A Library & Living Room in London



London,Library,Living Room,Grandeur,Plasterwork,Townhouse,David Hicks,Shelves,Joinery,Colour,Design


An afternoon spent in David Hicks’ library of Barons Court in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland was the inspiration for this London library and family room.


Similar to Barons Court the library is painted a very dark blue, almost a black colour serving as the ultimate background colour for the pictures.


Slender lacquered shelves are positioned on two of the walls. The internal colour of the shelves is primary red in homage to Hick’s red cloth lined library shelves for Barons Court. However, the facing 12mm edge is coloured black. This required an extraordinary amount of skill to achieve the sharp edge where the two colours meet.


The bottom shelves shift to a lime green colour in part to provide some dynamic contrast.


The ornamental period features of the room were all retained and restored but the floor was replaced with straight Wenge boards to compliment the wall colour.


The vast proportions of the living room are embellished with very fine plaster work in the Georgian style. The frieze, ceiling rose and dado rails and the plaster pediment crowning the French double doors’ architrave showcase the Victorian developer’s grand ambitions for the house. He was competing with the finest of houses in Belgravia.


These details were hardly noticed due to years of slapdash overpainting. We embarked on a meticulous restoration project to gently remove all the layers of paint from the plasterwork. It was only once the restoration was complete could we truly appreciate these period features.


The wood flooring could not be salvaged however and was replaced by parquet blocks laid in a traditional herringbone style with a twin walnut border.


The central Georgian stone fireplace was refurbished and the antique gilded mirror and crystal chandelier were sourced from London.


The two sofas, side tables and the central ottoman were designed by the practice. The rest of the furniture is an eclectic mix of period, modernist, contemporary and vintage pieces that are offset against the classism of the room.


Picture Credits: Alex Cochrane