London is arguably the world's most diverse city, with cultures and influences pouring in from every remote corner of the globe to create a melting pot of unrivalled diversity. Did you know more than 300 languages are spoken in the capital? With such a huge assortment of cultures making London the city that it is today, it's no surprise that the homes that make up the residential landscape of the city are as unique and varied as the people who occupy them. From classically British, to Mediterranean, Scandinavian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and in our case today, African, all cultures are represented to their fullest.
This wonderful home owned by a Kenyan client has been named 'Peponi', meaning paradise in the owner's native Swahili. The three storey Victorian home is an African oasis; somewhat of a home away from home. Enlisting the help of Studio D Tale to help bring the charm, colour and character of their native Kenya to the suburbs of London, a one-of-a-kind project resulted, with no detail spared, and every element of the design carefully considered to create an African paradise right here in the British capital.
Instantly, we get the sense we are in a home that is anything but typical, and the character and personality of the occupants is felt straight away. A lot of work has gone into what we see here, not only in the choices of interior decorations and furniture, but also their source, the structural arrangement of the house, and the spatial arrangement of each room. By demolishing some non load-bearing walls, a more free-flowing and open plan home is now evident. The breezy nature is an ode to the stunning, expansive natural landscape of the flats of Kenya.
Bold colours and a presence of natural elements dominate the new design scheme, as does the prevalence of natural light. Here on the terrace, a mix of brightly coloured cement pigment tiles were sourced from North Africa, which have been handmade using traditional techniques. This is just one of many examples of how such an authentic ambience has been created.
You would be forgiven for mistaking this bedroom for an African safari hut, surrounded by the wilderness of Kenya, rather than the streets of London. Light flows easily throughout the entire house, thanks to a number of additional skylights around the home, including one directly above the bed. A theme of colour and various species of tropical plants continues in the bedroom. Rather than the use of whole plants, various branches have been strategically placed throughout, adding a touch of greenery that complements the colours instead of feeling too overbearing.
Often a bathroom is the last room considered when it comes to natural light, but as you can see in the case of this African-themed oasis, this is certainly not true. A dramatic skylight features in the top floor bathroom, which along with the added luxury of a rainfall shower, helps to create an indoor/outdoor bathing experience like no other.
The small kitchen highlights the well blended mix of modern and tradition. Bespoke toughened glass joinery is used to openly display ingredients and utensils used for traditional Swahili dishes, all in a modern kitchen setting.
The ever present element of tropical plant cuttings are used again to decorate the staircase, which is clad in naturally stained oak, adding another touch of authenticity, and aids in bringing a feeling of being outdoors, in. The timber has been wire brushed, which adds a subtle texture to the floor, while still maintaining a smooth appearance: yet another understated, authentic detail of the home away from home.
Want to see another home with a hidden twist behind its walls? Then you will love this carpenter's workshop conversion home.