Stripped back

By Elspeth Pridham
February 27, 2020

Located in London’s Marylebone, this Grade II-listed home has been stripped back to its shell, reconfigured and then restored into a two-bedroom property with mid-century American styling.

The two-storey 18th-century apartment, part of a larger Georgian townhouse, originally adhered to the Portland Estate 1750s layout, having undergone some alterations in the early 19th century. International architecture and design studio Red Deer reconfigured the layout further, removing the bathroom and cloakroom and narrowing the hallway in order to accommodate two smaller bathrooms – one of them an ensuite.

Additionally, the kitchen has been reoriented to create a social open-plan space for entertaining.

The ground floor features the open-plan area, bathroom, master bedroom with ensuite and outdoor terrace, while the upper first-floor includes a second bedroom that overlooks an outdoor terrace.

“The homeowner’s brief was nebulous and aesthetic driven – so we knew that so long as it’s beautiful, it met the brief,” says Lionel Real de Azúa, who founded Red Deer.

Bare plaster and original brickwork have been exposed on certain walls, to hint at the building’s age.

“Taking inspiration from the owner’s US background, we were really inspired by American mid-Century design, in particular Los Angeles designers from the 50s and 60s.  When we mix that with a British period property as a backdrop, it created something modern, contemporary and excited us and the homeowner,” adds Azúa.

The styling is highlighted through the palette of black, white and grey that flows through the apartment, with sharp lines featuring in elements from one-off furniture pieces to the brass fittings.

Red Deer was careful in restoring and introducing original features back into the apartment, highlighting the Jacobethan mouldings and adding new classical plasterwork.

“There were some obvious challenges with a building of this age. It required a large renovation to bring it back to good standard and we encountered many hurdles with the building’s Grade II listing. We worked closely with the planning team to restore the property to its former glory,” remarks Azúa.

Period fireplaces were also sourced and reinstalled, along with dark reclaimed Douglas Fir floorboards.

The kitchen adds a sophisticated modern edge to the ground floor, made up of dark teal cabinets with brass mesh and handle detailing.

Marble worktops and splashbacks have been fitted that complement the many antique items within the apartment, such as the vintage solid wood dining table top, Thonet-style bistro chairs and various artwork that help stage the eclectic apartment that unites a combination of styles.