Interior designer Melissa Jenkinson of Heirloom Studio designed this theatrical modern bathroom for her own London home.  It brings together surfaces and fittings that she had originally sourced for work projects but also earmarked for her personal space when the time came. 

The Watermark Collection’s Brooklyn taps, shower and accessories in Tarnished Brass finish were, she says, “Love at first sight. They bridge the look between vintage and contemporary and I especially appreciate how the brass evolves as you use it.”

Brooklyn’s industrial design, inspired by gate valves in new York’s mid-century apartment blocks, is a great match to Melissa’s confidently eclectic style.  Brought up in the Caribbean, she mixes fleamarket treasures and tropical plants with commercial Terrazzo for the shower and basins, a material more usually seen in hot countries.  The brassware gleams against a palette of dark colours and muted neutrals, bringing warmth and character to a bathroom which Melissa describes as her favourite room in the house.


Although fairly recently completed, this house was built on a grand scale and in a period style using traditional materials.  The space for the kitchen was enormous (nearly 900 sq ft) so above all else, the clients wanted a well organised design to make coherent and fluent use of the massive space.  They also wanted to make sure that despite the space, and the sheer size of the furniture and appliances needed to fill it, the kitchen had a powerful sense of homeliness and family living. 

Situated on the top of a hill, the house has sweeping views across a spectacular valley.  Making the most of those views from all the key zones was another key priority for the designer.  

The biggest challenge, as the clients correctly identified, was posed by the size of the kitchen.  For both pleasure and convenience, they need to be able to use it ergonomically.  For 
Martin Moore’s designer John Davies, this required detailed analysis of their lifestyle, cooking habits and aspirations for the new kitchen before he could even start plotting out the design for and location of the furniture and appliances.

It also became clear that the appliances the client had originally asked for were going to be too small dimensionally, requiring a change up to larger models.  Overall, the kitchen needed to respect the aesthetics of the house, but have a classic contemporary feel.  To achieve this, the designer had to gracefully integrate the industrial feel of the super-sized steel appliances with the hand painted furniture.

The central island is the largest of its kind that Martin Moore has ever constructed.  Comfortably seating seven people, it is both the social and functional heart of the kitchen.

The breakfast cupboard holds everything from a kettle and toaster to the high-tech coffee machine.  Favourite cups and mugs for three generations of the family sit on the shelves above.

As extremely knowledgeable wine experts, the clients’ brief also included a specially fitted and equipped wine area, dedicated to comfortably enjoying fine wines with friends and family.  John was determined to make this area just as impressive as the main kitchen itself.  Every element of it is purpose designed and fitted out for a pleasurable wine tasting experience.

Equipped to a professional level, it includes a vacuum pump system designed to keep wine in premium condition as well as a sink, a wine fridge and specially fitted out storage for all the different types of glasses.  All of this sits comfortably within the purpose-built break-fronted dresser design.

Comfortable bar chairs surround the high central table (which is also just the right height for standing) all oriented to make the most of the exceptional countryside views.  The French doors open directly onto the terrace beyond.

The back kitchen is a multi-purpose area.  With a back door directly leading to the garden, it’s a perfect place for coats and boots as well as being somewhere to arrange flowers.  The two shelves above the coat rack were specially designed for outsize vases. An additional fridge/freezer also makes the back kitchen a perfect space for caterers to set up and work from when the entertaining is on a grand scale.

The walk-in pantry has ‘staged’ shelving stepped up at the back to raise items into view.  LED lighting underneath the shelves automatically turns on when the doors are opened. Wicker baskets keep vegetables in good condition and the solid marble shelf is perfect for storing ambient foods such as cheese.  

Well organised, highly functional, dramatic in scale but domestic in concept, this is a highly successful project for both the client and Martin Moore.

The designer, John Davies, commented, “It’s rare to be presented with such a large area in which to design and build a family kitchen.  It was also a pleasure to work with clients who derive such huge enjoyment from the simple love of cooking, drinking fine wine and spending time with their children and grandchildren.  I believe that this project pulls off the dual challenge of creating a really warm family kitchen on a grand scale.”

Kitchen Details

The cabinets are a combination of Martin Moore’s English and New Classic

  collections, painted in Soft Grey and French Blue 

Aged Bourne limestone floor from Martin Moore Stone

Main worktops:  Silestone ‘Lagoon’

Island unit worktop:  Unistone ‘Bianca Carrara’ 

Splashbacks: ‘Oyster’ glass with integral LED lighting


New from London Basin Company, Zeina is a flower-shaped basin in taupe porcelain with a velvety matt finish.  Its delicate, multi-coloured butterfly design is highlighted with sparkly rose gold accents.  

London Basin Company’s richly decorated porcelain basins make perfect accent pieces for bathrooms and cloakrooms. Interior designer Anna Callis, founder of the company, draws inspiration from her travels, creating her own modern interpretations of traditional Oriental and Middle Eastern patterns.  

Available to buy online, London Basin Company offers 16 different basins in a variety of designs and shapes.  Every basin is a one-off, hand finished and generously sized; with dimensions running between 39.7 and 45cm in diameter and 14 to 16.2cm in height.  

Zeina basin measures 15.5cm high x 41cm diameter. Shown here on the Noah vanity stand also by London Basin Company.


Grand Design Blinds are Britain’s leading experts in bespoke blinds; shading and screening even the most challenging shapes and areas of glass.  Blind expert Jonathan Pelly-Fry gives his top reasons for installing blinds.

Light Control: Modern extensions, new build homes and renovations are often flooded with light through giant bi-fold or sliding doors, roof lights or gable ends. Installing bespoke blinds allows for the amount of light to be controlled, reducing glare and protecting interiors from harmful UV rays -  especially important for artwork or precious furnishings.

Privacy:  Extra large areas of glass make the most of amazing views whether in the city or country but installing blinds can transform a ‘glass box’ into a private space, which is especially important at night.

Versatility: Blinds are compatible with smart home technology and can be used in conjunction with automated home systems.  They can also be installed with an operating system that allows them to be controlled from a phone app or tablet.  Alternatively they can be manually operated and, as shown here, can be designed to pull from the bottom up, so there is no top rail to interrupt the views.

Temperature control: Large areas of glass such as glass roofs make a dramatic statement and allow light to flood a property but temperature control can be an issue. Installing specialist blinds allows for the control of any heat build-up on warm, sunny days and equally adds insulation during colder months.  

Practical and Adaptable:  For buildings with large areas of glazing or unusual shaped windows, blinds are the most practical solution.  From total screening to partial screening, opaque to black out, flexible designs allow control of light and privacy.


On Tuesday 6 March, George Spencer Designs are hosting two Meet the Designer events in their Chelsea Harbour showroom.
Please join them at one or both of the sessions, for a look behind the scenes at two exciting design houses represented in the UK by George Spencer Designs.   

12.30: Aux Abris, New York 

Designer Karen Robert discusses
Aux Abris, her New York-based design studio which specialises in exceptional wallcoverings.  Printed on grasscloth, silk, Japanese paper and other distinctive textures, her eclectic, imaginative designs are an art form in their own right. 

14.00: Pavoni Leathers, Italy

Pavoni’s Alan Newberry introduces Italy’s most innovative leather producer, known for its unique colours and custom-embossing.  Founded in the fashion world, Pavoni now focuses on luxury interiors, creating specialist leathers for upholstery, flooring, wall panelling and more.


Classic black and white chequerboard floors have their origins in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.  The bold juxtaposition of black and white tiles was symbolic of harmony, representing light and darkness held in perfect balance.

From the cathedrals of the Middle Ages to the 17th century Palace of Versailles, chequerboard floors carried right through into the 20th century, when they were taken up in succession by Art Deco designers and 1930’s Modernists.  They are the perfect definition of a style icon.

Today, chequerboard floors bring geometric drama to contemporary interiors. 
Lapicida offer them in sizes ranging from micro-mosaic up to large flagstones; with materials including new and reclaimed marbles, limestones and porcelains creating a wide choice of different aesthetics and price points.

Black and white tiles are often used to define hallways, but interior designers are increasingly using them for other areas of the home, including bathrooms, where they also make striking feature walls in showers or cloakrooms. In large open-plan, multi-purpose spaces such as kitchen/living rooms, patterned areas can be laid together with co-ordinating plains to define particular zones.

Forming a direct connection between the classical world and today’s interiors, the simple geometry of black and white tiles defines them as a modern classic, offering a wealth of new design potential.


With a very British heritage stretching back nearly 80 years, George Spencer Designs’ fabrics have a hallmark style of their own; designerly, natural and organic.  Luxurious and sophisticated, the emphasis is on natural fibres, textural weaves and craft mills.  

The newest in-house collection from George Spencer Designs,
Hamptons Linen is a heavyweight washed linen with a soft handle.  Its gently faded colours and vintage finish were inspired by coastal living.

100% linen, 140cm wide, it comes in 8 colour-rich neutrals.  Perfect for curtains, cushions, loose covers and upholstery.

 Bermuda Blue             Harvest Yellow             Rope                         Silver Sage

Grape                         Jute                           Salmon Pink               Limestone


Pantone has named ‘Ultra Violet’ the colour of 2018. 

Find a perfect pop of on-trend purple with one of 
Felt’s beautiful handmade shyrdak rugs. Super smart and vibrant, it’s a modern take on ethnic style. 

Measuring 2.4m x 2.4m, these two rugs were cut from the same sheets of felt.  Part of the age-old process of making Shyrdak rugs, it creates a perfect ‘positive and negative’ pair.    

Shyrdak colours range from the dazzlingly bright to subtly muted tones, offering a wide range of decorative possibilities for both contemporary and traditional interiors.  Perfect for both floors and walls a wide selection is always available from stock and Felt’s customers can also commission bespoke rugs.  


The Lume Collection at Alternative Bathrooms is a collection of modular components, from vanities and basins to shelving and mirrors. They work in multiple different combinations and come in a wide variety of colours and materials.

These include both wood tone lacquers and richly coloured timbers, giving a natural finish that sits beautifully in contemporary bathrooms.  Timber options include several shades of Oak, as well as Ash, Walnut and Pine.  

​Finishes can be combined in individual pieces, perfect for bringing contemporary pops of colour to the bathroom.  Open compartments, one of the design signatures of this collection, can also have interior lighting to heighten the effect. 


With a very British heritage stretching back nearly 80 years, George Spencer Designs’ fabrics have a hallmark style of their own; designerly, natural and organic.  Alongside their in-house collections, George Spencer represent a few carefully chosen US and European fabric and wallpaper houses which share the same feel and ethos.

Their newest introduction is
Aux Abris.  Founded by graphic designer and decorator Karen Robert in 2016, this New York based boutique design studio specialises in fine wallcoverings.  Printed on grasscloth, raw silk, canvas, woven Japanese paper and other distinctive textures, their eclectic and imaginative designs are an art form in their own right.


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