Barnsbury House

“Rooms snug and light — not overlarge but neat…Where everything looks elegant and chaste…” Barnsbury, as described in ‘Travels Through an Unwrecked Landscape’.

This Georgian house was refurbished and extended for an art historian and a museum curator. The property is Grade II listed and situated in the Barnsbury Conservation Area. The clients’ brief called for interiors that blend the contemporary with the classic. This led to a design inspired by Jim Ede’s approach at Kettle’s Yard, with both modern and antique furniture, fittings, finishes and objects.

The interior spaces are designed as places to entertain, raise a family, think, read, and write.

The lower ground floor was previously a dark space with a convoluted kitchen arrangement. This floor is now a light-filled, multi-functional family space, with brick tile floors inspired by Kettle’s Yard. Historic soot-stained fireplaces are revealed and celebrated, while original timber joists in the ceiling are exposed. The bespoke kitchen features Carrara marble work surfaces, English oak cabinetry fronts in a textured sawn finish, and internal carcasses lined in a heritage red painted timber.

The original vaults to the front and side were converted into top-lit storage and utility areas, while a modest side addition at lower ground floor now accommodates a shower room and pantry. The existing rear conservatory was replaced with a metal-framed extension.

Bespoke joinery in the mezzanine level study forms a desk and a concealed bed for guests. The bay here is fitted with a window seat that offers views of the garden. Reclaimed finishes were used where possible including stone to the rear patio and bricks to the new side wall. The original rear outrigger was insulated internally to improve the thermal performance.

Project Architects:
Amrit Marway and Ben Ridley

Thornhill Grove, London N1

Structural Engineer:
Architecture for London

Nick Dearden

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