Interior designer Clair Strong recently completed work on a beautiful Georgian apartment in the centre of Bath. Here she shares the brief, the design evolution and the final interior
THE PROJECT BRIEF
The client was a professional couple who had bought a two-bedroom flat in Bath. The brief was to provide a full design service for the flat’s interior refurbishment and furnishing. The couple didn’t have the time or local knowledge to manage the changes themselves, but had a strong sense of personal style, so it was very much a collaborative effort.
The challenge for me as a designer was to recommend local tradesmen and to coordinate the work. This involved sourcing flooring, tiles, sanitary ware, lighting and fabrics to complement the owners’ existing pieces; supplying curtains and blinds with the help of Sally Jarman Interiors; and providing design consultation throughout.
Working with the apartment’s existing character features, the design was planned to create a vibrant, modern city home. The project began with an issue of Anthropologie magazine. A couple of images from the magazine had really captured the attention of the owners, and so inspiration was drawn from these ideas for the living room and guest bedroom, which also doubles as a study area. The owners had also selected a selection of wallpapers that they liked, and these choices were narrowed down to two from Cole & Son. These wallpapers were the starting point for the dining room and master bedroom.
The dining room wallpaper, in shades of dark blue, light blue and off-white, is bold and dramatic. It contrasts against the room’s contemporary white dining table and chairs – these were re-covered in blue to match the walls. The sparkle of the gilded mirrors and raw silk cobalt blue curtains pooling onto the parquet herringbone wooden floor gives the room a touch of theatre.
In the living room, the neutral and blue colour palette continues with pale warm grey walls, ikat patterned blue blinds and a deep blue velvet sofa. In this room the beautiful parquet flooring is a central feature. Bespoke shelving was fitted in one corner, which is now filled with piles of books, and the space is liberally decorated with plants.
The walls and existing cabinets of the galley-shaped kitchen were painted in two shades of pale grey from the Paint and Paper Library. Decorative ceramic tiles from Fired Earth were used for the flooring, and an abstract framed print provides a pop of colour in the serene space.
The master bedroom is a generously sized room with plenty of natural light. In this room the second Cole & Son wallpaper was used on one wall, complemented with raw silk curtains in oyster, an eclectic mix of furniture and a contemporary wooden framed bed.
The guest room is painted in Farrow and Ball’s striking Stone Blue. The clients chose artwork, cushions and flowers in pinks, greens and blues that deliberately clash, in a vibrant and uplifting celebration of colour. The room is finished with an antique sunburst mirror and Roman blinds in fabric from Manuel Canovas.
The bathroom is a classic and crisp space with Carrara marble tiles, pale grey painted walls and a botanical green and white blind. In here it’s the little details – such as marble handles on the basin and bath taps and the carefully placed succulents and candles in recessed alcoves – that add a touch of opulence.
THE END RESULT
The finished apartment is a polished interior but one that is full of character and personality. I was delighted by the collaborative process, and by the fact that the home is a clear expression of the owners’ interests and the things that give them pleasure.
When asked what they loved most about the home, one of the owners said, “Home is my happy place and I love being surrounded by the things I love, such as my grandmother’s mineral and gem stone collection and our books. I also love living in a Georgian building with high ceilings, lots of natural light and a fantastic location in the centre of Bath.”