Project: pied à terre

Woodhouse & Law were commissioned to re-design a client’s second home – a duplex apartment in the centre of Cheltenham – into a stylish, but calming, pied-à-terre

Previously decorated in a traditional style, with heavy drapes at the windows and toile wallpapers, the property’s Georgian features had become lost in the adornment, with no space to breathe. The client asked Woodhouse & Law to refresh the bathrooms and kitchen with a light touch, but the rest of the apartment was to be entirely re-designed and to incorporate a new snug within the existing vaults.

Bespoke cabinetry and an oversized mirror, bespoke-made and drilled to accommodate two decorative wall lights, were introduced to the entrance hall. This helped make a narrow space feel much larger, brighter and more inviting. Discrete, low-level step lights not only helped introduce ambiance in the evening but also provided practical lighting to better navigate the property’s staircase.

Better use was made of the open plan living space by zoning it for dining and living. A bespoke, curved sofa was introduced to soften the room and to create a cosy area in which to relax and watch TV. A rug was added to anchor the furniture and dampen the acoustics – always a challenge given the high ceilings. For the dining area, a bespoke table was designed and commissioned in solid oak, with a cylindrical, reeded timber base, accompanied by Gubi Beetle dining chairs in a rust velvet for a hint of opulence.

Bedroom at the Cheltenham apartment
 by Woodhouse & Law

Throughout, Woodhouse & Law were keen to create a scheme that was both elegant and simple in its approach. To accentuate and celebrate the property’s incredible architectural features, the heavy swags were removed. In their place, full-height sheer curtains add privacy and give the space a light, ethereal, relaxing feel. These were complemented by lined, linen curtains to add more warmth during colder months. The sofa is covered in linen against a rich teal velvet for the armchair. Soft furnishings in greens, ochre and rust helped add a depth of colour and texture, for interest and warmth year-round.

The apartment is styled with marble side tables, Porta Romana lighting and a new decorative chandelier featuring embossed antiqued glass leaves. A faux olive helped introduce some softer greenery and made for easy maintenance in a second home. Oversized handmade glassware was then introduced to create jewel-like features on top of the Gustavian chest. Then the walls – these were dressed in works by a variety of artists represented by Modern Art Buyer including Plum Neasmith, alongside pieces by local artist Jay Harper.

A real win was the fireplace. When Woodhouse & Law arrived, it was painted. The team spent days carefully stripping layers of this paint to reveal underneath a beautiful, original surround. This was kept as a surprise and only revealed it to the clients when they arrived for the handover; they were thrilled!

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