- Flamed granite surfaces. Al suggests researching the material thoroughly before you invest. Make sure you find a showroom that has large slabs of stone that you can see before making a decision. In London, a good place to check out is MGLW, the Marble Granite Limestone Warehouse.
- The cabinets come straight off the shelf from Ikea. The room is covered in cabinets that offer plenty of storage to allow for a minimal, clean aesthetic.
- The floor is white plank Siberian larch. Al couldn’t find what he wanted at a reasonable price, so he took a big risk and cut out the middleman, going straight to the supplier instead. This is one of his, 'don’t try this at home' tricks.
- He got the Flos lamp off eBay for £150, significantly less than retail.
- The dining room table is another Ikea find for £70.
- The windows have super simple roller blinds installed at about £30 each.
- The chairs are reproduction Arne Jacobsen lookalikes - £50 each at Metro Furniture. While Al prefers going for the real thing when it comes to furniture, these came in the perfect grey to match the rest of the room, so he compromised.
- The dining room and kitchen are connected in an open plan with large windows that let light in on both ends.
- The main splurge here were the Gaggenau oven and stove which they saved on by purchasing the ex-display models on eBay.
- The stools are original Alvar Aalto’s which were found years ago for £100 for the pair (!) at Broadway Market.
- Again, plenty of storage keeps the room tidy and highlights the light in the space.
- The trick here are the custom pivoting doors, designed especially to open up the space. Because they’re tall and wide, when opened, they blend right into the walls and don’t take up any room. For the most part, they’re kept open, but they’re great closed in the winter to keep in heat.
- They converted an old-fashioned stove (£300) into a fireplace by inserting a made-to-measure metal box inside (£200). This fun allusion to old London continues through the house and up the stairs to the living room, which holds the second stove fireplace.
- The birch plywood custom shelf is the perfect spot for a few personal touches – favorite photographs, cookbooks and ceramics are on display.
- The round hole in one of the Ikea cabinets is for a future sound system. For now, it makes for an easy-access toy cabinet. As Al puts it, “it knocks the seriousness out of the place.”
- A very subtle and thin 'shadow gap' carries through the entire house from room to room and up the stairs. This, and the single shade of warm grey on the walls, unify the whole space.
- The shadow gap
- The Ikea storage cabinets
- The gas stove fireplace
- Modernist furniture from Viaduct, an excellent London showroom for modern pieces. A Prouvé “Antony” wooden chair, an Eero Saarinen “Organic Chair” for Vitra and two cork Jasper Morrison stools.
- It took two tries but Al made the poured concrete shelf surface himself, constructing the molds from offcuts from the custom-made pivot doors.
- The side table on the right hand corner is an Eileen Grey reproduction. Again, Al’s a stickler for the real thing. When budget allows, go for the original!
- Vitsoe shelving is a classic. While the shelving's a higher priced item, it’s made by a company you’ll always be able to count on, so you can easily buy more parts as your book collection expands over time.
- A major saving, the staircase was made-to-order and delivered in a few separate pieces. Al paid £1,500 for the whole package and made it his own by integrating the shadow gaps and a unique custom-designed handrail made out of MDF (medium-density fibre). Subtle touches made with simple materials are what make this staircase special.
- Notice another niche built as a bookshelf; a modern interpretation of the bedside table.
- The grey in this room is a slightly darker shade than the rest of the house. The color ties the color of the larch timber with the inside of the room.
- The bedside lamps are from Jielde and are a subtle industrial nod.