Bloomsbury Mansion Apartment: A Modern Classic

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The Bloomsbury Mansion Apartment in London, situated in the heart of the west end and close to the theatres of Covent Garden, was redesigned and refurbished by LLI Design. The project involved a complete renovation of a two-bedroom apartment that had not been updated in many years, creating a beautiful pied-a-terre for the clients. The brief was to enhance the period details of the apartment while incorporating the clients’ inherited furniture pieces and new contemporary pieces to create an eclectic mix that suited the clients’ aesthetic. The existing apartment had a long central corridor with rooms on either side, all enjoying high ceilings, original cornices, skirtings, architraves, and generously proportioned windows.

To make the apartment work for the clients and to maximise all the space available, the layout was amended. The two reception rooms on the north facing courtyard side were knocked through to create a generous open plan library/dining room, creating a more cohesive feel to the apartment as a whole. The light-filled southside reception room became a music room, with a baby grand piano as its centrepiece. The bedroom on the south side became the master bedroom with a beautiful, tall tree outside the window, while the other bedroom on the north side became the guest bedroom. The kitchen remained largely in its original position, albeit completely reconfigured and re-designed to incorporate a small island, a hidden utility area, and a larder space.

The entrance to the apartment needed to feel warm and welcoming with no clutter. As the corridor was quite narrow, a small amount was nibbled out of the generous library room adjacent to the hall to create storage for coats, shoes, and suitcases, as there was no provision for a coats cupboard in the original layout. An ‘invisible’ door was created to make the cupboard as unobtrusive as possible. The library room/dining room was created by integrating the two reception rooms on the north side of the property. Part of the brief was to install a working fireplace to make the space feel warm and cosy, so a fire surround was designed and integrated into the new bespoke joinery unit, with a cast iron, realistic faux log burner installed in the new fireplace surround.

For the majority of the spaces, wide plank timber flooring in a warm pale grey tone was specified to visually tie the spaces together. The bedrooms were carpeted in a deep pile soft grey carpet, and the bathrooms were tiled, complemented with underfloor heating. The lighting design was challenging as the construction of the ceilings didn’t allow for any recessed lighting, so all luminaires had to be surface mounted or incorporated in joinery. Large dramatic pendant lamps were specified all the way down the corridor to emphasise its length, with a large round mirror and a console shelf creating a visual full stop at the end.

In conclusion, LLI Design‘s renovation of the Bloomsbury Mansion Apartment is a perfect example of how a period property can be brought into the modern era without losing its original character. By enhancing the period details of the apartment and combining them with new contemporary pieces, LLI Design has created an eclectic mix that suits the clients’ aesthetic. The revised layout of the apartment makes the most of the space available, and the tonal colour scheme in half tones of grey, emphasising the high ceilings throughout the property, adds a touch of elegance. The attention to detail, from the ‘invisible’ door to the integration of the working fireplace into the new bespoke joinery unit, is what sets LLI Design apart, and the Bloomsbury Mansion Apartment is no exception.

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