At a time when the lived-in look has entered and taken over in just about all of our homes, here’s an inspiring, rarefied version on the theme. London architecture firm Jonathan Tuckey Design—a member of the Remodelista Architect and Designer Directory—was presented with a four-story Regency townhouse, the longstanding home of a couple who work in the art world and have two young kids. The place was “very well used,” according to project architect James Moore, and the requested top-to-bottom refresh set out to embrace rather than erase the family’s visible clutter.

“The scheme is really about creating a backdrop to their busy lives, introducing functional storage for their many objects—a curated chaos—while also developing themes as one moves through the house,” Moore explains. Of course, it helped that the family’s belongings include David Hockney prints and antique Venetian mirrors. As art collectors, the owners were particularly attuned to establishing a mood-setting palette, and wanted, says Moore, “for their art to speak—and for the architecture to have a dialogue alongside it.”

Working with approximately 300 square feet on each floor, the architects wanted to make each space more flexible—”to liberate the walls and floors”—and also to create a sense of being on a journey. While selecting finishes and colors, the design team looked to the early 20th-century abstract art movement known as Purism: “the intention was to introduce varieties of spaces—dark, light, introspective, and distorted using color and the abstracted forms of Purist artworks as a device.” Curiouser and curiouser? The results, particularly as captured in these photographs, have an intriguing down-the-rabbit-hole quality. Join us for a look around.

Photography by Dirk Lindner, courtesy of Jonathan Tuckey Design.

Above: The main gathering space is a combination living/dining room that opens to a glassed-off kitchen. This is on the parlor floor—scroll to the end to see a sectional plan of the structure, which has a narrow entry level below.
The glazing was inspired by th-century steel-framed greenhouses, but with textured glass: &#8
Above: The glazing was inspired by 19th-century steel-framed greenhouses, but with textured glass: “crucially, this screen allows the kitchen to be either part of the living space or closed off,” says Moore. A high ledge provides a place for the family’s houseplants, and further drives home the greenhouse theme.
The compact cooking niche has a concrete surround made by Kast. The custom cabinets are blue-stained spruce: &#8
Above: The compact cooking niche has a concrete surround made by Kast. The custom cabinets are blue-stained spruce: “the stain allows the grain of the wood to come through and feels more lightweight than paint,” says Moore, To tie together the steel elements, the metal pot rack is painted to match the screen.
The architects chose industrial stippled glass to &#8
Above: The architects chose industrial stippled glass to “distort” the light between the spaces. They write: “A leanness and economy of construction was used for the steel screen structure. This was an important tectonic counterpoint to the substantial mass of the concrete kitchen sink, splash back, and work surface.”

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