Converted Warehouse In East London

In 1987 I bought a space in a converted Victorian Dog Biscuit factory for my self and my husband to live and work in. Apart from an existing mezzanine above the entrance door it was a bare shell, measuring about six by six by twelve metres – a double cube. The biggest challenge when dividing up the space was that there were only two windows. These were beautiful and large, but how to spread or channel the light that came from them through the rest of the space and yet build rooms sufficient for the family I planned to have?

I added another mezzanine at a higher level to the first one, so that it lined up with the lintel above the door to the garden and kept the main area seeming spacious as a result. I also installed a multi-column radiator to both give off heat and act as a divide between a foyer area and the main room.

To maintain this sense of light and spaciousness we painted all the walls and ceilings white – we needed 100 litres of white matt emulsion! I used grey stained timber on the ground floor and light grey carpet on the upper floor. To avoid clutter but still making the space a feasible work and live environment, I included a lot of built-in storage and book shelving.

To help make our spacious and quite minimal home comfortable, I designed two big relaxing sofas and some other bespoke furniture, and incorporated a baby grand piano, a Saporiti chair with Missoni fabric, plus a coffee table from B&B Italia. It was also a beautiful space to show Contemporary Art so good lighting was important too.