When Architect Chris Dyson and his wife Sarah first fell in love with the once grand 18th-century Spitalfields townhouse, it was little more than a derelict wreck. Formerly the home of an eminent London Physician in the 1700’s, the buildings gradual decline followed a chequered history. Turned into a maze of factory sweatshops during the 1930’s and suffering severe bomb damage during World War II, many of the homes original features had been tragically lost. Glorious sash windows had been replaced by steel frames, industrial brickwork had been covered under layers of render, and the architectural character all but smothered under years of neglect.
However despite the turmoil of the past, remarkably the building was still structurally sound, and so began the 17 year challenge of restoring this run down five storey Georgian town house back to its former glory.
Through dedication, savvy and sympathetic salvage yard finds and an innate understanding of the buildings architectural heritage, Chris and Sarah slowly but surely reclaimed their homes iconic Spitalfields identity.
The exterior render was stripped back to reveal the original Georgian brickwork, timber detailing replaced to create the period shopfront features, and a magnificent 8 foot high front door installed, perfecting the historic façade.
The classic high ceilings throughout the ground floor built to accommodate the original shop, now contain an airy sitting room bathed in light. Dark painted woodwork highlights the reinstated classic sash windows and industrial detailing with an atmosphere of historic solemnity. A warm leather Chesterfield creates a stately impression softened by years of wear and a traditional antique writing bureau hints at an industrious past of business and ledgers. Soft, pale walls enhance the feeling of luxurious space throughout the interior, and minimalist details, in metals and raw wood throughout hint at the properties industrial heritage.
On the upper floors, Antique fisherman’s lamps illuminate a contemporary four poster bed, Georgian display niches fill the alcoves and wrought iron chandeliers hang above open fireplaces, beautiful in their pared back functional simplicity, whilst a bespoke mahogany staircase leads to the top floor master-suite. Bare wood floorboards and rough-luxe cabinets create a minimalist backdrop for the striking simple lines of the industrial styled bath. Handcrafted from pure copper, and hand finished using traditional artisan techniques to create the stunning rustic-luxe tin finish, the bath creates a subtle statement full of stately minimalism, and understated grandeur.
The dedicated and patient restoration of this piece of iconic architectural heritage, artfully combines the industrial, vintage and luxury styles in a sincere interpretation of design. Combining contemporary touches, with classic period styling and raw materials, the effect is a warm family home, full of history and intriguing ambience.
The full story can be found in 25 Beautiful Homes Magazine.