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A living room in Breakfast Room Green

Our client went successfully against the grain here, choosing Breakfast Room Green by Farrow & Ball for her living room. This striking colour complements the high ceilings, large windows and period features of this space.

How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand

“A fascinating and indefinable book … How Buildings Learn is a hymn to entropy, a witty, heterodox book dedicated to kicking the stuffing out of the proposition that architecture is permanent and that buildings cannot adapt.”
– Stephen Bayley

“Evolutionary design is healthier than visionary design.”
– Stewart Brand

How Buildings Learn is Stewart Brand’s remarkable and memorable book which proposes – convincingly – that “buildings work best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants”.

What, Brand asks, “makes some buildings keep getting better, and others not?” The approach he took was to “look at buildings after they’re built. That’s when the users take over and begin to reshape the building to suit their own, real needs. What kinds of buildings work well with that evolution, and why do so many buildings work so badly?”

“Magazine architecture” is the phrase Brand coins to describe the sort of famous, or would-be famous, buildings which are functional failures. “A major culprit is architectural photography. Clare Cooper Marcus said it most clearly: ‘You get work through getting awards, and the award system is based on photographs. Not use. Not context.’ Tales were told of ambitious architects specifically designing their buildings to photograph well at the expense of performing well.”

Do seek out the book – it is out of print, but secondhand copies are easy to find online; and the six-part TV series broadcast on BBC2 in 1997, can be found here.

Llewelyn’s – a new restaurant for south London

We’re excited about the imminent opening of a restaurant project we have been working on for the past couple of months, Llewelyn’s. (The soft launch is taking place until Sunday 9 April.)

Do take a look at the Llewelyn’s Instagram page, which should inspire you to make a booking forthwith.

We wish the team all the best for spring 2017 and beyond.

Earl’s Court flat redecoration

A look back to the photography of the painting and decorating we completed in west London in late 2015.

We completely redecorated the property – a lovely two-bedroom flat in Earl’s Court – using a mixture of interesting paints, some from Eico of Iceland, and wallpaper from 17 Patterns.

All photos are © Violet & George, our clients on this project.

Eico gold paint detail

A striking and attractive detail on a comprehensive decorating project we carried out in south London: we painted these routed grooves in gold paint from Eico

An Edwardian living room in south London

It was nice to revisit this job – the redecoration of a living room in a lovely Edwardian house – to photograph it properly.

The work, including the demanding rescue of the badly cracked ceiling, was definitely all worth it.

The main wall colour is Calamine, and the woodwork was finished in Slipper Satin – both by Farrow & Ball.

Edwardian-lath-and-plaster-ceiling

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Edwardian casement windows

We were pleased with the results we achieved following the redecoration of this large bedroom in an Edwardian house in south London.

Several of the windows in the house featured attractive arched panes, a form of detailing found in many period houses in London.

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Belsize Park Apartment Redecoration

For this project, our clients – owners of a two-bedroom flat in Belsize Park – asked us to fit new cornices and fully redecorate a large living room.

We recommended a fibrous plasterwork specialist, Miles and Wilde, to install the cornices and decorated the room to a high standard with Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion in Hague Blue.

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How we paint a front door

A front door – especially at the entrance to a period property – deserves special attention.

With so many period properties in London, we decided to create a process which does justice to the many front doors we encounter.

Here is a fine, if rather tired, Edwardian front door before we worked on it:

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…and after:

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What does our process involve?

The most basic standard process is: sand, undercoat, gloss.

We have extended this with the addition of several extra stages, including the application and polishing of two coats of Kodrin Spachtel, a wonderful, micro-levelling high-gloss surfacer from Sikkens which gives the door a glass-like shine in readiness for the gloss.

Our process is time-consuming, but yields results which will set your door apart…

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Sikkens XD gloss tinted to Down Pipe (a Farrow & Ball colour)

 

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Sikkens XD gloss tinted to Ultra Blue (a Little Greene colour)

 

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Sikkens XD tinted to Pitch Black (a Farrow & Ball colour)

Restaurant redecoration in south London

Pullens was a familiar presence in Herne Hill from the 1980s until it shut down in early 2016. The restaurant will finally be reopening – as Llewelyn’s, a sister project of Myla & Davis – in late March 2017.

David and the Trim team have been responsible for redecorating the restaurant and the property above it. The lower facade, which has required a lot of restoration work using Repair Care, has changed from a faded mid-blue to Pitch Black by Farrow & Ball.

We’re wishing the Llewelyn’s team well as opening day approaches.

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