There is such an abundance of Victorian houses in London that most people take them for granted. Go to the US, for example, and the few Victorian houses that remain are treated like museums and kept in perfect period style. On this side of the Atlantic, we don’t feel nearly so reverential so most Victorian homes have long since lost their period cornicing, fireplaces and other features. It is almost a surprise, therefore, to find a house in an area as trendy as Notting Hill, that has not only retained the period features but beautifully juxtaposed them with contemporary furnishings.
It’s hard to know where to look in the living room. The floor to ceiling windows lead onto a Juliette balcony that retains its original cast iron railings. The windows themselves still have the original shutters while above is the ornate and fully intact plaster cornicing. The room is completed with original panelling and a marble fireplace. The owners wisely kept the furnishings to a minimum to showcase these magnificent features. Antique chairs and artefacts complement the room rather than compete with it, while large mirrors set into the panelling reflect the stunning period features.
The adjoining dining room features yet another spectacular fireplace that is beautifully complemented by an ornate Lalique chandelier that hangs over the antique dining table.
The contemporary kitchen on the half landing is strikingly modern but leads to yet another floor-to-ceiling window with a Juliet balcony beyond. Even those who are not blessed with green fingers would be tempted to plant a few herbs out there.
Modern touches are seen throughout the house, notably with the Joan Miro mobile which hangs at the top of the staircase. In the master bedroom, hand printed wallpaper lends a feminine touch to this comfortable room while in the master bathroom, a double-ended bath – albeit a contemporary one – epitomises this flat’s blend of the old and new.
Outside isn’t neglected, either. Hand embroidered cushions from India sit atop a paved roof terrace studded with lavender and other plans in terracotta pots. Views over the chimney pots and roof of London make this a great place to get away from it all.