Indulgent London pied-à-terre
Interior designer Mark Smith invites us into his Kensington mansion flat and shares the journey of its makeover.
Having worked for the likes of William Yeoward and Terence Conran, featured since 2015 as one of House & Garden UK’s Top 100 Leading Interior Designers and appeared among the pages of various glossy magazines, Mark Smith of Smith Creative Design has earned his stripes as one of the UK’s most respected designers. He’s well known for his ability to skilfully cross reference various architectural periods and to manipulate light and texture to create genuine comfort in his client’s interiors.
His own London pad, a red brick Kensington mansion flat with fantastic proportions and original architectural details, telegraphs a mix of warmth and luxury and contains his characteristic mix of styles which hang together with a newfound, personalised identity. By converting the three-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom flat, Mark has thrown the rule book out, achieving the luxury of space he was after and has used some savvy tricks along the way to maintain an air of calm in his home.
Breakfast table area: I’ve always liked dining in booths in restaurant as it adds intimacy so I created this banquette as a seamless extension of the kitchen joinery. Since I really do only casual suppers during the week in town, this works perfectly and I can be ‘part of the party’ whilst cooking for friends. I had the table top custom made in chestnut veneer and set on a vintage Saarinen Tulip base which I had powder coated in bronze so it would ‘disappear’ under the table. The chairs are vintage Danish rosewood covered in a Chase Erwin fabric.
Floor: I’ve always loved lino and this herringbone design was from Sinclair Till using Marmoleum which works very well with the underfloor heating and is a little thicker and more ‘luxurious’ than standard lino. I also added a single tile in an odd colour, just to shake things up a bit. An old mentor of mine did that in his showroom, so I did it as a little nod to him.
Light: The flat has high ceilings so I could afford to overscale items like the copper pendant over the table which is from Paris (can’t remember the supplier’s name).