Palladian Completes ‘The Tile House’ in Kensington, West London

The Tile House, Palladian London

Project Name: The Tile House
Architecture and Interior Design: Palladian
Location: London, United Kingdom
Year: 2023
Photo credits: Tarry and Perry Photography

Architecture and interior design practice Palladian has completed the refurbishment and extension of a stunning Arts & Crafts home in Kensington, West London. The property, dating from the early 20th century, has been named The Tile House because of the building’s former industrial use, having originally been purpose-built in 1909-10 as a tile factory.

The Brief
The conversion from factory to domestic residence was already decades-old when Palladian came on board, briefed by the new owners to remodel the house to suit their needs and those of their growing family. The brief was to design a home with a contemporary interior, but one which would also respect the building’s heritage, incorporating references to the Arts & Crafts movement and the building’s former life.

‘Initially, exploring this avenue meant seeking to preserve select features that would maintain a connection to the building’s original style’, Hugo Lindsay-Fynn, Founding Partner & Commercial Director at Palladian explained, ‘as well as seeking to incorporate the Arts & Crafts movement’s appreciation for brightness and the natural world, using natural materials and bringing in natural light wherever possible.

However, when we excavated the foundations to create the newly-enlarged space plan for the house, we struck metaphorical gold when we came across stacks of beautifully-preserved original tiles from the property’s factory past. We were able to incorporate these into the new interior design scheme as a direct link to the building’s past life, including using them to clad feature areas, such as the surround to the entrance hall fireplace and bespoke writing desks.’

The Architectural Scheme
Key features of the architectural scheme include the creation of a contemporary open-plan living space to the rear of the property’s ground floor; the addition of a new staircase leading to the newly-created extension and the restoration of the entrance foyer, newly accentuated by the revival of the original fireplace.

The property embodies the spirit of Arts & Crafts without being a mere imitation by preserving those features which maintained a connection to its original style. The new design aimed to maximise the ingress of natural light, for example, in order to echo the movement’s appreciation for brightness and nature. Where possible, window sizes were altered and ceiling heights amplified to pursue this and also to better suit the proportions of the space.

The new owners’ love of food and cooking meant that the kitchen and dining area to the rear of the house was a particular focus area. A comprehensive transformation of the lower ground floor established a new open-plan kitchen space, transforming it into the heart and soul of the new home. This focus included reshaping an existing rear extension, now elongated to forge a more harmonious and fluid space. An expansive Oriel window takes centre stage, adding to the Arts & Crafts narrative by allowing the influx of ample natural light and creating connections with the outdoors. A walk-on skylight was strategically positioned on the terrace above to channel more natural light into the depths of the open-plan expanse.

The main staircase of the Tile house was repositioned for optimal circulation and to reduce redundant landing space. The provision of a new reading corner in a window opening under the staircase creates a beautiful detail and opens views out to the rear garden. The entrance foyer forms a central highlight where original features are preserved, but with a modern twist, including hand-painted tile paneling around the fireplace and staircase, which leads to the new kitchen space.

Palladian’s design philosophy includes a preference for responsibly-sourced natural materials, as these not only embody robustness and durability but also age more gracefully.  A commitment to sustainability forms part of this philosophy. Much of the timber used throughout the kitchen on this project was sourced, for example, from fallen trees found in local parks.

The New Interior Layout
The interior layout offers flexibility and a good balance between tradition and innovation, offering the new owners the option of choosing the position of their master suite on either the first or second floor. The renovation work included the addition of two additional bedrooms, a shared family bathroom, a guest suite, and a fifth multi-purpose room to cater to varied family needs.

Palladian’s holistic approach to the home’s redesign encapsulates a synergy of functionality and aesthetics. The interiors feature a blend of man-made and natural materials including stone and timber finishes. New, fitted, bespoke joinery makes use of geometric spaces and is positioned in such a way that it frees up space from other rooms.

The design team also carefully sourced suppliers for key elements such as the Granby Rock kitchen worktops – a striking, marbled recycled terrazzo made up of crushed recycled brick, slate and other waste materials. RHMB was commissioned to design and build the kitchen cabinetry, with joinery made from recovered timber from local London woodland.

Hand-crafted elements were also incorporated, with a passion for craft another key element of the Palladian approach. Paris-based mobile sculpture artist Cristel Sadde designed the beautiful custom-made hanging sculpture which crowns the reconfigured living room, for example, whilst Louisa Loakes’s hand block print patterns were used to dress the bedroom.

In conclusion, the refurbishment and extension of The Tile House by Palladian perfectly encapsulate a harmonious blend of contemporary living with historical reverence. By seamlessly integrating original elements from the property’s industrial past and emphasizing natural light and materials, the project not only respects the Arts & Crafts heritage but also meets the modern needs of the new owners. The thoughtful design, combined with sustainable practices and hand-crafted details, results in a home that is both functional and aesthetically captivating, truly embodying the essence of Palladian’s design philosophy.

The Tile House Palladian London

dining area

The Tile House, Palladian London

living area

living room

living room


The Tile House Palladian London

upper level, living room

bedroom, The Tile House


bedroom, The Tile House


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