2013-02-07-11-47-01

Georgian restoration

Yesterday I had the privilege, courtesy of The Georgian Group, to visit a beautiful and sensitively restored Georgian townhouse on Queen Anne’s Gate in London. The house was and is a grand townhouse and in its day was inhabited by notable politicians and diplomats such as Lord Kinnaird, the 1st Baron Malmesbury, Lord Apsley and William Smith.

The current owner has set about painstakingly stripping back years of paintwork both on the exterior railings and stonework and the interior, on coving, friezes and architraves. The decor is a wonderful balance of traditional and current day tastes although always in keeping and true to the original. The furniture and ornament is entirely antique. I applaud the owner for the sensitivity and authenticity with which the restoration has been approached and the original architectural design and detailing is superb.

My only hesitation is with it as a modern day, habitable home because it felt just a little like a museum in the way that it was furnished. For example, room after room contained a table and chairs with a bureau and there are only so many rooms that you will eat in. There was only one room that I imagine the owners might relax in of an evening when not entertaining.

Anyway, here are some of the details I picked out that I thought you might be interested to see. Note the Farrow and Ball palette of colours used throughout the house.

This tall dark handsome stranger happens to be my father who accompanied me.

This tall dark handsome stranger happens to be my father, architect Derek Latham, who accompanied me.

All the fireplaces were delightful but this was may favourite.

All the fireplaces were delightful but this was may favourite. The wall lights too were so simple and worked beautifully with the central lantern.

Fanlight construction and stripped back cornice

Fanlight construction and stripped back cornice

Corbel and frieze detailing laid bare and all the more beautiful for it.

Corbel and frieze detailing laid bare and all the more beautiful for it.

Wonderful and most unusual corner cabinet

Wonderful and most unusual corner cabinet

Exquisite card table

Exquisite card tableOrnate but elegant iron balustrades. Note the simpler straight iron balustrade design going down to the servats quarters.

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A view up to the lanterns window on the top floor

A close up of the lantern window with Robert Adam style frieze.

A close up of the lantern window with Robert Adam style frieze.

Gorgeous glazing looking into the servants working rooms below stairs.

Classic glazing looking into the servants working rooms below stairs.


Hand painted single scene chinoiserie paper applied tile by tile - as it woud have been in the wealthiest of houses of the day. With oriental style furniture alongside classic Hepplewhite mahogany in the dining room

Hand painted single scene chinoiserie paper applied tile by tile – as it would have been in the wealthiest of houses of the day. With oriental style furniture alongside classic Hepplewhite mahogany in the dining room

Hand painted wallpaper detail

Hand painted wallpaper detail

The beauty of a lantern put to good effect

The beauty of a lantern put to good effect

Twin double doors create perfect symmetry but read on....

Twin double doors create perfect symmetry but read on…. look closely at the right door on the right – it’s a dummy and below is the other side of the wall.

Pure genius. Just how to get around a problem where doors don't align. Carry on the detailing beyond the opening.

Pure genius. Just how to get around a problem where doors don’t align. Carry on the detailing beyond the opening.

Gorgeous restoration doors with elegant Greek motif

Exquisite and refined door design with elegant Greek motif


Close up detail

Fabulous frieze running at the top level of the stairs

Elegant frieze running at the top level of the stairs emphasising the curve of the wall

A cosy sitting room on the second floor

A cosy sitting room on the second floor

Floral bedroom done in a current wallpaper design from GP&J Baker but very much in keeping.

Floral bedroom done in a current wallpaper design from GP&J Baker but very much in keeping.

Wallpaper detail and smart rocker switch plate from The Wandsworth Group

Wallpaper detail and smart rocker switch plate from The Wandsworth Group

Delightfully delicate but oh so pretty cornice in the sitting room. And gorgeously mellow wall colour.

Delightfully delicate but oh so pretty cornice in the sitting room. And gorgeously mellow wall colour.

 

 This house really is a gem. The calibre of  restoration is testament to the painstaking efforts and evident passion for the Georgian period, its architecture and interior styling of its current owner.

I adored every minute of my visit and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my selected highlights. Sarah

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