The Mint List brings mid-century influences to north London family home
Interior design studio The Mint List has brought light, space and warmth to this Edwardian house in London with multiple extensions, a hidden playroom and plenty of tactile materials.
The renovated end-of-terrace house in Kensal Rise belongs to a film-industry couple that wanted a cosy family home with mid-century elements, in particular referencing the work of designers Charles and Ray Eames.
"The clients had a leaning towards mid-century style but they didn't want that to overwhelm the scheme," The Mint List founder Camilla Kelly told Dezeen.
"The Eames House was a good mid-century reference in terms of encompassing warm, repurposed textures, a sense of scale and an abundance of light."
The brief was to open up this formerly dark and "unremarkable" home and create an improved sense of flow.
As well as adding two bedrooms and a small study in the newly converted loft, The Mint List created a rear extension to house the kitchen-dining space and absorbed the property's former garage into the house, providing a mudroom, pantry and playroom.
The playroom is cleverly concealed behind a bank of new storage in the hallway, which has also been enlarged by opening it up into the former porch.
"There was huge importance given to light in the design," said Kelly. "Wherever possible, we created tall windows benefiting from the south-facing aspect."
The house is full of custom-designed features and finishes at the request of the client.
The floor uses unusually slim lengths of oak, laid at right angles to each other in huge grids, while the thresholds were distinguished with slender fins of brass that add subtle visual interest.
Drawing on the design language of mid-century furniture, the kitchen was completely custom-built for the space with a clean-lined, yet playfully asymmetric design.
"We centralised the assembly and used high windows on either side of the cabinets to emphasise the cubic nature of the design," said Kelly. "The asymmetric cubes that form the cabinets were built using walnut, with cream-painted doors for the covered storage."
The material mix includes walnut veneer, reeded glass, olive-coloured door fronts and antique brass detailing, as well as concrete and reclaimed iroko wood worktops.
"I'm averse to keeping things all in one colour," the designer said. "It's a missed opportunity to bring texture, colour and character to a space."
The kitchen island was designed to account for the owners' love of entertaining, with a section of the worktop raised to bar height to draw guests away from the cooking area.
"The island is even more asymmetric, with different levels, drawers, shelves and openings that served to show how the geometry of a design can sometimes be off-kilter and still look neatly intentioned, as long as it sits correctly within the scale of the space," Kelly said.
The curved bar provides a visual link to the rounded steps that lead down into the kitchen area, as well as to other curved elements throughout the house.
"I like to include some curves in my projects through room openings, joinery and countertops," Kelly said. "They help to soften spaces and improve flow from one area to the next."
Adjoining the kitchen is a hybrid library and snug, which is partially enclosed with oak shelving finished in glass and raffia, that double up as room dividers and nod to the Eames House in California.
"We didn't want this to be a dead space," Kelly said. "It's a quiet spot where you can curl up with a book or listen to music. And when the couple is entertaining, this is a soft space where you come to catch up with someone."
Four bedrooms are spread across the home's upper levels, including a shared children's bedroom with bunk beds on the first floor and two added bedrooms in the converted loft.
Since founding The Mint List in 2011, Kelly has completed a number of interior projects in London.
Among them are the headquarters of music management company Everybody's in Highbury, which she kitted out with mid-century-style movable furniture.
The photography is by Dave Watts.