Dorian Grey-esque flat renovation in Highbury

Published by Architect Your Home -


During the period of post-war urban flight, Aberdeen Park was not viewed as a grand street with impressive buildings but just another part of the inner city in a state of increasing decay. Subsequently, this flat was used as low rent accommodation by the council who sub-divided rooms and left heating pipes exposed across wood-chipped walls painted lurid greens and bright oranges.

The concept behind the renovation was to do as little as possible to the structure of the building in order to reveal and enhance what lay beneath. The proportions of the larger rooms and the window and doors were of exceptional quality and required little to revive them. The smaller rooms needed thoughtful reconfiguring and the small hallway needed a grander appearance that was in keeping with the adjacent rooms. This was achieved by using a combination of windows to create long views, mirrors to increase the appearance of space, a coffered ceiling to create the illusion of a greater ceiling height, and concealed doors to simplify the aesthetic.

The interior fit-out was based on a sumptuous Victorian aesthetic but one benefiting from contemporary additions; wall panels that opened as storage, library shelves and ladders highlighted with concealed LED lighting, and chandeliers. The colour concepts and furnishings were selected by the interior designer client Chris Lian – the dark, small hallway was lifted using light colours and the larger rooms were made intimate and warm with bold colour, rich textures, and strategic lighting.

The resulting scheme returns this part of Aberdeen Park to the Victorian splendour of its conception but with the added improvements of central heating, Soss hinges, and wi-fi.

Jude Tugman

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