February 27, 2020

Patalab Updates U.K. Arts and Crafts Townhouse to Showcase Art Collection

The front garden, a collaboration with John Plummer from Greenmantle, echoes the symmetry of the front façade. Photography by Julian Abrams.

When a Hampstead family with three small children asked Patalab to update their Arts and Crafts townhouse, one major consideration was finding ways to highlight their impressive collection of modern art. Another was to open up the house, itself a work of art. “There was a desire to display the works of art to their advantage,” says founder and director Uwe Schmidt-Hess, “without losing the intimate quality of a young family’s home.”

Thanks to some reorganization, a skylight now floods the triple-height staircase space with light. Photography by Julian Abrams.

While much of the 4,500-square-foot house’s original features were retained—including a central staircase and timber wall paneling, both now whitewashed—a new connection between reception rooms on the ground floor and the elegant back garden created not only a reconfigured kitchen but also a dining area and living space with sunken seating area with ample wall and display space.

Smoked oak flooring contrasts with the upper gallery’s whitewashed walls. Photography by Julian Abrams.

Flooring on the ground level combines distressed parquet and mottled Azul Cascais limestone, with the upper floor’s master bathroom features large-format book-matched Carrara marble slabs. And recessed ceiling LED down lights integrate lighting into the building fabric while complementing the ceilings, which the team plastered in wall washers to better illuminate the couple’s prized collection.

In the new wing, a dining area opens into the garden. Photography by Julian Abrams.
A gallery space includes a sunken grey leather and dark-stained oak frame seating area, a collaboration between contractor Parry Page and upholsterer Ben Whistler. Photography by Julian Abrams.
Hand-made Danish brick, with just the horizontal joints raked, clads the new rear extension. Photography by Julian Abrams.

Read more: Firms Join Forces to Give Organic Form to a Family Villa in Melbourne

Recent Projects