After years of living abroad, Mike and Caroline decided to move back to England. It was to be a permanent move, but they still travel extensively and so needed to find a place that would be easy to extricate themselves from and also be an appealing and welcoming home to return to. They had found an apartment in what was once an industrial building. 

It is clear that art is important to Mike and Caroline, and their numerous pieces are shown off to good effect by the muted colour scheme in the open plan area of the apartment

It is clear that art is important to Mike and Caroline, and their numerous pieces are shown off to good effect by the muted colour scheme in the open plan area of the apartment

The kitchen, with its sculptural chandelier by Lyndsey Adelman, blends seamlessly into the living room. Adjacent to the kitchen, a desk unit acts as a home office

The kitchen, with its sculptural chandelier by Lyndsey Adelman, blends seamlessly into the living room

Adjacent to the kitchen, a desk unit acts as a home office

Adjacent to the kitchen, a desk unit acts as a home office

The spacious entrance way, with its artful piano coat rack is wonderfully uncluttered

The spacious entrance way, with its artful piano coat rack is wonderfully uncluttered

The Bulthaup kitchen is deceptively large for a one bedroomed apartment. “We had enough kitchen to go into a medium sized house, but it fits beautifully in this space,” says Mike

The Bulthaup kitchen is deceptively large for a one bedroomed apartment. “We had enough kitchen to go into a medium sized house, but it fits beautifully in this space,” says Mike

The streamlined look of the apartment is partly down to the fact that all the practical, fiddly details have been incorporated into the design – electric points are recessed and there are no radiators to worry about, because all the warmth comes from underfloor heating.

The streamlined look of the apartment is partly down to the fact that all the practical, fiddly details have been incorporated into the design – electric points are recessed and there are no radiators to worry about, because all the warmth comes from underfloor heating.

Mike and Caroline made a bold decision and chose to commission an interior architect. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity really,” Mike says, “although I was a bit sceptical at first. It is not an easy decision, especially when you’ve spent all your younger life doing DIY because you can’t afford to employ people.”

Mike and Caroline made a bold decision and chose to commission an interior architect. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity really,” Mike says, “although I was a bit sceptical at first. It is not an easy decision, especially when you’ve spent all your younger life doing DIY because you can’t afford to employ people.”

The linear brass inlays are picked up as a theme on the walls too, which are also made from grey stained oak. The golden lines serve to unite and streamline the space, running across the ‘hidden’ doors to the bedroom, bathrooms and a storage area

The linear brass inlays are picked up as a theme on the walls too, which are also made from grey stained oak. The golden lines serve to unite and streamline the space, running across the ‘hidden’ doors to the bedroom, bathrooms and a storage area

The attention to detail throughout the apartment is sublime – in a wall of beautiful geometric wood panelling, it is almost impossible to tell where the doors to the bedrooms and storage area are

The attention to detail throughout the apartment is sublime – in a wall of beautiful geometric wood panelling, it is almost impossible to tell where the doors to the bedrooms and storage area are

In the bedroom there are other ingenious solutions to prevent clutter.

In the bedroom there are other ingenious solutions to prevent clutter.

A wall at the end of the bed features storage behind that also serves to make a partitioned dressing areaA wall at the end of the bed features storage behind that also serves to make a partitioned dressing area

A wall at the end of the bed features storage behind that also serves to make a partitioned dressing area

A herringbone of oak, stained to match the kitchen floor tiles, subtly indicates the change from kitchen space to living room and bedroom

A herringbone of oak, stained to match the kitchen floor tiles, subtly indicates the change from kitchen space to living room and bedroom

What appear to be quarried limestone floor tiles are actually porcelain – very functional, with none of limestone’s disadvantages

What appear to be quarried limestone floor tiles are actually porcelain – very functional, with none of limestone’s disadvantages

With the overall idea of proportion and scale in his mind, Daniel also put in carefully sectioned suspended ceilings. Along with lowering the very high ceilings, this had the practical advantage of hiding the services and, Mike says, “it also delineated the different areas, helping to divide one large space into a hall, living room and kitchen.”

With the overall idea of proportion and scale in his mind, Daniel also put in carefully sectioned suspended ceilings. Along with lowering the very high ceilings, this had the practical advantage of hiding the services and, Mike says, “it also delineated the different areas, helping to divide one large space into a hall, living room and kitchen.”

The bathrooms in particular have excellent lighting. “All my adult life I’ve wanted an electric shaving mirror,” says Mike “and now we have two!” The mirrors are also heated so that they don’t steam up.

The bathrooms in particular have excellent lighting. “All my adult life I’ve wanted an electric shaving mirror,” says Mike “and now we have two!” The mirrors are also heated so that they don’t steam up.

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether

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