Kensington Mews House

This three-storey London mews house already had very strong architectural bones. We were asked to warm up the striking Danish design using plenty of deep, saturated colours and layers of interesting texture.

Project length: 5.5 Months

Sims Hilditch Design Team: Laura, Rachael, Louise

Architect: Neil Dusheiko Architects

This mews house next to Hyde Park had undergone a significant renovation by the architect Neil Dusheiko who received an industry award for the project. He introduced a striking staircase core, with an impressive roof light and a strong Danish aesthetic throughout.

Our clients asked us to maintain the spirit of the original design but make it work more comfortably as a base for the family when they come to the capital.  As the build had only recently been completed, it was unnecessary to go to the expense of replacing the kitchen, bathrooms or lighting.

The project required turning a study into a guest bedroom suite, generating a greater amount of space for everyday items, rationalising the flow of rooms and introducing earthy colours and textural materials. The result is warm and characterful, an easy-to-maintain bolthole which exceeded all expectations for our clients.

Mews houses are typically modest in size and can struggle with a lack of natural light. This one benefits from an impressive layout over three floors with a guest bedroom and utility room alongside the garage on the ground floor, a sitting room and kitchen dining room on the middle floor and two bedroom suites on the top floor. Generous skylights on the top floor and an internal wall of Crittall glazing on the first-floor landing allow sunlight to penetrate the entire interior.

It was important to introduce our client's personality to the home without contradicting its minimalist aesthetic. Our client is an artist and has a strong eye for colour as well as an appreciation of natural materials; she and her husband own a property in Africa, and that influence can be seen throughout the mews with personal art the clients had sourced. 

One side of the second floor is dedicated to the sitting room. Here, we removed an existing bookcase to create a comfortable niche for the sofa and increase the floorspace. Then we added a textured wallpaper and tongue-and-groove panelling to generate a cosier atmosphere.

Further practical interventions included addressing the Dinesen floors. While popular in Scandinavia, their waxy, white-washed finish requires a certain amount of upkeep. We removed this top layer to maintain the look without the maintenance. We also toned down the amount of untreated Douglas fir on display by painting in a more neutral colour. 


At the top of the house, the master bedroom is painted in a deep midnight blue with a fresh white on the existing Douglas Fir beams to add depth and interest. Glazed doors with metal frames slide open to lead out to a sun terrace clad in narrow battens of teak and with a built-in planter. It’s somewhere quiet to enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the papers in the morning.

The colour palette chosen was a mix of earthy and deeply saturated tones to tie in each floor of the property. We had curtains made in soft, slubby linens with decorative trims and fringes for detail. To keep an eye on costs, a mix of high street and British-made furniture in dark walnut was used. Pieces were dressed in a range of natural fabrics from cashmere and linen to leather and cotton. Tan leathers were used throughout the home to contrast against the calm tones of the wooden floors.

The project has transformed the space for our clients, giving them a functional interior that’s aesthetic is both inviting and relaxing to escape to in the capital.

"Wow, wow, wow! It's exceeded my expectations, it's everything I was hoping for...and much more. I certainly don't underestimate the time, effort, and perseverance that's gone into the project, but I'd like you to know that I appreciate and value every single detail."

Owner, Kensington Mews House