Partnership creates luxury finish for listed townhouse

Tom Kitchener of Aliva UK explains how a close partnership of interior design and finish experts devised an unusual, luxury finish on a Grade II Listed townhouse.



ou might expect to see a traditional interior in a townhouse that sits on one of the largest Grade II Listed garden squares in London – but this Notting Hill project could not be more contemporary. Milan-based designer EligoStudio, interior finishes expert Aliva UK and build specialist Create Bespoke Beauty joined forces to bring some inspired flair to the luxury private dwelling on Ladbroke Square. EligoStudio designed the dramatic interior across four storeys, giving a bespoke and luxury finish throughout.

A key feature of the space was a statement central staircase finished in Aliva’s Metroresin in highly polished azure blue. This important element was the connection sign between all the spaces of the house. To maximise the drama of its singular design, the interior immediately surrounding it had a subtle, pared back look.

The walls were finished in a pearlescent Senso effect in orchid tint, with Metrostone cement-effect floors in the same shade. The ceiling was in Metropolis aqua divina. Doors and windows were finished in Metropolis enamel matt paint. Expertise from the Create Bespoke Beauty team of master craftsmen brought the space to life with exemplary, high-spec work that ensured a seamless finish.

Meticulous, high-quality result

Aliva UK supplied all the specialist plasters, decorative paints and resins for the project, working closely to help EligoStudio achieve the finish they required. It was a challenge to provide the uniform finish across areas with different uses, but specifying the right products and meticulous colour matching throughout ensured a top quality result right down to the basement of the house.

Normally our Senso paint is dragged horizontally to achieve a textured effect. For this project, it was applied vertically from the fourth floor right down to the basement of the house, with no visible breaks in the finish.

Another challenge was achieving a flawless finish while working with a number of different substrates. The support for the staircase also had to work with the metal stringers running underneath it and down to the basement. In the basement, we had to exactly match the orchid tint running from the floor up the wall and into the ceiling.

A product like Metrostone – a thick, cement-based coating for both floors and walls – was the only choice. Containing a water-based polyurethane resin, it is ideal for designer-led environments where individuality can shine. This type of finish is ideal for a natural, ‘earth tones’ look. Being a concrete-based finish, it can also be tinted in pale colours for a truly seamless look from the floor and right up the wall and into the ceiling. That is what we achieved in this stunning townhouse, tinting the floor coating in orchid pink to match the walls and matching their texture too.

The water-based resin provides a tough seal that we have tested with everything that we can throw at it – including bleach and hot oil. Floors finished in this type of coating can be resealed and refreshed every five to 10 years. As long as it is well maintained, the product underneath the sealer cannot be damaged. 15 years ago, standard wall and floor finishes were the norm. Interior designers had to work with a standard palette of colours and effects. However, there has been a dramatic change recently, and social media is partly responsible. Pinterest and other platforms have opened people’s minds to different ideas, and they will no longer settle for the finishes that everyone else has.

We can match our Metropolis paints and polished plasters to any colour or effect – stone, concrete, textured wallpaper or something unique. We offer customising as a standard service, working to specific budgets. Ladbroke Square is a classic example of this.

Italian artisans

Interior Architect Alberto Nespoli of EligoStudio led the interior design team that conceived the entire project from the sketching to the 3D visualisation and the choice of style, materials, design solutions and technical details. They also worked with the best Italian artisans taking care over the design and production of each piece of furniture.

For EligoStudio, the challenge was to give the interior a strong concept and a new contemporary personality. It had an important scenographic element – the serpentine, blue resin staircase – that connected all the spaces of the house. The rest of the house was treated in a different way. Each room differed from the others in terms of wallpapers, colours, furniture and finishing. The main challenge was to design an uncommon space through the use of lighting sculpture, art masterpieces, including a sphere by Anish Kapoor, and other architectural strong elements – hence the staircase.

Important elements

Other important components were the design of the wallpaper and lighting. EligoStudio worked closely with Barovier & Toso, the historical Venetian brand, developing new colours and creating glass colour chandeliers and lighting sculptures. Wall couture was by Fromental. EligoStudio worked with colours and resin surfaces to create a new metrical and contemporary approach to the architecture of the house. The resin covered all the old marble tiles and plaster surfaces. All furniture including chairs, armchairs and other pieces were designed by EligoStudio.

Dramatic, bespoke interior

UK-based Create Bespoke Beauty craftsmen completed the dramatic, bespoke interior by working with electrical specialists to install the lighting into both Lutron HomeWorks 4 and Crestron home automation systems. The company then used its own in-house teams to fulfil all the required interior finishes and custom joinery.

As with any project, there were challenges along the way. Probably the biggest was to update the existing lighting and electrical control system to function with the modern and innovative lighting features. Create Bespoke’s expertise in craftsmanship, engineering and project management enabled them to fulfil the most specific and specialist design requirements with ease and on schedule.

The combination of expert design and specialist craftsmanship ensured that every element of the project was considered. This translated to a dramatic interior with a sumptuous finish that retains a personal touch. Our team was able to tap into a huge combined breadth of knowledge and expertise, meaning that no challenge was too big to overcome on this unique project.

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