Laura and Aaron Hammett are the husband and wife team behind Laura Hammett Ltd, which was founded in 2008. Combining their creative educational and professional experience to establish a luxury interior design practice, they now specialise in high-end residential projects. Working for private individuals and property developers throughout the UK and abroad, they offer a highly personalised and dedicated service. Having both worked in the design industry for a combined 25 years they bring extensive experience to each and every project. Their approach to projects are timeless with a signature elegant and luxurious style that sees them continually sought after in both the private and commercial sectors.
They share one of their projects with The LuxPad below…
Project Name: Devonshire Place apartment within the heart of Marylebone Village
Floor Area: 2,200 sq ft lateral lower ground apartment, over entire footprint of Grade II listed Georgian townhouse.
Time taken to complete this project: The design process on this project was 10 weeks which included the planning application, the contractors were on site for 4 months in total. With a project of this size, we design the interior architecture at the same time as the furnishing scheme so that there is real cohesion throughout the design.
Completion of Project
The brief was to strip back the retrofitted traditional features of this lower ground apartment and to create a contemporary and sleek interior for a professional couple. It was important to make the most of the natural light by opening up the central courtyard, disguising the fact that the apartment was situated underground. The couple were keen to have the interior extended out into the outdoor space, where each side of the property would have doors accessing the courtyard leading out into a mature bonsai tree flanked seating area. This space needed to be a comfortable and cosy haven which the couple were after, complete with an outdoor fireplace and soft furnishings throughout for that seamless open plan living space.
Creation / Planning process
The clients both travel a large amount so they wanted an elegant but understated and no-fuss design. We used beautiful grey oak timber flooring that stretches the length of the apartment, but is softened with the use of a herringbone design. The same light, but warm, grey paint colour is used throughout the living and hallway areas to continue the flow and keep the space feeling open. They wanted to make the most of all available space so we designed a Sex-in-the-City style dressing room, with feather-soft polished cotton carpet, a beautiful pearl coloured veneer, mirrored wall lights and glass fronted cupboards for her vast Louboutin shoes collection. For him we installed a vertical wall hung bike storage system in the front cellar area.
The couple like to entertain when they are in town so we opened up the large kitchen and dining area, with a central island incorporating the hob and featuring Laura Hammett designed bar stools. We also made the area soundproof with beautifully imposing black iron and glass doors, creating a feature whether closed or open. The Living Room was kept simple with beautifully elegant large cream sofas, a carved polished cotton rug, a large bespoke eglomise and bronze coffee table, selenite table lamps and windows framing the bonsai trees outside, helping to create a peaceful sanctuary – the perfect backdrop for the client’s Tibetan art collection. Similarly, in the Master Bedroom we kept scatter cushions to a minimum and selected simple but beautiful accessories to ensure that the final look we created could be easily maintained. Outside, the chiseled slate fireplace design was softened with well-lit large Bonsai trees and beautiful Holly Hunt outdoor fabrics on the benches.
Favourite room / part of the project?
My favourite room has to be the Dressing Room which is located in what used to be the rear cellar vaults. Its features are finished off beautifully with an ultra-soft polished cotton carpet, and a pearlescent veneer which has been used throughout the space. The mirrored and silk wall lights add an elegant touch and the glass fronted shoe cupboards with beautiful strip lighting ensures that everything is on show.
Any issues / problems you had to overcome during the project?
The dressing room was the most challenging space we have ever designed, for a number of reasons. It was located in the underground vaults which had been recently tanked so we couldn’t penetrate into the walls in any way for ceiling lighting. We created a shadow gap with a recessed LED strip which created an even wash of light across the whole ceiling. The curve of the ceiling also made the joinery design very complicated but once we found a solution for the storage and door formation it actually became the most interesting feature of the room.
We also wanted to open up the staircase with a glass wall but this was unfortunately rejected by the planning department so instead we incorporated the black steel from the door design to the banister and created a simple design. The use of the black steel was in keeping with the heritage of the building and was what would have originally been used.