Phage, June 2013
In June 2013, Phage commissioned me to write the copy for a brochure they were designing about 16 Wyndham Place, a recently redeveloped Georgian townhouse in Marylebone.
16 Wyndham Place: Perfectly poised
16 Wyndham Place is luxurious and yet restrained; it’s been faithfully restored, and yet it’s absolutely of its time; it’s in a village in the heart of London: this carefully considered development achieves a perfect balance.
The property is a statuesque Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in the heart of Marylebone with a south-facing terrace. It was built in 1820 and designed by J T Parkinson, the architect behind nearby Bryanston and Montague Squares. Studioloop acquired the property in 2011 and set about returning it to the family home it was designed to be.
Two years later the result is an impressive combination of rescued, restored and reinstated original features, and contemporary finishes for comfortable modern living. Repeating materials, patterns and details run through the property to create a cohesive space designed for the most discerning eye.
The interior is now confidently poised between a respect for history and the latest modern conveniences; between light open spaces and warm retreats; and between simple restraint and pure indulgence.
Halfway between Hyde Park and Regents Park, it is located in a distinctly village-like area with independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants lining nearby Crawford Street. And yet it’s a short walk from Selfridges on Oxford Street, Park Lane and St Pancras International.
Entrance and reception: First impressions last
From the moment you spot the hand-painted house number, you are struck by the consideration that has gone into every last detail of this renovation.
An entrance should lift your eyes and your spirit. From the Italian Statuario marble and Nero Marquina inlay floor, past the original Portland stone fireplace, sweeping up the fully restored stone staircase with mahogany handrail, right up to the crystal glass chandelier and original cornice, this entrance hall does just that.
A generous living room and connected office space set the scene for the rest of the house. The black [marble] fireplace [in the office] is original and carefully restored – the [Portland stone] one [in the living room] is new and sensitively chosen to reflect the era of house; providing the first of many examples of the balance between old and new that is struck throughout this interior.
The view from the office extends through an external terrace to the dining room beyond, and down to the kitchen below, connecting it to the heart of the home.
Family room: A bright airy space
A casual room provides space for children to play within earshot and yet out of the way of the kitchen, and low-key surroundings to completely relax in.
The storage and display wall is made from bespoke Cocobolo Mexican rosewood veneer joinery. Bifold doors open out onto the bottom of a planted light well, bringing a sense of the outside in. Custom-made white timber herringbone flooring bounces light into the room creating a deceptively bright, airy space.
Kitchen: A modern space in traditional materials
A space for family, caterers or staff to create everything from a simple snack for two to a seven-course tasting menu for twelve.
The engine-room of the house, the custom-made kitchen, is fully kitted out with the latest Gaggenau appliances, Statuario marble worktops and a generous breakfast bar. The white herringbone flooring continues from the family room into the kitchen in lava stone complete with underfloor heating.
The addition of a new staircase and a double-height Statuario marble wall connects the kitchen to the natural light and the dining room above. The modern white polished concrete staircase is finished with a fumed oak handrail and a brass balustrade and inlaid runner that subtly echo the design of the original main staircase. A beautiful cluster of hand-blown glass lights fills the stairwell. The same lights are repeated above the dining table upstairs.
Dining room: Bringing the outside in
Cocktails on an inside-outside terrace and dinner in the Mews House – it’s the perfect configuration for entertaining, spending time with friends and family, or simply enjoying the summer months.
The planted outdoor terrace, bifold doors and antique mirror panels embellished with a vintage floral wallpaper pattern create another seamless inside-outside space in the heart of the home.
From there, it’s a short stroll to what was once the Mews House – now the dining room. Edwardian trusses, oak herringbone flooring and a large bay window make it a welcoming space. A bespoke Indian Rosewood veneer sideboard with a burgundy finish inside provides ample storage space; and direct access to the kitchen below makes even the most complex meal simple to deliver.
Drawing room: Understated elegance
The principle reception room is the epitome of the understated elegance and carefully balanced contrasts that define this property.
The barely-there greys provide a perfect counterbalance for the restrained use of gold. Minoti sofas and Indian rugs are classically arranged for formal entertaining with the Sir John Soame reproduction marble fireplace as the focal point. The cornice is original – the wall panelling and oak floor reflect the era of the house. Invisible ceiling speakers create an immersive music experience. A Juliet balcony provides views of St Mary’s Church and Bryanston Square private garden, full access to which comes with the house.
Cinema room: Made for the movies
An indulgent cinema room recreates the glamour of Hollywood from the comfort of home.
The cinema room features a bespoke wall storage unit made from rich Indian rosewood veneer and brass finishes. Sliding doors either reveal bookshelves or the fully integrated home cinema system. The cornice has been painstakingly recreated to match the Georgian original from a tiny piece found above a dropped ceiling.
Master bedroom: A luxury cocoon
The master bedroom, dressing room and adjoining bathroom suite are an indulgent retreat.
The rich grey, deep buttoned velvet headrest and silk wallpaper contrast with the simple folded brass handles on the black lacquered dressing room. The dark cocooning bedroom is balanced by the freshness of the white suite and the green Persian onyx in the bathroom. Gold leaf tile details, gold fittings, thassos marble, a steam shower and integrated Aqua TV ensure the bathroom isn’t left behind in the luxury stakes.
Third floor bedrooms: History with a twist
Original chimneybreasts are given a modern finish with reflective tiles.
The third floor features a further three bedrooms, two of which are en suite, and a family bathroom. In an enterprising use of space, the en suites and built-in walnut veneer wardrobes and storage are hidden behind internal walls. All three rooms have original exposed Georgian ceiling beams. Original chimneybreasts feature fireplaces finished with reflective tiles.
The local area: A village in the city
Wyndham Place has the perfect combination of friendly community and city convenience right on its doorstep.
At one end of the road, the entrance to St Mary’s Church provides an open space for school children to run around after a day spent with their heads buried in books. At the other end, Bryanston Square, to which the owners of the property will have full access, is a private garden retreat.
Nearby Crawford Street and New Quebec Street are rare gems in modern Britain, lined as they are with thriving independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Marylebone High Street is ten minutes on foot and Hyde Park and Regents Park are both a short stroll away.
It’s such an idyllic spot that it’s easy to forget that it’s in central London and Zone 1. London’s premier shopping destinations on Oxford Street, New Bond Street and Regent’s Street are within easy walking distance, as are transport hubs St Pancras International, Paddington and soon-to-be-completed Cross Rail, providing access to the Eurostar and London’s major airports.
It’s a village within a city – and everything you need from a London location.
All photography by James Balston.
All copy is reproduced here as it was supplied by Katie Treggiden to the client or publication.