Just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, a Georgian-style London townhouse stood in need of a major update. The elegant six-story home and its former stables had seen numerous alterations, tired interior finishes, and now was left with obsolete bathrooms and a home beyond repair. To make the home worthy of its elegant locale—its neighborhood Belgravia is known for its Victorian terraces and lush gardens—a proper renovation was a must. Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects stepped in, overhauling the primary structure and building a new secondary space complete with a media room, gym, and a large, bright family kitchen. Then Daniel Goldberg, founder of the architecture and design firm State of Craft, and his team came in for the interiors.
“We worked closely with Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects to review and design the entire interior of the house, from circulation to fixtures and their integration into the structure, from lighting to furniture and art, in collaboration with Emma North of Richeldis Fine Art,” Goldberg says.
London’s garden squares are one of England’s most distinctive—and valuable—contributions to modern urban development. Their concentrated green nature represents the classic ideal of the rus in urbe, pockets of calm and tranquility amid the hustle and bustle of the city. They are also ideal locations for an elegant and comfortable pied-à-terre. The white stucco facades, dotted with tall windows, are typical of Belgravia, offering pleasant views of the outdoors and allowing nature to penetrate the interior. Goldberg wanted this enchanting setting to be reflected in the palette of materials, colors, and textures inside the home. “We sought to create a sense of calm and tranquility through soft, organic tones and the use of natural materials that appeal to all the senses.”
It is a contemporary interpretation of the townhouse, using a bevy of beautiful materials that combine raw simplicity and sensual delicacy. The team at State of Craft would go even further, however, approaching this renovation/reinvention as a Gesamtkunstwerk, to use the German word for a “total work of art” with different elements combined to create a cohesive whole. “We designed many of the custom furnishings as well as integrated millwork elements in collaboration with the best English craftsmen and manufacturers,” Goldberg explains. “The result is a timeless interior of exceptional quality where every detail is carefully crafted.”
Both the architecture and the interior design create a fluid conversation between the classic and the contemporary, with carefully curated works of art and precisely arranged objects. Everything here reflects the creative vision of the owners, a couple who appreciate British modernism and contemporary art, European design pieces and antiques. From major works by Richard Serra and Ben Nicholson to international and emerging artists such as Joaquim Chancho, Lawrence Calver, Terri Brooks, and Gerry Judah, the emphasis is on abstract minimalism and monochromatic works that celebrate materiality. In the music room, for example, a white painting by Alexi Tsioris depicts a pair of intertwined standing figures. The flowing lines and allegorical symbols reference European modernism and the drawings of Miro, Picasso, and Klee, while the artist’s “sgraffito” technique is more contemporary. The work, created as a counterpoint to the black painting with three interconnected figures in front of it, provides a calming dialogue to the room.