By Design: A West London Victorian Home Renovation

Posted in: Design

By Design: A West London Victorian Home Renovation

30 September 2023

Photography by Chris Snook

Today we’re speaking to Alex Meachen of @Alex.InteriorDesign, whose design philosophy centres on crafting contemporary, inspired, and functional living spaces. Avoiding fleeting trends, Alex focuses on in-depth client consultations to tailor each project uniquely.

This West London Victorian home project aimed to inject elegance and drama throughout. From modernizing existing spaces to a basement transformation, this comprehensive redesign showcases the importance of honouring architecture, thoughtful lighting, and just how powerful colour can be. Explore this captivating project and get a glimpse of how to tackle a home renovation.

How would you describe your design philosophy?

I’m a firm believer that when a home is designed well, we live in it better. My philosophy is to create contemporary, inspired, and considered spaces, balancing function, style, and comfort.  

The use of colour plays a massive part in transforming the feel of interior spaces. My colour consultation with clients is an incredibly important stage as you need to really decipher what appeals to them and the overall mood they are looking to achieve in each space.

I tend to steer away from seasonal design trends, instead really focusing on the initial design consultation stage with the client to fully interpret the brief and deliver a design scheme that meets their needs.

Can you share a top design tip of yours with our readers?

A major focus of my interior design projects is on the lighting schemes. Investing time in a well-considered lighting plan can work wonders in enhancing the decorative elements of a design.  

Teamed with good lighting, Farrow & Ball’s colours display a real depth and personality to spaces that truly enrich a room. Studio Green on the ceiling, skirting and inside door of the basement WC are a great example of this.

An extra tip would be to connect all the home lighting to a smart device. Pockets of warm glow throughout the home, all via an app or by voice control is a game-changer.

What was the brief from the clients? What look did they want to create?

Once my clients had signed off the initial design schemes, I was lucky enough to have been given an element of free-reign with an overarching design brief of injecting elegance and drama to this West London, Victorian family home.

The brief was to modernise all of the existing spaces at ground, first and second floors, including a gut refurb/reconfiguration of the three bathrooms.  

Reconfiguration of the ground floor space included a complete redesign of the dual-reception space which involved a new library/reading nook and reupholstery of all the furniture. New fabric designs give old pieces of furniture a new lease of life for many years to come!

The gut refurb of the kitchen involved adding a bespoke secondary banquette dining area and media lounge, as well as additional functional storage spaces with a well-needed separate pantry and cloakroom.  

The brief also included planning the layout and design of the newly excavated basement floor including a guest bedroom/study and bathroom, utility and plant room as well as a large social space housing a dramatic, antique-mirrored bespoke bar, aquarium and secondary media lounge. A perfect space for hunkering down as a family to enjoy a movie or entertaining a group of guests!

How did you go about creating the palette of colours? What were you influenced by?

The colour palette was chosen by assessing the natural light available and the desired use of the client’s spaces.  

The colour choices for the basement needed careful consideration and involved working closely with the architect.  

I came up with considered solutions to add light wells at the front and rear of the house as well as internally, a glass-panelled floor in the hallway and a new custom open-riser staircase to the basement. Collectively the added delivery of natural light from the mid-ground floor level above, whilst being sympathetic to the period property’s features worked wonders.

Maximising the level of natural light provided the opportunity to use more colour beyond typical neutrals. From French Gray in the guest bedroom to Drop Cloth in the bar, media lounge and aquarium, colour now has its place across the home!

Why did you choose Farrow & Ball paint?

I’ve used Farrow & Ball as my paint of choice long before I started my career in interior design. Being the backdrop to any interior scheme, the sheer volume of wall and ceiling footage in a home deserves investment and when designed well, can totally transform a space into somewhere special.

The breadth of colour options, durability, quality of finish as well as the brand’s sustainability credentials play an important part in why it is my go-to brand for superior results.

What’s your favourite space in the house?

Now that’s a tricky one to answer! If pushed, I would have to say the master ensuite bathroom.  

Interestingly the design brief for this space was initially only a light-touch, however once the clients saw my vision including the soft elegance of the grey-pink of Peignoir teamed with the veined gloss porcelain tiles and brushed gold fittings, they were incredibly excited at the prospects and decided to go all out for a complete remodel.

Adding drama, I designed a taller, grander entrance to the room using bespoke double doors with fluted glass panelling opening into a beautiful, tranquil space.

Relegating the WC to the old shower space and relocating the bath under the window allowed for a generous dual-entry walk-through shower and pampering area.

A luxurious double basin and bespoke mirrored cabinetry delivers an elegant yet functional area. The clients absolutely love the hotel spa-like sanctuary the newly-designed space provides!

What’s your favourite Farrow & Ball colour?

Again, a tricky one to narrow down but if you’d allow me to cheekily choose two current favourites, I would say Skimming Stone (used in the dual reception room) A soothingly-warm elegant grey, that delivers a calming backdrop to rooms.  

When it comes to a adding a dose of drama, Studio Green (used in the basement WC) is another favourite. Bordering on black, this deep, dark green just oozes sophistication!

What's next for Alex Interior Design?

Great question! I’m currently project managing a gut-refurb design of a loft apartment in East London for a client and their family who are based in New York. They are moving back to London this Autumn and need it ready for their arrival. Success of a project is all in the planning and having been liaising closely with the client since the beginning of the year, we are well ahead of the game and am really looking forward to welcoming them to their new UK home!

A west london victorian home renovation

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