ISSUE 36  |  Living with Plants

Still Life with Plants: An Art Collector in a Refurbished London Flat

September 07, 2015 9:00 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

So much for minimalism. A 3,500-square-foot London flat recently renovated for an art collector by 6a Architects is also home to dozens (hundreds?) of house plants, crammed into pots and planters in every room to create a pleasing green background blur. For sale: £4 million.

Behind a gate in a private mews in central London, the former warehouse in Islington has been reconfigured into living space with two artists’ studios and a rooftop terrace garden by of-the-moment landscape designer Dan Pearson.

Architects Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald, known for sensitive makeovers that emphasize the “good bones” of the buildings they remodel, stripped the space to reveal its structure. White walls and ceilings and lots of sunlight explain why the house plants are so happy.

Photography via 6a Architects.

Above: Windows original to the warehouse fill the living room with enough sunlight to ensure that house plants can thrive. Steel and angled L-beams support the ceiling.

Above: Quiet curb appeal reigns at the entry, where a few circumspect potted plants give nothing away.

Above: Inside, green and white are the colors that unify all the spaces. Poured concrete floors and countertops throughout the flat serve as a neutral backdrop.

Above: From the kitchen, a spiral staircase leads to a roof terrace.

Above: On a shelf under a kitchen window, a row of mismatched vases with unstudied floral arrangements intermingle with kitchen tools and utensils.

Above: Despite the bright light, the art is safe from sun damage, thanks to museum-grade glass panes in the windows. A potted fiddle leaf fig tree approves.

Above: The flat has underfloor heating and salvaged warehouse doors original to the building.

Above: A bedroom has a freestanding bathroom sink and more art. And more art. And more.

Above: A freestanding bathtub and a separate shower are located in one bedroom wing.

Above: For the roof terrace, Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist Dan Pearson chose potted plants. See more of his work in 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from the Chelsea Flower Show Winner.

Above: The facade faces a quiet, private mews.