Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Luke Fenech and Oliver Chapman

by Shannon Grant

Two years ago, Luke Fenech and Oliver Chapman made the proverbial move from the city to the country. In their case, the city was Central London and the country was Greenwich, London. Despite being just a few miles away, Luke says Greenwich has quite the village vibe. Both Luke and Oliver grew up with an affinity for English heritage, having been raised in the countryside, and this has ultimately informed their aesthetic decisions. They wanted their home to reflect their design philosophy: a strong belief in the importance of craft and tradition balanced with a touch of modernism. As the house is originally Georgian (one of ten Georgian homes on their street), they sought to uphold a traditional aesthetic. They chose period-appropriate Farrow & Ball paint and some older styled furniture and kept the look minimal and pared down with sleek, modern pieces. Luke is a graphic designer working mainly in print and editorial while Oliver works as a set designer, currently doing window design for COS. Thank you, Luke and Oliver! — Shannon

Image above: A lot of our main staples are from Habitat (such as the sofa, armchair and console tables). Habitat is quite an iconic British furniture company started by Terence Conran. It’s where we both used to work a few years ago.

Image above: We always take the opportunity to search through second-hand furniture shops whenever we visit someplace new. It’s not necessarily about finding design classics but making the most of pieces that have an interesting, elegant design that we can transform into something that works in the space. We bought these chairs for £1 each and reupholstered them with fabric by Angie Lewin.

See more of Luke and Oliver’s London home after the jump . . .

Image above: I made the plate for Oliver’s birthday — it was kind of inspired by Gunta Stölzl’s textiles and was painted with ceramic paint then baked in the oven for a couple hours. Conversely, the picnic basket was a gift to me from Oliver and is full of a well-sourced collection of picnic things.

Image above: I think this photo exemplifies our interest in working with the original period of the house. We’ve used “Railings” by Farrow and Ball on the fireplace wall and have a Welsh tapestry blanket on the sofa; the sofa itself is based on a Regency design.

Image above: We like the contrast here of using quite traditional, grand objects like the candlesticks alongside something more geometric and modern, using our limited color palette to bring it all together. We found the table at a house clearance in Nottingham.

Image above: This was a present from Oliver a few years ago. It’s one of my favourite things we have — I like its kitsch charm next to my empty minimal desk. It has a shiny mirrored interior, 1950s patterned glasses and weird cocktail sticks with farmyard animals. I’ve yet to amass a proper collection of spirits for it though, something I’m working on . . .

Image above: The bathroom has a more Victorian feel, and we’ve combined this and a more clinical modern to try to achieve something similar to Ciguë’s Aesop concepts. The print is called “Colourless English Gentlemen” — it was a gift from friends and mocks the lack of color in our collective wardrobe.

Image above: Unfortunately this is the brightest room in our flat (which is north facing) and gets really nice light through the day, which is a shame as it gets used the least.

Image above: This is probably the piece of furniture that gets used the most — it has all my computer equipment in it, and the drawers are like my archiving system of all my past work. The prints on it are mine, from a series I did on Le Corbusier.

Image above: The terrarium is made from an old taxidermy box. We like how it lets you have greenery and foliage in a contained, minimal way that isn’t too fussy. It’s had a few different plants, as we always seem to kill them too easily.

Image above: The glossy built-in cupboards are quite weird, but at the same time, we like the relationship between the functional elements of the ’60s conversion of the flat and the nicer Georgian features.

Image above: The drawer belongs to a console table designed by James Patterson. It’s a good design with an amazing faceted profile and hidden drawers. We had to have it despite not having a place for it initially, but its thin black structure links nicely to the Ladderax unit it now sits alongside.

Image above: The hallway table is designed by Max Lamb — it was made from aluminium that is cast in a mould made in the sand on a beach in Devon, which makes each table unique.

Image above: We live in a conservation area, so every house is painted a different Regency colour. Whilst our flat is part of a bigger house, it’s good to see that some have remained as whole houses and are still as glamourous and elegant as when they were first built in 1830.

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