NEW WEB SITE - old location

We have had a busy time of it lately with creating a new website. A full remake of the site with added extras, very nearly finished! 

Whilst not everything we have ever done (understandably) has entered the website, we hope you like some of the offerings within. 


Sneak preview-




Portabello Restaurant Bar and Grill

Portabello Restaurant and Bar on South Parade in Oxford's Summertown.

We were asked to assist with refurbishing this extremely popular premises, working with the owner to develop his aesthetic vision for the transformation, we provided design advice and working solutions throughout the process. The turnaround refit was 12 days in total which was achieved for a re-launch just before Christmas.

The general concept was to marry elements of Victorian charm and contemporary Soho house chic to give a warm, harmonised functional and aesthetic space, close, expansive, crisp and bright, and create a space to reflect their reputation for quality, providing a fitting backdrop for their renowned menu.



Particular attention was drawn to the need for less intrusive lighting whilst promoting a real sparkle. Ceiling spotlights were inset to help reduce glare and all lighting was placed on dimmers. The pendent lighting which we used as a subtle signature piece we dotted around the bar and over the seating to the right of the bar are from Northern lighting based in Sweden.

Beautiful cast bronze wall lights with an innovative cold cathode Carat squirrel cage bulbs (a breakthrough invention as alternative to the traditional energy inefficient incandescent version) are by renowned Belgian lighting company Tekna.

The entrance welcomes with its victorian patterned tiles which make an immediate statement - creates a greater sense of space and has attitude. At the entrance we also included lots of antique mirror work vertical and horizontal with borders of moulding, and moulded panel work used repeatedly throughout to add texture and a version of gentleman's club warmth. This can be seen quite clearly in the inky green snug area to the left of the bar. 


As the space when you enter seems to divide into halves we intentionally made the decision to work with some of the through bar views and using mirror where necessary to give reflection of other spaces and angles that gives a better and useful sense of wholeness. 



The tanned, distressed leather banquet seating was existing and became a strong
player in the colour dynamics of the space. The rich blue green holds its own and relates the strong victorian aesthetic element perfectly. 








The beautiful blown glass pendents travel down the line of the banquet seating. Close to the bar we designed and produced a wine storage/display cabinet painted in a very dark blue with integrated LED lighting that highlights the space with a level of sweet shop visual treat.


A waiter and serving station was created in panelled woodwork with Carrara marble, which made the link between guest and food deliberately close. Clean white marble tops and a mosaiced pattern slip glazed metro tiles to the wall, add a playful charm. They also highlight the scale of the room, bringing the front and rear into view at the same time and giving each of these spaces equal status.




This project was an absolutely pleasure to work on, and has been a hit - with even the restaurant's most loyal regulars. For more details about Portabello, visit their website here 


Portabello






THE WORKSHOP


The rogue-designs workshop has arrived -

Well it has been around since February 2013 and here is one of the items recently commissioned by our client for their very large extended living space. It is a day bed utilising 2 very large cast iron and rubber castors and recycled materials that once formed their original kitchen flooring and also their roof timbers. The non-virgin wood was sympathetically brought back to life and treated /finished with a light oil containing carnauba wax mix for added longevity. The addition of white in the mix keeps the wood from yellowing.


The metal work was designed by RD to give that industrial feel. The hex head rivets on the outside continue with the theme. Due consideration was given to its place in the extension and as a consequence we went for heavy duty rubber as opposed to cast iron to stop any scratching or marking of the surface.

Below some of the make up work in the workshop....












In its intended space!

The daybed cushions are made to measure with fabric by Ian Mankin, striped pattern and in an 100% linen for durability. On the one side of the daybed (footed end) is a holding bar for
moving the bed on occasions which also allows books/magazines to be stored on a day to day basis. With level surface access to the outside the design allows the piece to be wheeled onto the terrace easily for summer lounging.








Fully installed and in use!


Extension with Leicht Kitchen and Nigel Slater Inspired Folding Doors

A Victorian townhouse was brought into the 21st century with a new full width, 9 metre extension devised through collaboration with architect Keith Durham, that houses the kitchen and dining spaces. The premise of the project was to increase the ground floor space  giving better functionality to the house and to allow the family to experience a greater sense of freedom within it. Alongside the extension and kitchen shown here, our brief was to apply a smart townhouse aesthetic throughout in a refurbishment of the whole property.





The a wall of folding doors, and exotic and rich teak parquet flooring were integral to the clients wishes as they represented very strong and important aesthetics. Working with the charm of the original Victorian house, we wanted to produce a bright, modern, crisp space, that linked through from the original by using the warmth and detailing of flooring and joinery.





The kitchen design was devised alongside Martin Williamson of InHouse Kitchens, featuring Leicht furniture and Seimens appliances, and the top is a honed matt white composite stone top, which on the island wraps around the two ends. The bank of full height units in a brushed and textured copper oak cleverly conceals the integrated appliances whilst adding texture and substance to the room. The units are double thickness and appear in certain frames as a large mass. Units on the back of the kitchen side add a great deal of extra storage whilst consuming a small but light cloakroom and lavatory snugly separated from the living spaces. Patent double glazing along the one side of the extension floods light through giving that sense of openness that characterises modern living.  Ligne Roset furniture further enhances the dining space. In the far corner of the bank of units a tambour unit conceals a pull out coffee maker and other kitchen aids.















The folding sliding doors are bespoke joinery units made for us by Stuart Barr Joinery, informed by the look of the Nigel Slater bi-folds in Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking.
















The whole scheme was devised with the addition of a fireplace set into the existing chimney void. Initially it was to be a functioning proving oven but was revised to a multi-fuel stove for increased warmth and celebration throughout. Below shows the integrated scandi fireplace with valuable log storage space below. 








































For drama and purpose over the island we used three Circus pendents from Innermost. They are sprayed black on the outside with a copper gold look on the inner. Other lights used are under shelf task lighting  just above the sink area and on upper cheek of the ceiling, three discrete white Hero spot lights to add an extra degree of function.






































Below are examples of some of the design material we prepared and used for the process of client communication.








exterior view of side extension and bi-folding doors



The whole of the ground floor received further treatment, turning what was the old kitchen into a library and media space and upgrading the dining room into a more formal space for entertaining. For continuity the teak herringbone flooring extended throughout the whole of the ground floor complete with a  double edging detail.  The pendent lighting is a fabulous mouth blown crystal glass piece by design studio Atelier Areti named Kirschlag. Two lamps were commissioned and occupy this and the adjoining sitting room / library.  Both have differing lightly feather etched patterns and are exquisite with or without light.




































The round ceiling rose, as so often happens in these types of properties, disappears over time and it is often a great event putting them back as they add focus and elegance to a room.







































Upstairs we updated bathrooms, including this one shown with encaustic patterned cement tiles from Portugal, which we also adopted for the exterior facelift to the front of the property.








Victorian Porch, front garden design and bespoke iron railings in Oxford


Part of a series of Porches we have carried out this season.








































The Porch is part of a larger body of work at the property that consisted of a complete revamp of the front garden bay window area alongside an overhaul of the driveway and its multiple levels. It is also the completion of the full renovation at the premises, including the basement extension













































































A planting scheme was also initiated that complemented the nature of the local environment.









































In the summer of 2012 planning permission was granted and the project started in December later that year. We begun by excavating the whole of the front bay area to the start of the driveway.
A substantial retaining wall and series of tiered planters were created to reflect the shape of the bay rising in 450mm stages to allow one to jump down but not create an actual stepped area. The planting in this area was based on woodland plants that could cope with the shaded conditions and that perhaps would not require the same level of attention as other plants. It is a natural spectacle for the occupier of the house at lower ground level,  a backdrop and bit of theatre - the tiers just recede enough to allow some of the sky light  through and retain a sense of openness. From the driveway it is not at all obvious that the area exists at all aside from the verbena and the heads of a large variety of lavender ascending. This forms a visual soft stop for cars entering the drive.































The driveway itself was reconfigured from a solid concrete platform to a paved option using hand made chestnut clay pavers that allowed ground water to permeate. The design incorporates curves that gently handle what otherwise would have been an austere frontage due to the imposing scale of the architecture and the volume of red brick. This design makes the space softer , approachable and more palatable. The start of the pathway to the Porch and the end of the handrail form one start point for the curve which arcs towards the Quince tree in the top bed (see illustration). The curved flow is counterstruck in the space left over from the arc by opposing the direction creating a greater sense of an organic system. The pattern is echoed in the curvy iron railings that were commissioned and made to our design. Restoring iron railings is a key project in the North Oxford Conservation Area, and we felt these were an elegant contemporary take on a classic victorian railing. Aside from the practical nature, they carry the sense of undulating movement from the floor to the vertical and give a restrained, elegant graphic show with the red brick wall as a backdrop. This again adds a needed quality in direct contrast to the red brickwork.











The curves as mentioned lead you to the Porched area - the previous Porch was dissassembled and a new large, insulated and enclosed Porch was built. The whole of the facade was kept and reused with a front and rear door designed by ourselves. The front door is placed just behind the arched facade. This gives the impression from a distance, that the door is arched also. The interior has a beautiful spanish encaustic cement patterned floor which brings a happy surprise to the entrance area.








































The interior was kept simple. Vertical pine boards and the light created by the conservation velux alongside the silver pendent add a touch of Scandi elegance to the show. The Oak hall furniture is designed and made by Rogue-Designs in our workshop, and was made to fit the the right hand wall as you enter. The shoe rack is a double construction with adults shoes above and children's below.




a north oxford house

Drawing room and dining room >

In this drawing room (a proper, first floor affair) light and the huge windows are all. We wanted to create a design that played with formal traditional drawing room style, and messed about with it, adding colour and fun. A huge element of the room is the floor to ceiling shelving structure, which is constructed from ash with an ebonised hardwood that delineates and configures the structure. This was designed to house various elements including books, objects, TV and media and a stereo with space for cd's. This was a one-off item which we created for the client. It holds your attention and commands the space that it lies in. There is an almost art deco feel to it, with the dark and light woods and polished finish.

bookshelves-detail-rogue-designs.png

detail of shelving

The sofas were sourced from Fran at Liscious Interiors, and re-upholstered in striking fabrics in soft brushes cotton. The colours reflected the dining space but lifted and lightened. The Chesterfield grey sofa has a purple running through it and we applied very bright violet buttons to the piece and dressed with lime accents. The lime - or chartreuse - Chesterfield was very simply dressed and as such we reversed the colour works and had predominantly purple striped cushions in a deep velvet. 

A small day bed wrapped in a defined purple inhabits a space close to the book shelves and near to the distinctive sash windows.

A  balance between privacy and letting the light through was achieved by way of full length linen curtains with a silk floral motif running through, and a sheer roman blind that drops down (colourfully) to frost out the background, again in natural linen but with colourful stripes.

We strongly felt that this huge space did not need a central ceiling light, but to light the space with

soft accent lighting at lower level would create better intimacy and harmony in an evening. The Alega glass table lamps (designed by

Vico Magistretti

in 1970) sits on Platner side tables, each a stainless steel spoke framework with a glass top created by

Warren Platne

r for Knoll in the 1960's. 

glass-lamp-rogue-designs.png

Platner side table with Alega lamp

The beautiful carrera marble fireplace is a focal point, its gas fire supplementing the classicv column radiators (in anthracite) we put in, and the alcoves either side are wallpapered with a fantastic

Jocelyn Warner

design. Period chairs were limed and re-upholstered in a funky silk, and an

Elizabeth Blackadder

piece catches the eye above the fire.

Dining Space >

window-reflection-rogue-designs.png

glass table reflecting the window

Previous to its present incarnation, this was a jumbled space, cold and dark and possibly with mixed use. In its present form we decided to change shape a little. Keeping the 'hand made element' we made something a little more formal i.e  an evening dining space for guests.

Our client wanted a dark, intimate and rich palette, but with linking colour from the drawing room next door. Assisted by our client the colour we chose was a plum colour, in a proper flat matte, not cold. It sits more in the red spectrum. This gives it a deep lushness that with the addition of evening candle light, brings in a grandiose quality.

dining-room-wine-store-rogue-designs.png

Add caption

Of the candelabra; it is hand crafted by French makers

Benoit Vieubled

and acquired through

Cameron Peters Fine Lighting

. Its artisan qualities shine out. Made from brass and copper and french glass yoghurt jars and crystals. It was further modified by myself with deft assistance by the owner, converting it from electrical to hold candles. Furthermore, it hangs by sash cord which is fixed via a pulley system and tied off near the dumb waiter. This allows the piece to be raised and lowered when necessary. Secondary lighting is via the picture lights overhanging the inherited pieces of our client.

On first entering the room from the hallway it becomes obvious that the dumb waiter is no longer functioning. Due to modifications in the past it had become a non viable restoration project. This left us with the awkward shape in the corner! As the owner wished to house some of his wine collection we decided that the best purpose of the woodwork was to turn it into a wine rack. I think this works especially well and looks rather neat and perfect as well as being architectural and fun.

wine-rack-rogue-designs.png

wine storage

The carrera marble fireplace needed extensive cleaning to the marble to bring it up to a gleam. The hearth was simply of limed concrete and as such was painted black. A writing bureau, hand painted by Maitre Allegre now sits in the alcove closest to the window.

A collage of mirrors that we collected from a host of places hang in a pattern above the fireplace.

dining-room-parktown-rogue-designs.png

detail of candelabra with mirrors behind

Under foot, the carpet is a fine boucle in a light grey that adds a level of luxury to the rooms. It runs through the dining and lounge space and spills on through the hallway and staircase.

Below is a picture of the hallway with the dining space chimney wall framed in the antique mirror.

functionality and colour in a kitchen - grandpont house

Victorian House: 

features: Lacanche gas oven, Island unit, slate grey porcelain tiles, lime green, oak lantern, Blanco inset sink.

This project was the second of 3 commissions by our client, after working with them on the design of

loft with on-suite

, and then later their

garden

.

This began life pre-extension and the remit was to design a kitchen that was highly functional and host various items like a large and rather special

eurocave

wine fridge (see photo) and also a smaller wine unit to be housed in the island unit. The list of appliances continued; there was the

Lacanche

 range; a multi ring gas burner that was to stand centre stage in the kitchen. The owner being a very interested and extremely capable chef insisted upon this furniture, and why not! The extension was cleverly designed by architect 

Tony Reedman

, making much of a slightly awkward space. The extension was carried out to a very good standard and so made the process of designing for the space much easier than it could have been. It is imperative that your builder is accommodating at this stage as various items will impact on the final design. Whilst some features had to be altered i.e.size of steel beams holding up the house, most of the structure and size was kept within targets. Working with an experienced design team at In House, we organised a design that fitted the needs of the client and made sense of the space: ample room for cooking, room for art on walls and a place where this family could be seated in an evening or entertain.

Kitchens are notoriously difficult to organise and generally work around very clear principles. However, every space is different and can ask different questions of the designer.

While its recommended that one should have a good understanding of the principles of kitchen design, commonsense and awareness of the practicalities of usage and the dynamics there in, are essential. 

In the photo > Cabinet work is in a mixture of Anthracite and white gloss both with doors that have matching edge details.

Inset handles on the cabinetry avoid fuss and visually speak more discreetly about a design. They also fair a little better chronographically and tend never to lose that much in style.

Set within the anthracite top of the island unit is the Blanco

 'zerox' inset sink, with one large sink and a small drainer. Its a 1000mm x 510 unit and has a low profile that keeps the sharp quality to the design.

The incredibly hard wearing floor tiles are ceramic 

and the pattern that ensued clearly adds to and makes sense of the linearity of the space.

The lengths of floating shelving, 50mm thick and 350mm wide, were manufactured from the same material as the worktop, also in anthracite and so complimented the rest of the units. Their fixing method is concealed. With the projected weight it was considered that allowances should be made during the building process to accommodate it: as a result, medium density building blocks were used rather than thermalite blocks at the fixing points, in order to secure them.

On the feature wall the client commissioned a mirror which was covered rather ornately in mixed elements of fabric from

SQUINT

designs and it sits upon the green wall very effectively. Other elements of interest are got through the individual elements that our client brings to the room such the stainless steel vegetable holder which rests upon the island unit like a floating piece of sculpture.

The colour on the wall is very striking and was chosen by Charlotte. Strong accent colour like this can be quite hard to work with, but we both felt there was a great deal of spirit and good health about this colour and to use it in the scheme would be very affirming. In fact, later on you will see that the colour is repeated in the

garden design

. To see this room of an evening, have a look at the

kitchen in use

post, which shows off how joyful and colourful even such a vividly minimal and practical kitchen can be.

Striking, clean, highly functional and full of fun. 

sourcing artwork

A recent commission to source original artwork for a client's Islington penthouse apartment.

Our client is a keen collector of Modern British artwork, and we have already worked together to find some really interesting pieces for another property, with a particular emphasis of female artists such as Elisabeth Blackadder and Sandra Blow, but this time they wanted to look for something more contemporary for this modern apartment.

The beautiful series of woodcuts 'Nachtfahrt' (or literally translated, Night Drive) by German artist Christiane Baumgartner immediately stood out for their beauty, originality and haunting narrative quality.


Triptychon

About the artist: Her chosen format is monumental monochrome woodcuts taken from her own video stills. She combines the earliest and the latest processes of visual reproduction: woodcut and video.
Speed and the passage of time are recurring themes throughout her work.The notion of time is also embodied in her artistic process, which involves the lengthy and painstaking medium of handmade woodcut, with all its inaccuracies and mistakes. Transforming the fleeting video stills into these confusingly complicated and delicately flickering woodcuts can take up to a year, and the results embody both this sense of the chance moment, and the solidity of crafted exactitude.

Whist the series works beautifully hung as a block (see above images from the artists website), we chose to hang them in a linear fashion around the room, which works to capture the video still nature, with the story being told sequentially, and the works travel towards and under a bridge for example revealing itself as you move around the space. The environment of the apartment itself, its linear architecture, and the light and views over the cityscape serve to highlight, converse with and contrast with the work.







More about Christiane Baumgartner from Alan Cristea gallery: "Christiane Baumgartner was born in 1967 in Leipzig, Germany,
and studied there at the Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst before completing her Masters in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 1999. She now lives and works in Leipzig.

Baumgartner is best known for the monumental woodcuts based on her own films and video stills. She first came to public attention in the UK in EAST international in 2004 and a year later with a major solo exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. She was included in the groundbreaking exhibition at MoMA, NY, called Eye on Europe and her work is held in over 30 public collections around the world including the Albertina, Vienna; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin."

Other links:
Click here for a video of the artist talking about her work courtesy of the Alan Cristea Gallery, showing footage of her stunning exhibition Reel Time there. Also this review "Artist of the Week" from The Guardian newspaper.
An in depth review of her work by Paul Coldwell from "Art in Print" with great images.

a new arts and crafts - a maple kitchen - north oxford house

North Oxford house with an arts and crafts twist        

Kitchen

hand made kitchen in maple with crafted panels, pre mural.

The Parktown area of Oxford is a famous landmark site and this project was sited within one of the crescents that exists. The house was built in the late 1850's and was designed by Samuel Lipscomb Seckham using bath stone as the main building material. He was a surveyor who was commissioned by St John's college to develop the area. Should you wish to visit you will see that It is very reminiscent of the famous crescent at Bath, and was no doubt designed to air a similar grand quality.

The project was to be the total revamp of one of the houses in the crescent (in stages), and as such the owners had decided to commission us to 'lift its spirit'. This project was a total pleasure in many ways, as we both loved the house and its character. The house is set out over 5 floors, the piano nobile with the drawing room and dining rooms on the 1st floor with views over the Parktown gardens. Initially there was not a great deal of harmony in the house (design-wise) as it was split into several separate apartments at some point in its near history. This then meant having a total vision for the place, whilst staging the works and bringing the different spaces together again. Whilst first impressions of the house in this state would to many dictate a total 'rip out' and refurbishment, we felt, with the support of our clients, that a restoration approach could achieve more and retain the character of the property. Restoration is a gentler, but more intricate, complicated and sometimes time consuming project, but the end result is so much subtler and kinder to the house that we believe it is well worth it. It seems a shame for example to replace a lathe and plaster wall with modern plasterboard just because it is flatter - after all, the character of an old house is in the quirks (and ripping out old lathes always makes we think of the person who whittled each piece of timber individually).

Whist full of character, the house had been badly mistreated in some ways, and many of the period features were somewhat obscured. Its most notable features were the beautiful handrail that trailed throughout the floors; the tall glazed internal doors; the high ceilings with original cornice and the fireplace in the ground floor living space. The main carrera marble fireplace housed decorative Duncan Grant tiles and it was this detail that gifted us the idea of using art and craft to give the house an artisan feel, that it possibly once had. We wanted to take the core concepts of arts and crafts, but tweak and modernise, and see if the ethos and character could also work within a contemporary and modern sleekness. 

Many of the items that you will see throughout are either one-off or unique in someway. So, while we adapted some of the arts and crafts designs, we weren't faithful to them. In fact we gave the designs a modern twist, something that would sit alongside individual modern items and not look out of place.

It is a house like no other and so for inspiration we decided to visit Blackwell House, an arts and crafts exhibition house, situated in the Lake District, which houses a wonderful collection of relevant pieces. William de Morgan tiles adorn the fireplace surrounds in the large house. Also on show in the exhibition at the time, were lots of ceramic work. The hallmark of the arts and crafts period was the level of embelishment. Nothing was left blank and ordinary if at all possible. 


At the time of investigating where we should place our design, we came across an artisanal nature to the craft industry in Holland and in the UK.  Leading designers like Hella Jongherius, were bringing their passion for 'handmade' skills within modern production methods to the table. 

cowparsley splashback with led lighting


So it became quite clear, that within the make over, it wouldn't be out of place to acquire craft from other sources to sit alongside our own brand of arts and craft informed designs, and link through for a very unique experience.

initial design concepts

initial design concept 2 (island unit)
.

The project began at the deep end with the transformation of the kitchen and ground floor lounge area that ran into each other separated by 2.8m high glass double doors.

kitchen; The main features are the maple worktops,
white washed flooring, mural, backlit bespoke splashback and the Hans Wegner dining room set with a soaped wood finish, the aga that sits in the middle and the suspended lighting. 

the lighting with its suspension cables allows flexibility in the positioning of the light modules.

Its a galley style kitchen, tapering to the back wall. A 3 metre long worktop island unit separates the dining space from the rest of the kitchen, and cupboard doors to the dining side give access to plates and glasses. The island unit is made using solid maple, providing storage and housing two built in fridges. An electric oven and a ceramic hob supplement the aga, and provide alternative cooking means during hot summers. The handles were created using maple and brass as an insert. Each of the handles were carved with their own unique pattern.


The element of carving and piercing also shows in the end panel of the island unit. 

fine detailing in the maple 

brass inlay into the maple side panel

The colour scheme is light cream, sage green, natural blond wood with black elements and details. On the wall with the aga to the centre, a long set of wall units with doors in a matte sage green, spans the full length of the room, straddling the large chimney breast, serving to emphasize the length of the room. Below, the base units continue in solid maple.



The lighting throughout the room was commissioned from Album lighting via the marvellous Cameron Peters Fine Lighting  based in Ardington, near Wantage, Oxfordshire. Album, an Italian firm, specialise in suspended LED and halogen lighting for heritage projects - since the cabling runs around the top of the walls, and is only fixed at minimal points, it is perfect for heritage or valuable ceilings, and much more sensitive a scheme than halogen spotlights. We chose a mix of light modules for interest and to mark different areas - thus elegant blown glass fittings are suspended above the dining table, and architectural spotlights provide task lighting above the island. For fun, a single moon piece hangs above the sink area.

Full height sliding wooden doors act as shutters in front of the glass doors which lead to the garden. We adorned these with a mural of cow parsley, in a slightly darker colour than the paintwork, so as not to make it too pronounced, but play with how you percieve the room and how you experience it. 


















The cowparsley theme ran into the splashbacks. This was experimental (a technique more often associated with exhibition stands) but works tremendously well. They are very colorful and add another level of patternwork that uplifts the space either side of the chimney breast. These were designed by Charlotte and printed onto thick perspex. The perspex was separated by a few centimetres from the wall, and an LED lighting strip was placed between, in order to light up the panels from behind and add further refinement to the overall design. They fit very precisely from worktop to underside of wall cabinets.

cowparsley etched onto the plexiglass

plexiglass backsplash design


The table and chairs are classic designs by Hans Wegner. The table is soaped oak, which is an under-used finish these days, but is no less hardy than varnish. It is non yellow and soft in appearance. This consideration of material is just whay you would expect from the master craftsman.

hans wegner table and chairs

dark chair detailing and table in soaped oak and grey


More Scandinavian design appears with the Secto floor lamp in black and natural birch wood, designed by finnish architect Seppo Koho.


All in all, the room is a blend of materials, textures and style that hints at what will continue elsewhere in the house.

Light, open, softly spoken but crafty and unique.

victorian terrace: funky lounge and a dj room


walnut alcove shelving and cast concrete fireplace
Yr: 2003+/-

The lounge that was created, presented a warm front that included the brown tan leather sofas and one-off walnut alcove units that flanked the chimney breast. There was also a cvo firevault fire.
The fireplace as part of the one-off aspect that we like to throw into our projects was designed and created by rogue-designs.  It's made from concrete, parts of which were cast in-situ. It appears to float due to the shadow detail that we applied to it.

The walnut floor is a feature to the whole of the ground floor - approximately 96sqm. 

The vintage lighting again, was sourced through a supplier in London. 

The image above the fireplace was from a collage that i made and had blown up onto a foam panel. 


The space known as the DJ room, is situated between the kitchen and the lounge. The room housed the owners record collection. A functioning glitter ball was also attached to the ceiling. A discreet spotlight activated the spinning ball when switched on.  

No speaker cable was visible due in part to it all being housed behind the skirting boards. speaker points were then dotted around for increased flexibility. 

The dj console was created by rogue-designs, especially to house the dj decks with a space under for other electronic equipment. It was sprayed in a gloss lipstick red. As it was a feature to the space it warranted a stand alone quality.



bespoke dj deck









a luxurious bathroom - victorian house



The owners had recently moved into the house and required it to be modernised throughout. 


Many of our customers enjoy the need for the works to be staged, rather than to be carried out all at once. This affords them the ability to assess the scheme and its direction without being bombarded with a great many decisions all at once.  


The starting point of this particular project was to be one of the main bathrooms and culminated in the overhaul of the 25m garden area, completed on the back of a special extension.


1st stage: master bathroom.


palette: > thin strip oak, lemon marble tiles, mirror, flint grey.










This is a great space for relaxing, that's set in the heart of the top floor, between 2 bedrooms. The room doesn't have a window, however it makes up for the lack of natural light by using light and reflection.  There is a spectacular floor-to-ceiling marble wall with
an alcove inset that is lined with the narrow strip oak. This is also lit from above with 2 dedicated dimmable spot lights. The bath is freestanding and is painted on the outside in a light green grey, and the whole thing is sat on two oak cradles. The colours are all complimented by the colours in the natural stone. The lemon marble tiles fitted tightly to each other and the appearance was more monumental rather than 'tiled'. The colour on the walls and the ceiling were painted in a satinwood finish and allowed light to reflect off it for further space and light enhancement.




Bespoke oak also features largely in the floating vanity unit which rogue-designs created to fit into the space. The vanity unit itself has 2 sliding mirrors that give the illusion of more space. It was imperative to create the feeling that the space was light and that it was expansive in nature.  Behind the sink; a mirror and above this, another one-off unit that was over 1.5m in length and had 3 long sliding glass panels. Above this unit another glass panel that hit the ceiling. The illusion was cemented further by being able to see the ceiling spots in the mirrors.







Smallest rooms


The Joy of small rooms !

This was a recently completed room. Although very small it works tremendously well. The whole design was tailored around creating a very modern feel but with a nod to the buildings victorian build. The room now has an updated charm and function that sits well within its context. At just under 90cm wide and at 3metres in length the room was as per its counterpart room above, very tight and awkward with victorian render that was somewhat rough. Formalising this for the 21st century was not without its hitches. prior to our intervention there featured a sink that was set into the wall, which created a large absence when taken out. The pipework that ran under the floor was actually supporting the old flooring at certain points. Yet these were surmountable.

Overall scheme with rich colours clean lines and good function

Dornbracht IMO' tap
The cupboard that hangs above the sink was a 'one-off' with sliding runners
that moves out of the way for access. This allowed a much larger mirror to be had. This also helped to bounce light around the space. The wallpaper is 'Anemone' by Neisha Crossland. The toilet pan is by Antonio Lupi - 'evakuo' and the basin that sits upon a 'one-off', rogue-designs stained oak basin unit with concealed toilet roll holder is  'Orbis'. Its a wonderful shape, a tear drop shape that presents well. The tap is by Dornbracht; 'IMO' that has a pressured lever that is wonderfully smooth to operate. The floor is a dark Oak stained floor on construction ply which was wrapped up and formed part of the toilet back panel. The ceiling pendent light is 'circus' by the Italian brand Foscarini and works very well to provide a subtle yet glowing light through the space.



Antonio Luipi 'evakuo' toilet

wallpaper behind bevelled glass splashback

'one-off' sliding mirror cabinet by rogue-designs
Neisha Crossland Anemone' wallpaper adding warmth



 see also Canal side house wetroom



colourful tiles- a North Oxford house: Living room

We worked in this area along side the kitchen (see north oxford house: kitchen) area.

It is a wonderful room with lovely aspects to all sides; the double doors linking to the kitchen, a beautiful fireplace, huge windows to one wall and double glass doors to the front garden. There are privacy shutters and the light enters the room in really pleasurable way. 

lounge view with duncan grant tiles set into the fireplace

It was very exciting to continue with the themes that we set up in the kitchen and utilise them in a different way. This project was all about a modern take on the arts and crafts movement; taking traditional ideas about handcrafting and applying modern techniques and designs. We attempted to make no single item stand out, but make sure that alll the items within had uniqueness. The flooring from kitchen continued with white oil wax throughout. The application of the oil wax is a very time consuming process that requires a lot of attention and many layers are required over virgin wood. At the heart of the room is the 'Arne' sofa by BB Italia, its almost 3m long and strikingly curved. We didn't want the formality of the kitchen area to impede and direct the shape and function of the lounge and so to break free from the restraints of linear sofas (which tend to inhabit the area along a wall!) we plumped for this sofa with its gentle curves and low profile, so as not to restrict the views outside. The fireplace has vibrant hand-painted Duncan Grant tiles set in - an interesting and quirky contrast of highly traditional grand carrera marble and rustic art and crafts most likely dating from the early '20s and injecting a little bit of Charleston to the house. Around the fireplace - we constructed units that have carved panels for frontage. The images I conceived as small narratives, where nature and industry are intermingled in some way. A bird flys by electrical wires or a tree grows up through a broken, abandoned chair. The units were sprayed green to co-incide with the kitchen colours, both symbolise the power of nature to overcome industrial adversity.

In front of the sofa; a wonderful commissioned piece by Amy Kent. A handmade rug designed around lines and shadows in pavements.




the lefthand unit; 'silver birch'

sparrow about to land (detail)


A fascinating detail, the legacy of the old house were the victorian servant bell pulls, visible immediately next to the Carrera marble fireplace.

Along the line of the cornice we again brought through the Album system of lighting i.e. suspended cables that extend from one side to the other with lighting modules positioned as required.

detail of one of the light module


There was a real emphasis on lighting - whilst the suspended Album lighting was dimmable, floor and table lamps were used to create task and gentler lighting. The lamp that you see in the main image above is the Secto floor lamp by finnish designer Seppo Koho.

Shelving in the shapeof English Walnut (unplaned), still with a sawn appearance and with waney edge was used to mount the electronics. 


A mural in the reverse tonal range was created on the closing full height panels, representing helibores. We painted the mural on the walls behind the shutters, so that when they are open, the effect is somewhat abstract; when the doors are closed, the picture becomes complete.



Above one of the walnut units (left in picture) we framed a marimekko fabric image for the owner. The style slotted in rather well. More marimekko fabric appears on the sofa cushions which we created. The addition of random vintage buttons to the cushions adds extra interest.





















































All in all the scheme has some amazing features that sit well in this natural, artistic environment.




minimal london bathroom

This was a very interesting project that encopassed many different decisions and risks. The existing bathroom was pokey and pretty irredeemable, so we converted a spare bedroom into this airy and spacious family bathroom, and converted the old bathroom into a study area.







The key features to the room were the stand alone shower unit, the large square bath and the very large basin along with the simple and striking fireplace. We wanted to keep everything incredibly pure, minimal and clean, creating s space that despite the monochrome palette and straight lines is not at all harsh, but calming and meditative.











Units above the toilet provide the storage along with the vanity unit. The chimney breast 
allowed us to inject an element of texture into the room, to sit alongside the nibbled sugar cube effect tiling  in the shower. We re-plastered the chimney with the plaster sucking away at the moment it dried, leaving flat platelets behind. This was then painted and the effect is subtle but effective. Swimming pool glass
mosaic tiles were used and applied with a slightly textured effect, and a black tiled alcove in the shower cubicle affords a subtle shelf space.










































The interior of the fireplace was painted black to swallow up the space and the rubber floor was dressed right into it. The driftwoodwood over the fireplace had been languishing in our back garden for near on 4 years after we had hauled it off a beach in the Lake District. It's oak and when we brought it back to life with the aid of a thicknesser it bacame apparent that this was the space in which to use it. It is some kind of industrial beam, full of stains and character and at some point had been part of someone's campfire, leaving beautiful blackened areas. The oak was washed and sealed with oil.



The flooring is 'dalsouple'; natural rubber in a light grey, and seamless, it creates the impression of expansiveness. Sealed, it provides a low maintenance floor that will look good for years, and warmer and kinder than tiles on such a large space. It also creates a seemless feel to the room that some rooms don't  i.e. always having to provide contrast or juxtaposition. Sometimes it's just essential to create and pin  down a design that doesn't challenge and make itself known in the usual ways. 





All in all, the project was an exercise in subltety.

Zesty yellow -Georgian House






This en-suite bathroom was carried out in conjunction with other other interior design work on the house, including the japanese bathroom and the design for the kitchen.


This room was quite a challenge due to the age of the house, as is often the case, these rooms are not very square, so the fitters had carried out a good deal of structural work to make the room appear as we wished.As a guest bathroom it was to be simple and zesty affair, fun and clean.





Combining a pared back colour scheme of white and yellow Dalsouple flooring (the rubber flooring experts), the colour that was chosen was an acidic yellow ochre for its vibrancy.
We extended the rubber to cover the bath panel for continuity and fun, and because in such a small room it often works to have as few as possible different elements or materials.

As mentioned the room was quite a challenge! The house was built in about 1820, so expectedly in a house of this age the top floor had sunk and warped quite severely, due largely to the size of the timber joists. These over time had sunk by as much as 2 inches in the centre of the room. Having framed out and built up, eventually the vanity unit was able to sit on the floor without too much visual distraction from the floor. The sag under the bath is minimised by introducing the flooring to the vertical bath panel.



This vanity console provides structure and storage and keeps the space clean, and uncluttered by exposed plumbing etc. The basin is housed and the toilet is floating with the aid of a gerberit wall hung system. Both are neatly tied into the unit.

Above the unit, white brick patterned (English stretcher bond) tiles and a generous mounted mirror that extends to the window. This assists in the distribution of light and gives a greater feeling of space. 

There is no reason not to have a big bath in a small room! This generous version has clean architectural lines, and due to its square base allows the user to stand directly under the shower.


The lighting in this room comes from two sources - small ceiling spots, and a wide wall light above the mirror and basin console.

One of the designs the client added to compliment matters was the blind. These are fabulous  blinds that glide up and down in all sorts of clever ways.

Whilst compact, this room really functions well, and with its simplicity and vibrant colour scheme it has a slightly Scandinavian feel. It's definitely a fun little jewel at the top of this house.

Victorian house: a study

The study: 

The theme of dark stained wood and flooring continued through to this room from the living room area. Made from Piranha Pine at 40mm thick, a funky shelving system with some lime green enclosed spaces houses an assortment of books and objects.


study


study with shelving

corner view

The huge window overlooking the garden floods in greenly, so we took this palette and applied it to the walls, by way of a heritage Zoffany wallpaper pattern, fresh and funky.

The wall lights that you see are of glass and stainless steel with a silver frame and a light canvas square shade. The light is titled 'opera' by Chad lighting.  This room was always going to be a study room for books and ephemera and so it was important not to overcomplicate the room.

a beautiful wall light
The main lighting is represented by one ceiling rose from bsweden called 'gladys' by designer Louise Hederstrm.  It features three concentric steel circles that have a laser cut floral motif. Very simple and yet very elegant. We thought it would be particularly apt given the lamp shade in the main lounge area was also a series of laser cut concentric circles.

the gladys lampshade from b sweden

Aside from this, we gave the room a desk, constructed from the same material as the shelving and let the owners take it from there!


a grown up living room - victorian house

Victorian House living room  

features: cast concrete fire surround with wood detailing, stained piranha pine box shelving, dark stained flooring, double sliding curtain rail, danish rosewood sideboard, architectural light shade, handmade radiator covers.

We chose to use an organic and muted colour range complimented by the use of dark stained material (including the floor), textures and subtle tonal changes to create an intimate room with a quiet aspect. We promptly got to work on a fireplace design, and hand cast a simple white polished concrete piece with stained wood mantle.  A large L shaped grey corner sofa provides flexible seating. The vintage Danish rosewood sideboard from our lovely friends at The Modern Warehouse sits on the back wall against striking wallpaper.

Opposite, on either side of the chimney breast, there is a configuration of dark stained display boxes of differing sizes. They are like a sliding rule - each pair amounts to the same space, separated by the chimney breast. We used the wallpaper at the backs to set off the objects within, and create continuity with the feature wall. The large oak table with two slate insets is the owners own.

Above the fireplace is a very striking mirror which the owner purchased from a gallery in the Czeck republic. Its strong features also informed the design and it adds a great focal point to the room.

The cut perspex pendant lamp is designed by Louise Campbell for Louis Poulsen, titled 'collage', has 3 concentric white perspex rings which have been laser cut with a floral motif. When the light is on, it creates a wonderful flecked floral pattern around the room, especially when the light is subdued. As there are many strong design elements in the room, the light shade doesn't actually dominate, it rather delicately absorbs with colours.  In fact it tends to sit in the background until lit when it takes on its splendour.

The ceiling rose that you see, is a beautifully crafted plaster reproduction of a heritage piece that was installed as part of the design.We felt the ceiling looked rather sparse without it. While it wasn't evident that a ceiling rose had been there previously, the room has fine original cornice molding, so it sits perfectly well, and creates focus and mixes the old and new with the contemporary chandelier.

Two pairs of curtains, one sheer linen for privacy, the other a thick raw weave cotton for warmth, are full length and hang on a double bay window pole  in brushed steel (a piece of clever engineering) It is finished off with hand blown glass finials. Small touches against large bold pieces help to create little surprises that enhance the experience.

Below are a few detail shots from the room.