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South Kensington Gem

There is nothing more fulfilling for interior designers than the ‘My Fair Lady’ moment. That moment when the ugly duckling becomes the swan. Never has this been more true than for this under-loved apartment on the first floor of a grand mid-Victorian house in South Kensington seeking a modern transformation.

Our clients – discerning developers with backgrounds in finance and fashion – saw the potential in the desirable London location, handsome ceiling height and beautiful windows. We worked closely with them to trial several alternative layouts, ultimately deciding on a one-bedroom transformation that moved the kitchen from an awkward annexe in the reception room and created a generous lobby with concealed utility area and cloakroom by the entrance.

The hero of the design is the open-plan reception room, with three floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the room with light and give the impression of even more space. We worked with Leicht Battersea on the epitome of a ‘soft’ or invisible kitchen, choosing a lacquer finish on handle-less doors and a dreamy worktop that further smudges the difference between the working and living functions of the room. The architectural axis of the living room is a beautiful piece of modular joinery from Porada, providing a home for a picturesque Frame TV.

Using furniture and lighting from Desalto, CTO lighting, Flos, Contardi, Vibia, De Castelli and Domkapa, the overall impression is elegant, sophisticated and airy. It doesn’t take itself too seriously; the apartment is welcoming, effortlessly functional and timeless. The duckling has truly turned into a very lovely swan.

A note from our client: 

“Working with Tollgard is both thought-provoking and a sensorial delight. It is a wonderful and precious opportunity to envision the life that you are about to live in the space you are creating. The highly skilled team does a wonderful job asking all the right questions to ensure dreams, practicality and usability converge and remerge as a seamless design proposal.”

“It is a truly a very personal and intimate journey.“