LLI Design is an interior design and interior architecture practice based in Highgate, London. The creative team is led by Design Director Linda Levene, whose background as a fashion and textile designer is reflected in her love of form, texture and colour. Recent projects include the interior design and modernisation of properties in Hampstead, Fulham and Highgate including a 10,000 sq ft victorian residence, a 12,000sqft new build home and the co-joining and re-planning of two apartments to provide a single luxury penthouse. Here Linda shares one of the firms most recent projects with The LuxPad…
Project name: Southwood by LLI Design
Floor Area: approx. 1500sqft
Project time taken: 7 Months from initial briefing, through to construction and installation to handover.
When the house was originally built it was a contemporary piece of architecture but had become tired and had lost its original crisp aesthetic. The original layout didn’t work for the clients, a young professional couple and although the room sizes were good, being the full width of the property on each floor and benefitting from good natural light; the circulation spaces on all floors were cramped and dark.
The house had tremendous potential and the new owners wanted to embrace the 1970’s feel rather than try to ignore it, albeit not in a cliched way, but by putting a designed contemporary stamp on it. Top of their wish list was a contemporary glass and steel open tread staircase and a master bathroom with a distinctive WOW factor.
What was the creation / planning process?
We found that by embracing the elements of the architecture that we couldn’t change rather than fighting them – that the house comfortably and logically transformed itself into an environment suitable for 21st century living. In the lower ground floor there was originally a set of small rooms with very little light. We removed walls and extended the front porch to create an open plan environment including a new entrance, study and TV / living space.
We removed the existing spiral staircase connecting the lower ground to upper ground floor and designed and installed a new open tread staircase with minimal glass balustrade towards the back of the building rather than in the middle. This changed the dynamic of both the lower ground and upper ground floor giving the illusion of expansiveness. It also allowed for a surprise view of the garden through floor to ceiling glass doors at the top of the stairs on entering the upper ground floor living room.
The master bedroom was also similarly dramatically transformed from a jumble of rooms into a spacious master suite with the ensuite bathroom integrated into the bedroom. We brought in much needed light by installing double glass doors with a juliet balcony, which at the same time maximised the view of the greenery beyond.
How did the project go?
The Clients were very receptive to our ideas and were a pleasure to work with. Planning was relatively plain sailing, which isn’t always the case – Highgate is in a Conservation area, but fortunately the planners were happy for us to amend both the front and back facades.
What was your favourite room or part of the project and why?
I loved what we did with the master bedroom floor. We managed to keep the original slatted sloped teak ceiling and fitted a contemporary metal pendant. We emphasised the ceiling yet again by adding a high level LED strip along the top of the new bespoke wardrobe, shooting light up to the ceiling. The open plan bathroom fused beautifully with the bedroom and the overall feeling was of a calm considered harmonious space – quite a hard thing to achieve in a multifunction open plan space where there is so much going on.
Were there any issues or problems you encountered during the project?
Fortunately none really, we have our own bespoke construction company, Pegasus Property with whom we share ownership, offices and technical staff with, so the construction elements were all handled vertically which enables a seamlessly executed project, although we all held our breath when the new steel staircase was put into place.