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Weekend: SPACE: Masters of industry: Charlotte Abrahams visits a Victorian home in Brighton stripped back to its original, hard-working roots. Pictures by Michael Franke

May 24, 2014

Proof that the best interior design is often collaborative, this mid-Victorian terrace house in Brighton is the work of two men: the owner, event manager Kindred Rose, and his long-time friend, interior architect Richard Dewhurst. The four-storey house now has a distinctive industrial vibe that suits the building (many of these houses were converted into workshops in the 1950s) and, more importantly, Rose himself.


Dewhurst turned the basement into an open-plan kitchen/eating space. There are no windows, so he kept the materials light, making the kitchen units and the walls from varnished birch plywood that will mellow and become warmer in colour as it ages, and adding touches of light-reflecting steel. Brightly painted Vitra Standard SP chairs by Jean Prouve (pounds 365, and a custom-made table from inject colour.

As an alternative to standard recessed lights (one of Dewhurst's pet hates), he has lined the ceiling with filament bulbs from Historic Lighting. A pair of wall-mounted lights (from add to the industrial feel and provide task light for cooking.


"I like to make a major impact in an entrance hall as it's a space that's used every day," Dewhurst says, "and here the hallway and staircase lead directly to the very bright studio upstairs, so I decided to use intense blues to maximise the contrast in light levels." Walls are painted in St Giles Blue No 280 estate emulsion, pounds 36 for 2.5l; the tongue-and-groove woodwork is in Drawing Room Blue No 253 estate eggshell, pounds 51 for 2.5l, both from Farrow & Ball.


"Kindred craved a space where life-drawing, sculpture and yoga could take place, which is not an easy task in a narrow four-storey house with two floors below ground level," Dewhurst says. "So I suggested we create a studio on the top floor by going up into the roof."

It is a new space but they wanted to give the impression that the room had always existed, so Dewhurst stripped the chimney wall back to the brickwork and exposed the original floorboards (painted in Leyland trade eggshell in RAL 7024 from "I love the structure of the brickwork," Rose says. "And the fact that it hasn't been seen since 1875." A tongue-and-groove panelled ceiling and distressed concrete wall (or at least what appears to be - it is in fact Piet Boon's wallpaper from provides another layer of texture.

Rose has kept the furniture simple, opting for vintage pieces, such as the early 20th-century leather armchairs, wooden coffee table (all from and the reclaimed Czech factory lights (from that accentuate the height of the ceiling. The pair of small wood-burning stoves, coupled with the matching bookcases, bring a sense of symmetry and order.

The idea of stacking paintings on a shelf high above the floor was a piece of serendipity. The shelf was created to display pieces of sculpture but when Rose came to empty the attic, he found a lot of paintings that he wanted to keep but didn't feel quite suited the space. Stacking them along the shelf was a perfect solution.

The raw, industrial aesthetic is lightened by the surprise of the brilliant blue shutters (again Farrow & Ball's estate emulsion in St Giles Blue) which, contrasted with the off-black external window frames, create a statement from the street.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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