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Detail Bonhôte House
London, UK

Built: 2011 – 2012

Client: Confidential

Photography: Tim Soar

Bonhôte House

The Bonhôte House was designed for a film producer, a boutique owner and their young family. They had previously lived in a Shoreditch studio but wanted more room for their children and growing collection of contemporary photographs - Dan Holdsworth, Chris Levine, Bill Henson - and vintage bicycles.  AOC were appointed to re-develop a four storey townhouse in Stoke Newington with the aim of creating a big and intimate, beautiful and cosy, sophisticated and playful, luxurious and useful home.

The floor of the first-floor front room was removed, creating a double height, naturally lit space. From a widened entrance hall a new delicate brass stair descends into that void, landing on a slumped concrete stairchair. The old basement becomes an open plan living and cooking room, spilling onto a terrace and the garden beyond, enjoying both morning and evening sun.  The first floor bedrooms have been appropriately rearranged and a new family bathroom created. The opened-up top floor offers a generous master bedroom with ensuite, overlooking the park.

 

 

The family were keen to develop a contemporary equivalent of the Victorian mouldings: a feature with a high quality of workmanship and rich depth of detail.  We photographed the profiles of the family's heads and used them to create four personalised timber mouldings, a subtle way of making each room uniquely scaled to its inhabitants.  The parents' bedroom has a skirting made from the mother's moulding, the lounge gallery the father's, the children's theirs, while lower level living spaces are lined with a richly varied timber lining made by combining the four mouldings.

The architects worked closely with the family to ensure the house could be used to both display their favourite objects and adequately provide for all their hidden storage needs.  The subsequent panelling with open shelves, glazed doors, mirror doors and secret doors ensures the home has an instant maturity, as though the family have been there for generations.