Rarely, in the last decade, have paint effects been used in a domestic interior in a manner so wonderfully over-the top as in this east London house.Standing huddled together on a busy road, a small group of early eighteenth-century town houses has survived bombing, demolition and every ravage known to urban regeneration, to shine as fine examples of one of the greatest periods of british architecture.
When the owner, a designer and expert on paint finishes, first saw the house it was largely open to the sky with little to recommended it but for some original wall-panelling.
This, of course was an oppoturnity to rebuild and revive a historic survivor in a highly personal manner, but also in a way that decoratively acknowledged its past centuries. Following the same room layouts as the original, it was just a matter of choosing favourite fantastic device from the Italian Renaissance to 1940s Paris with which to decorate every single surface.
There are trompe i’ceil figures and columns, what appear to be antique plastered walls, old stamped-leather panels, French Empire motifs, and cloud-like painted skies, no longer blue but fogged and smoke as if original to the house. The imagination and sheer quality of the work should be applauded and cherised.