Mansion block magic

A stunning refurbishment revives the glamour of a Hampstead rental apartment in Prince Arthur Road

Walk through the front door of an apartment in a typical Hampstead mansion block and you'd expect to find a stylish and elegant interior. But when a regular client of ours, a professional landlord with several properties in Hampstead and other prime areas of London, asked us to refurbish her one bedroom property, it was clear that her apartment had been a little neglected.

The property is a good size and in a great location in the heart of Hampstead village, but having been rented out for many years, its interior was more than ready for a refurbishment.

Our team set to work, producing designs that would bring the tired rental apartment into the 21st century.

"Starting from scratch, we sat down with our client to discuss her priorities and how she wanted to use her budget," explains Amar Tufail, InStyle Direct's head of refurbishment. "In a one bedroom apartment, maximising the use of the available space is a priority so providing good storage and a clever choice of furnishings was the key."

  • Commercial Place and Office Refurbishment Service
  • Commercial Place and Office Refurbishment Service

"First, we installed a new kitchen with plenty of storage and a crisp, modern look. Moving on to the bathroom, our client was keen to avoid a clinical, all white look so we went for wall-to-floor gloss tiles with a white, stone tiled floor to balance the light in the room. We then fitted a large vanity basin in a beautiful, dark oak finish which again provides excellent storage and because it is off the floor, gives the illusion of more space."

"Next, the main living area. While the room is a good size, we enhanced the feeling of light and space with soft and sophisticated, neutral shades of taupe, brown, beige and grey," continues Amar. "The Italian corner sofa by Valentini is cool, cream and sophisticated - and it's actually a sofabed although it's so stylish you'd never realise it - it makes great use of the space and offers comfortable sleeping arrangements for occasional guests. A pixel rug from Esprit in front of the period fireplace softens the room and creates a cosy feel too while the attractive, circular dining table offers a great place to entertain guests - we created a luxurious feel with some beautifully upholstered chairs which are stylish without dominating the room. All the furnishings we chose were bespoke pieces by high end UK and European suppliers."

"Detail is key to this understated yet glamorous look, from the contrasting piping on the sofa, to the border which defines the edge of the roman blinds to the studding on the upholstery of the dining chairs."

"And in the hallway, again maximising the feeling of space, we sourced cleverly designed circular mirrors which double as coat hooks - these are from Porada, a supplier with whom we've worked closely for many years."

  • Commercial Place and Office Refurbishment Service
  • Commercial Place and Office Refurbishment Service

"Moving into the bedroom and here we wanted to create a 'luxury boutique hotel' feel. We commissioned several pieces of bespoke furniture and used dramatic, oversized bedside lamps to add to the sense of opulence. A feature wallpaper with a subtle, metallic finish enhanced the luxurious feel. On a practical level, because the bedroom was such a generous size, we were able to installed fitted wardrobes along the entire length of one wall to maximise storage - the taupe, frosted glass finish of their doors enhances the feel of light and space in the room."

Refurbishing a property is not just about creating a beautiful interior. It's also about creating a home that is practical and meets the needs of the people who live, or who might want to live there. And this chic apartment's interior both matches the elegance of the stylish period building in which it is situated, and meets the criteria of the high calibre tenants that choose to live in sought-after Hampstead.

From our client's point of view, this project has been a real success financially too. The apartment was previously achieving a rental of £375 per week but following the refurbishment, it is letting for £550 per week, a significant increase. And not only has her rental yield increased, but we've also added capital value to the property.