It is almost difficult to come up with enough superlatives to describe this house. Where do you even start? If ever there was a home that shows just how cool and sexy property can be, this is it. First, its pedigree was second to none. The owner, Mark Christophers - an entrepreneur who founded West Cornwall Pasty Company - admitted he had big ideas but “didn’t know where to start”. Not a problem as he commissioned Gianni Botsford Architects to design what was possibly one of the best bachelor pads in London. In a recent interview, Botsford said, “This was an interesting conversion, joining two maisonettes together to create a single family home. The brief was to combine practicality with indulgence, which required a complete reconfiguration of the lower-ground floor to enable views to the garden and flood what had previously been dark space with light. The end result is, we hope, a truly individual property that functions as a unique family home.”
Then came the interiors which were designed by the owner himself while fitted out with pieces from none other than Jimmie Martin, Tom Dixon and Abigail Ahern. The Bulthaup kitchen was sparse but featured some of the most state-of-the-art appliances from Sub Zero & Wolf UK and Gaggenau. A cleverly positioned Eames chair graced the seating area while the dining area gazed out via glass pivot doors onto a superbly manicured garden and outdoor room with living walls. At the other end is a cinema/family room with what must have been some of the plushest sofas on earth. Inspired Dwellings supplied all of the high-tech systems including multi-room Control4 and Lutron lighting throughout the home.
At first glance, the living room on the raised-ground floor seemed conventional enough until you spotted the owner’s quirky velvet furnishings, eye-catching cushions and bright blue Jimmie Martin busts. Other pieces include a Mikael Alacoque statue, bulldog lamps from Abigail Ahern, Moleta Munro x Koff skull candles used as doorstops and Tom Dixon lamps. Careful if you’re thinking about passing through the doors to the rear as it actually fills the lightwell with natural sunlight to the kitchen below.
Upstairs is where it started to get really funky. The master bedroom suite occupied the entire second floor. A massive skylight filled the space with natural light and the owner would have had the choice of the shower room or the huge double-ended bath at the end of the bed. “It was always my dream to have a freestanding bath in my bedroom,” said the owner. “I see it as ‘house art’, though it’s definitely not form over function.” A sculptural spiral staircase led from the master bedroom up to the study above. What we wouldn’t give to have been based in this home office! Light, airy and with its own terrace beyond, it was a dream workspace.
The Jimmie Martin artwork in the kitchen read ‘Perfection’. Yes, that is just what this house was.
Discover more about Gianni Botsford Architects on the Domus Nova Architect Guide