A PAD WITH PERSONALITY, Stuart Blakley shares his one-bedroom London flat in BATTERSEA …
The name Lavender’s Blue is derived from the local area: this part of Battersea was lavender fields in the 18th century. I live of Northcote Road which is a wonderful urban village, a bit like Ranelagh in Dublin. My apartment is the ground floor of an 1890s former commercial building, badly converted in the 1980s when most of the original character was stripped out. My aim was to reinstate a period feel: I decided on an Irish country house attic look (I’m on the board of the Irish Georgian Society in London and love visiting country houses for inspiration). The interior is part based on Irish country houses of relatives and friends I visited as a child, so there’s a sense of nostalgia. I did vital structural work and installed new hardwood exterior doors and windows, and cast iron radiators. The floors are original, scraped, dyed and lacquered – I lost count of the layers! Over ten years, I have searched for antiques in Amsterdam, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Paris, Rotterdam, Savannah, Georgia, Francis Street in Dublin and Tyrone. By taking my time, I think I have achieved a layered, timeless look, opting for strong colours and playing with scale, whether in artwork or pattern, to create an illusion of space. The ceiling is eleven feet high, so the rooms are airy, despite the flat being small. I also divided the rooms with curtains made by a great seamstress in Watterson’s store in Omagh, to maximise space.
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