25 Beautiful Homes, June 2013
The first words that went through Investment Manager Ingrid Kukuljan’s head when she saw the apartment she now calls home were: ‘What a dump!’ Luckily she spotted its potential and was up for the challenge of converting it into the striking space it is today.
Ingrid had been house hunting for two years because she specifically wanted a top-floor, split level apartment, that would offer her some peace and quiet in a central London location. So despite its dark, closed layout, the apartment ticked several boxes. ‘I put an offer in straight away, but somebody gazumped me and I thought I’d lost it,’ she says ‘but a few months later the agent called me to tell me they hadn’t completed, so I got lucky. Then it turned out a friend of mine used to live here, which was quite funny!’.
Ingrid got started on the renovations straight away. ‘Everything had to go. I wanted open space and it was very dark and had carpet and lots of period fittings – it all had to go,’ she recalls. ‘Everything in the flat is new from electrical wiring to the windows, ceilings and floors.’ Ingrid removed a toilet, a third bedroom and all the internal walls downstairs, creating one open-plan space comprising a bespoke kitchen designed by Krailler, a sitting room and a dining area. Upstairs, she took out a boiler room and extended it to create a new guest shower room, replacing the existing bathroom with a walk-in wardrobe. She lifted the ceiling in the master bedroom and installed three skylights into the upstairs space to bring in more natural daylight.
Once the structural work was complete, Ingrid used her art collection and her love of fabrics as inspiration for the interior. She says ‘A friend of mine calls me a frustrated interior designer. Most girls like to buy shoes. I like to buy fabrics and art! My art collection comes from all over the world. The birds in the dining room are by Sage Vaughn, a friend and one of the rising stars of the LA contemporary scene. The photographs of the sea and surfers are by another up and coming LA-based artist, Keegan Gibbs. His work is so calming; it’s really nice. The colour scheme was inspired by my art collection. I wanted something to make it stand out.’
But it was selecting the fabrics that Ingrid enjoyed the most. ‘I had a lot of fun going into interior furnishing specialist Cameron Broom’s showroom and choosing the fabrics I wanted. I knew I had to get some from the Quadrille range because I absolutely love them. The idea was to keep the space very light but also to incorporate some colour, because I really like colour,’ she says. ‘Robin at Cameron Broom was very good at keeping me in line and not letting me go too crazy. There were some beautiful hand printed fabrics I would have loved. Next time I’m going to get them though, even if I have to compromise on other things.’
The resulting space is perfect for Ingrid’s lifestyle. ‘I love cooking and the kitchen is so well designed, it fits around the way I work. I have guests over a lot – I’m always hosting dinners and the whole downstairs is just a great entertaining space.
The biggest success of the finished apartment is the sense of space, a world away from the dark, closed interior that Ingrid first walked into. ‘It’s really airy. It’s all done with tricks like the glass table, which lets you see through it so it doesn’t interrupt the space,’ Ingrid says. ‘It’s light yet cosy. I wanted to avoid having a lot of objects around, to keep the focus on the art. Everybody who visits says they relax as soon as they walk in the door.’
All copy is reproduced here as it was supplied by Katie Treggiden to the client or publication.