In winter I love the evenings with the fire on, watching movies and in summer with the garden doors open we have breakfast on the patio all together. It makes us feel like we are on holiday.
Mira, a Director of the art gallery Robilant Voena, and Will, an artist, bought their Edwardian house in April 2011, wanting a family home for them and their two young sons. They knew they had to have it before they had even finished looking around and put in an offer on the spot. “The space and the light were perfect,” recalls Mira. “The house is wider than all the others on the street, being on the corner and has a large garden on two sides, so it was a very quick decision.”
The couple immediately started renovating it, transforming it from a warren of small rooms that had previously been used as bedsits into a spacious four bedroom home with a guest suite, master bedroom with dressing room and two further bedrooms for the children in an attic conversion. “We had a lot of work to do from top to bottom so we completely gutted the whole place,” recalls Mira. “At one point there were only two or three original walls and you could see the sky from downstairs.”
On the ground floor a tatty side extension housing four separate rooms was torn down to make way for a huge open plan kitchen and family room with bi-folding doors along the rear Eastern and Southern elevations, while at the front of the house two sitting rooms were knocked into one large living room, which is partly open to the hallway. Upstairs each floor was reconfigured to create a master bedroom suite, family bathroom and guest suite on the first floor while the top floor was extended to create two children’s bedrooms and their own bathroom.
“We wanted a house that was comfortable and practical, but that still had elegance and depth,” explains Mira. “Our taste is quite eclectic and we love the unusual, the antique, the beautifully formed and the surprising, so we wanted to make all our things work as a harmonious mix.” This was achieved by using a sophisticated palette of greys and neutrals with flashes of bright colour, the result being that each piece of furniture or art works harmoniously to create an eclectic and elegant interior.
“We are both very visual and share an interest in art, architecture and design so we respond to things in similar ways,” Mira says. “We both genuinely feel that the style of our home is shared territory and always make decisions together – we both have to live in it at the end of the day!” The house is filled with Will’s paintings and the couple’s collection of contemporary art.
Will and Mira love to entertain and often have friends or family to stay. Long, lazy Sunday lunches happen regularly and the new layout suits family life with the children playing downstairs while Mira and Will chat to guests in the kitchen. “In winter I love the evenings with the fire on, watching movies and in summer with the garden doors open we have breakfast on the patio all together. It makes us feel like we are on holiday.”