Friday, 22 April 2016

Aspects of Love

I've been lucky enough to visit the home of Bridget and Maurice Cambridge on several occasions and have loved it each time. Two halves of a very talented and creative couple - Bridget is a professional photographer and Maurice is an orchestral manager, (though a professional musician prior to this) - together they have created something rather special.

They live in a penthouse apartment a stone's throw from the river Thames, with their 3 year old daughter Serena. Filled with light, offering great views and yet completely private, it's a beautiful space right in the heart of historic Wapping. From the outside, the building looks like a typical converted warehouse - built originally for the dockers who worked by the river, but once you step through their front door, the views hit you. 

And oh what incredible views they are. In fact they were the first thing that Maurice noticed when he moved in 22 years ago and they're still his favourite part of the flat today. 

When the flat was bought, Wapping was just being newly developed and a lot was being done to re-generate the area. The idea of being close to the river in a modern equipped apartment appealed to Maurice. It's also given him the chance to witness the changing London skyline - there was no Shard or Gherkin or Walkie-talkie when he moved in. No London Eye either. They've had prime place to spot changes.

The flat consists of 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining area and glorious open 15x30ft living room. Last year, they extended over their roof terrace to create a new indoor space for socialising and entertaining. Aptly named the 'Blue Heights Bar' due to the light underneath the bar which wraps around the edge of the extension. This blue light carries on into the kitchen and gives a glorious glow to the lead coloured units.

The old exterior of their converted warehouse building conceals a modern, up-to-date interior. On trend, with timeless quality and comfort. This is key for them both. They have sought to create a luxuriously modern home that is practical and functional, but also cosy and relaxed too.

For Bridget especially it was important to ensure the interiors were soft and comfortable. The leather sofas are supple and encase you as you sit down, where the deep pile rug is warm underfoot. Perfect for relaxing or soaking up the views with a glass of Prosecco!

Throughout the flat the colours chosen are fresh and light. Creams and greys complement each other with feature walls in deep purple and chocolate to add depth and interest. The majority of the walls are light, painted in Dulux Natural Hessian, but in the kitchen and living room areas there is one feature wall. The kitchen feature wall is a bespoke purple toned paint (Dulux Purple Sage is similar) and in the living room they used Dulux Espresso Shot. The darker walls help to anchor the spaces and in the living room it has the unique effect of hiding the TV, giving the impression that it is not really there at all. The storage units in the living room span the enitre length of one side, giving them plenty of room to stow away their possessions and ensuring clutter can be kept hidden away. The result is clean and sleek. The units themselves are similar in style to their choice of kitchen units and this creates a sense of cohesion between the two rooms.

What really brings out the warmth and personality of their home are the personal details. Bridget's photography adorns some of the walls, as do the prints of the muscials Maurice has worked on. I also love the soft arching floor lamp over the sofa in the living room and the pictures of the warehouse they live in as it was almost 200 years ago. 

This is a very sociable space and they often have people over. The new extension has given them a unique area for dining and entertaining, but during the day, it's also given Bridget a personal workspace. Whereas everywhere else is completely open to the view, the windows here are the only ones in the entire flat with blinds, necessary for when Bridget is doing portrait photography.

How did they decide on their decorating style? - "with a lot of arguing!" laughs Bridget with  a sparkle in her eye. But I think this process is fun for them both and it is through this compromise that they have created a unique home.

At first they seem to be completely opposite: Maurice would ideally choose white, minimalist practical. If he did decide on colour it would be bold and primary. Bridget on the other hand likes quirky, unique and a wider colour palette, especially rich purple and teal. Moving in 11 years ago, Bridget has smoothed over some of the harder edges of the flat and added more glamour. 

2 years ago they re-decorated their en-suite bathroom and kitted it out with the ultimate in relaxation, a jacuzzi bath. But key to getting the overall look right was the lighting. Maurice favoured something practical and functional, Bridget wanted to evoke hotel-chic with a chandelier. The result? Dazzling crystal down lights, which make the room sparkle... It seems that the best design is produced when these two don't agree!

This bathroom, as well as the family bathroom, are both decorated in a very calming grey stone. It's a large tile which has the effect of making the room seem bigger than it is. In the en-suite, they've created added interest around the door by using a darker contrasting grey mosaic tile. 

Both bedrooms are tastefully decorated and Serena's room is a gorgeous, creative sanctuary for a little girl.

The master bedroom has a wall of floor to ceiling windows and clever mirrored panels on the wardrobe doors, reflecting the stunning skyline and bathing the room in light. One of Bridget's treasured possessions is the glass-like purple fish painting above the bed.

If they were given the choice to live anywhere in the world, there would be no way that they'd ever leave. Their friends and family live close by and they feel lucky to have found a space they adore. "We love our home and have worked hard to make it our own, we couldn't imagine being anywhere else". It's not hard to see why.

If you'd like to source a similar look for your home, here's Maurice & Bridget's interior address book:

 - Kitchen units and living room storage unit: LWK Kitchens
 - Cream sofa in living room: Designer Sofas
 - Underfloor heating: Warmup
 - Nursery furniture: Boori
 - Plants: Columbia Road Flower Market
 - Bedroom fish painting: Atelier Galleries
 - Bathroom tiles: Olympus Tiles & Bathrooms
 - Curved living room floor lamp: John Lewis
 - Blue lights and crystal bathroom down lights: Mr Resistor
 - Bathroom suite: Villeroy & Boch
 - Jacuzzi bath: Pegasus Whirlpool

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