homify 360°: Chelsea basement refurbishment

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Often times, when people say the word basement, words such as dark, forgotten and gloomy come to mind, definitely not adjectives like light filled and airy. The reason for this is quite simply what we have become accustomed to—our perception is that basements are for storage and murder scenes and not for beautiful apartments or flats. Misconceptions aside, this stunning project completed by BTL Property and designed by Balance Property is a marvel in modern day refurbishments and extensions. Defying both traditional basement use and design, you are about to be treated to a home which embodies luxurious fittings, exceptional spatial layout and contemporary interior decorating. There is also access to a quaint outdoor space that is absolutely the most perfect retreat from city life and busy schedules.

So, without further ado, let's take a tour through this basement flat in Chelsea, which encompasses a large open living area, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and private outdoor space. You will be left speechless when you realise that is only took 20 weeks to complete.

An unassuming exterior

Roland Gardens :  Windows  by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

Our parents and grandparents always told us never to judge a book by its cover, and with good reason. This point applies especially in big cities when more often than not, the exterior appearance of an apartment or flat is in complete contrast to the internal layout and interior design that is housed inside. While it is impossible to change the outside of an apartment block that we do not own, unlike a house, we have to inject our personality and character elsewhere. As we proceed down this whitewashed brick pathway, we are presented with a grey door and high level window. We ask ourselves, what mysteries and treasures are hidden behind?

Open plan living

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Dining room by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

Our first glimpse of the interior presents us with a well resolved open plan living, kitchen and dining space. The brief presented by the occupants to the builders and designers was to create a home that has a focus on natural light. As you can see, the lack of partitions and divisions in this space means that as much light as possible can penetrate from outside. The floor to ceiling windows and doors to the internal garden give these rooms a feeling of spaciousness and openness, all while maintaining the visual dialogue between the different spaces. The lamps and recessed downlights focus a different sort of light above the dining table and kitchen worktop, providing a more intimate and focused glow to those areas. 

Kitchen & dining room

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Kitchen by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

Visible from this angle is the breakfast bar, which backs the kitchen island. The white marble top, in conjunction with the soft tones of grey, come together to create a kitchen and casual eating area that is modern and fresh. Those that prefer to eat on the go can do so here, otherwise, the dining room table is only a few steps away. Great for those who entertain frequently, cook up a storm, or even want to dine in solitude with plenty of space to relax. 

Lounge room

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Living room by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

The L-shaped couch acts as an unobtrusive border between the kitchen and living area. In keeping with the tones evidenced in the other spaces, the grey and white colour scheme has been retained for a concise visual dialogue. Minimalist and geometric in design, yet not in the slightest way stripped back, it is evident that this living room is conducive to relaxation and perfect for kicking back after a long day. 

Bedroom 1

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Bedroom by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

The first of the bedrooms looks directly onto the internal garden, creating a subtle notion of transparency between the adjacent rooms. A white and bright space, the selection of furniture and decorations give the room an elegant and charming aura. Simplicity is key, with the only injection of colour coming from the dusty purple coloured bedspread. The tall beadhead and ottoman at the base of the bed allude to romance and leisure—a combination of words that are great for describing a bedroom space. 

Bedroom 2

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Bedroom by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

In the second bedroom, a more neutral colour palette has been employed, with only a subtle shift in tone variation. The dark dressing tables and armchair add a necessary contrast to the space, breaking up the muted and serene palette. Bathed also in natural light, the large window, with the help of the stark white walls, further reflects the light and helps it to illuminate all those hard to reach places. 

Bedroom 3

Roland Gardens : minimalistic Bedroom by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

In a nod to Nordic minimalism, the third bedroom, which is largely white, still has an aura of comfort and individuality despite the muted tones used. Again, a delicate highlight and variance in colour has been provided by the black side tables, elegantly finished off by the twin lamps.

As mentioned earlier, there is a common dialogue and visual relationship between all the spaces. This is evidenced through the continuous use of pale timber floorboards, a neutral colour palette and access to natural light. The rhythm and tones used throughout the home are similar, helping both occupants and guests to understand the connection between the rooms. It's all in the finer details—balance and harmony has been achieved through small variations rather than bold contrasts. 

Bathroom

Roland Gardens : modern Bathroom by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

The bathroom is a temple of relaxation and calm, via the use of floor to ceiling white marble—you may remember, but it was also seen atop the kitchen island. This again, draws on the visual connections between the rooms. The free standing bathtub, glass shower enclosure and contemporary fixtures are at the height of modern bathroom design. If you look up, a striking impact has been created from the black beam, which literally speaking, breaks the largely white on white colour scheme in half. 

WC

Roland Gardens : modern Bathroom by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

Traditionally, wallpaper doesn't feature in a bathroom, but this geometric, almost honeycomb pattern, looks fresh and à la mode. The cantilever toilet, with minimalist flush button looks streamlined and sleek. This area is a fusion of minimalist, elegant and well-thought out design.

Outdoor space

Roland Gardens : modern Garden by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

Lastly, but definitely not least, we have a view of the enclosed outdoor area to the rear of the open plan living area. Opening the two spaces up to one another, the occupants have the ability to bring the outside, inside. Even a small garden area can make a huge difference to our day to day lives and overall well being. Especially so in the winter months when visits to the park or long strolls become less frequent and weather permitting. To just have a few moments to stare into the greenery or watch the rain, hail or snow fall outside the confines of our home, is good for the soul.

To see more stunning properties in London, check out the following ideabooks:

Basement conversion, Islington 

Restoration of a South London home

What are your thoughts on the striking impact between the exterior façade and interior design? Were you too, blown away?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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