Words by Lucy Thomas
New York-based architect Lydia Xynogala’s latest undertaking utilises the intricate Victorian details of this London home while injecting minimalism and creating light to update the space with a contemporary and coherent core.
The layout of the entrance hall means that the staircase blocked the awkwardly placed compact kitchen that was behind it. Xynogala’s challenge was to bring the darkened kitchen to life by utilising light from the bright and airy hallway space. Her solution; a white perforated steel plate staircase. This replacement allows light to flow through the individual holes like stars and light up the once shadowed kitchen. The effect of this on the staircase is that it appears delicate and translucent, blending into the background rather than the austere solid staircase that stood before it.
The home is nestled in amongst abundant green spaces, and as its entrance also acts as an exit to the outside, it was important to note and utilise the fluid space. Xynogala’s use of potted plants against the whitewashed walls not only responds to the exterior of the property but also to the defining checkerboard floor that acts as a feature to the space.
Perforated white steel plates also act as shelves and seating to provide a modern geometric twist that enhances the space's visual composition. By removing all unnecessary details, the interior focusses on the dispelling of light to transform it into a refreshing example of modern design.
Throughout the rest of the property, Xynogala cleverly utilises the individual spaces with streamlined cabinets, muted colour palettes and natural wood flooring. This unique and bespoke interior harnesses its clever details and creates the perfect example of the collision of two worlds; modern minimalist design and traditional Victorian design to create a place where the two coexist in harmony and luxury.