interior was modern and lacking in stand our architectural features, so Collins had to rely on clever design and interesting materials to give the home character.
“For Nottingham Terrace we mixed contemporary design with beautiful old objects,” says Collins, who finds inspiration from scouring London for vintage 20th century finds.
“I love mooching around markets and dealers in places like Lilly Road, Pimlico, Portobello and further afield. I always pick up interesting vintage pieces that I use on projects,” she says.
The client had a penchant for concrete and was keen on using a white palette for the master suite, but elsewhere Collins had free reign to bring her signature warm touches,
“Flashes of colour bring life and contrast to the greys and whites,” says Collins, who used a bright orange to add zest to the guest bedroom, a lush deep purple to give depth to the living room and a gorgeous combination of green marble and a bronze mirror for the guest bathroom.
She also combined contrasting textures, softening the hard finishes of concrete, grey wood, white Corian marble and glass with soft, luxurious fabrics such as velvet, leather and silk.
Adding the glass staircase was the most transformative part of the project, but Collins’ favourite part is the master bedroom.
“It’s so very spacious and it has a wonderful warm feeling, even though everything is white. It turned out to be very cosy and the client loves spending time in her room,” says Collins. “We created a wonderful space.”
Get the Look:
Dining room table and kitchen:
Poliform; 276-278 Kings Road, SW3; poliformuk.com
CP Hart; 103-105 Regent’s Park Road, NW1; cphart.co.uk
Staircase balustrade and glass shower doors:
Glassfit; The Maltings, SG12; glass-fit.com
Design Space London; 126 Wigmore Street, W1U; designspacelondon.com
Minotti, 77 Margaret Street, W1W, minottilondon.com
Fabrics and soft furnishing:
Bruno Triplet and Bart Halpern ; Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, SW10; dcch.co.uk
Curtains and Blinds in London; curtainsandblindsinlondon.co.uk
Parquet Flooring ; 1285a Finchley Road, NW11; parquet-flooring.co.uk