Houzz Tour: A Georgian Home in London Has an Incredible Transformation
See the amazing ‘before and after’ photos of this beautiful Georgian home – an abandoned hospital restored to its former glory
When the owners bought the building, it was still full of medical equipment, with thick lino on the floor and much of the space divided into consultation cubicles complete with privacy curtains – visible in the first image, a before shot of the empty hospital.
Who lives here A professional couple
Location Central London
Property A Grade I listed, five-storey house, built in 1798
Size 2 bedrooms, 2 en suite bathrooms and a cloakroom
Architect Russell Taylor Architects
In this image, you can see inside the house before work began, in May 2007. The renovation continued until the end of 2008, with every detail painstakingly created. ‘The house is Grade I listed, which is the highest level of protection, so both the local council and English Heritage were involved in every decision,’ says Silvia Maiorino of Russell Taylor Architects, the practice behind the renovation. ‘But it was always the intention of the owners to be sympathetic to the building and do things right, often at great expense.’
The brief was to create a home comprising three floors of reception space with two floors given over to bedroom suites. The house had been used as the London Foot Hospital before the owners bought it. ‘It was really ill adapted to being a hospital, especially for people who might have had difficulty moving from floor to floor!’ says Maiorino, who worked closely on the project. ‘It had been fitted out very crudely inside, too. Structural reinforcements had been installed in quite a ham-fisted way and very few original features remained.’
The columns now sit centrally where the arch once was, framing the beautiful drawing room on the first floor. ‘It has the highest ceilings, grandest detailing and largest windows, so it had to be the drawing room!’ she adds.
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‘The columns are made from a specialist plaster called scagliola, which is very hard and can be made in any colour to replicate any stone,’ says Maiorino. ‘The only way you can tell it’s not marble is that it doesn’t feel cold. Its advantages are that it’s lighter than marble – we would have had to reinforce the floors if we’d used the real thing – and it’s cheaper.’
Specialist glass, made to look like the kind manufactured during the Victorian period, was used. ‘It’s not perfectly flat and has a slight distortion in it, to look authentic,’ Maiorino says. The chandelier is from a specialist restorer and maker of period lighting.
This staircase is a copy of the one in Sir John Soane’s Museum. ‘The owners are patrons of the museum and prefer the more stripped-back neoclassical style that he favoured over the decorative style of the Adams brothers, who designed the building,’ Maiorino explains. ‘In addition, by the time the building was finished in 1798, Robert Adam had died and, although he designed the exterior elevation, he never saw the interior. So it fits to follow the style of an architect who came just after him.’
There is also a cloakroom on this floor.
Kitchen, Smallbone of Devizes.
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The bath and shower were made bespoke. ‘We contacted a stone supplier with detailed drawings on how we wanted it to be done,’ Maiorino says.
Throughout the house, the flooring is all new, apart from on the top floor. ‘We used engineered boards and fitted underfloor heating,’ the architect adds. ‘The radiators in here are used as towel rails.’
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This room was probably always intended to be a bedroom for the family that owned the property. ‘Space was at too much of a premium in London to keep servants up here,’ says the architect. ‘Some staff would have lived in the house, but it’s most likely they would have been in the basement.’
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