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IS THIS HOUSE THE ‘BEST PROPERTY IN FULHAM’?

Is this Fulham’s best property? That was the design brief. The Resident discovers how the ambitious Andrew Appleby of the Artius Group created this contemporary family home in a 1930s property on Rosebury Road…

Words: Mark Kebble

As briefs go, the one for Rosebury Road in Fulham was quite something. ‘To create the best house in Fulham,’ states Andrew Appleby matter of factly. ‘We wanted to create a brilliantly planned modern space within a 1930s traditional building. We also wanted to provide the next “step” of the ladder to establish Artius Group as a brand synonymous with superbly designed and executed residential projects.’

Just by what you can see on these pages, I suggest they have achieved that and then some. Talking to Appleby, there’s no doubt this was a huge project, as he takes me through a whole host of things that added to the complexity of the task. As he says, the biggest challenge was to ‘create a level of quality I aspire to achieve within the constraints of the product’.

The sheer amount of light flooding the house is striking

The first thing that strikes me is the incredible lighting throughout the home. ‘I always look to maximise light in a project,’ Appleby points out. ‘This creates a sense of warmth and space in a property.’ Starting from the top, a roof light was installed to enable natural light to come flooding down the stairwell, usually dark in traditional properties such as this. ‘On the second floor I installed French doors to provide light from floor to ceiling level adjacent to the bed,’ Appleby continues.

‘I also created a glass wall between the loft-style second floor bedroom and first floor landing to allow natural light into the family bathroom and bedrooms at first floor level. At ground floor level I installed a glass crittal wall between the sitting room/library and the corridor. I also installed a full floor to ceiling height glass wall to the rear elevation of the property, allowing natural light to shine throughout from the front to the back of the ground floor.’

From the kitchen to the reception areas, this is a house for entertaining

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The back of the property has its own story to tell. ‘I removed the entire rear section of the house – with the exception of the façade – and redesigned and rebuilt it to have continuity from top to the bottom of the accommodation,’ Appleby explains. ‘I aligned all the windows/doors to provide the occupier with an aesthetically appealing feel to the rear of the building. Each section is linked to the next space in order to connect naturally and to allow the occupant to feel they are living in one space.

‘I created a formal mature feel to the ground floor,’ he continues, ‘connecting the sitting room, library and the more relaxed family area in the lower ground floor with a mezzanine overlooking the kitchen. This entire area is linked naturally by opening up the space with the mezzanine, allowing the family to be together whilst cooking, dining, working or having some quiet “me” time in the library area.’

The bedrooms and bathrooms are designed with family living in mind

The kitchen is certainly one sparkling aspect of the final design. ‘I designed the basement and garden as one space,’ Appleby concurs. ‘The kitchen is the centrepiece of the floor leading to the dining area, sitting area and opening out onto the garden at one end. Leading from the kitchen there is a wider than normal corridor leading to the family play room – this has been arranged with an open feel so the children can freely move from playroom to kitchen whilst the parents relax in the kitchen. The family room can also be used as a cosy TV room in the evenings or closed off to create an additional bedroom. The entire floor has been designed to create flexibility and a practical space for the family.’

The word ‘family’ crops up a lot during the interview and it’s left in no doubt who the design was for. The familial aspect again played a key role in the look and feel of the bedrooms in the property. ‘I designed the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom in the middle of the house to act as the focal point of the upper floors,’ Appleby says. ‘Along the corridor from the master bedroom is the large family bathroom and children’s bedroom. On the top floor I have created a loft-style bedroom with en-suite bathroom to act as a guest room, and this has been designed as an open plan floor to provide a sense of space and has been finished to feel like a Hamptons’ style “beach” hut.’

The kitchen is filled with light and leads out onto a sleek garden

Given its size and look, it’s not a surprise that Appleby says the property ‘is perfect for entertaining’ with rooms earmarked specifically for that. ‘I have created a formal sitting room and library area specifically for formal drinks /evenings and pre-dinner entertainment,’ he says. ‘The open plan kitchen is designed to open up seamlessly into the garden to create the perfect “inside-outside” space.’ But it’s not all about big plans. ‘I generally source all the furniture from smaller bespoke retailers,’ Appleby says on the furnishings. ‘Generally I look to add warmth, colours, personality, character and a feeling of being in your own home.’ Fulham’s finest home? It’s certainly the best we have seen for quite some time.

This property is on the market for £2,150,000. See aspire.co.uk 

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