Powerscroft Road began as a typical Victorian terrace house. Its restoration culminated in a modern masterpiece bursting with natural light that refines and respects the original Victorian features, rejuvenating the refined charm of this 5-story townhouse.
Daytrip Studio, a London-based design studio founded by Iwan Halstead and Emily Potter, began the restoration in 2016 and completed it in September 2019. As their team first entered the property, they were greeted with a shabby 1970s interior. Unkept and unloved, they were met with a sinking feeling as their feet sunk into the dodgy deep pile carpets.
The revamp aimed to create a relaxed environment tucked away from the hustle-and-bustle of the inner city. The generously proportioned architecture provided an inspiring slate from which to build a modernistic nest. In contrast, the existing period details were mostly damaged or missing.
Daytrip have made a name for themselves through their intelligent use of materials, their broad palette of references, and their intimate partnerships with artists, designers, and craftsmen. Each project they work on feels deeply personal and passionate. Quality and craftsmanship are never sacrificed.
Daytrip Studio knew the clients, Ed and Reema Stanbury, very well. Having worked together on multiple Blok gyms together, a substantial level of trust was already present. The Stanburys provided a simple brief: to remodel and redesign the property for resale. They trusted Daytrip to do what they felt was right.
Working from what was left of the refined Victorian charm, Daytrip carefully executed a vision of calmness and serenity. Achieving this discrete and simple tone involved an artful continuity of materials to ensure a seamless transition from the old to the new and back again. The Studio made sure there was a partnership of materials continuously thriving. For example, the pale, painterly lime-washed walls were paired with off-white powder-coated metalwork throughout the property, delivering a subtle chic.
Further, the refined cornicing was restored alongside the floorboards. Classic features that became paired with a burst of modernity as openings to rooms were widened and elevated with pale Crittall doors.
Daytrip’s most impressive feat was the amount of natural light they brought into the property. From wall to wall, Powerscroft Road is now awash with a brightness that illuminates the pale off-white walls, enhancing all the textures that sit beneath the sunlight.
Multiple light wells dotted across the house space rejuvenated the large, minimal area and made it not just enticing to a contemporary buyer but breathable, liveable, and lovable. The natural light that travels throughout the entire house is the gift that keeps on giving. On early mornings the sun falls delicately across the dappled marble kitchen counter, reviving the space from its slumber. Whilst when evening falls, the moon illuminates the light wheel embedded in the new roof extension.
The joint kitchen and living room were literally built from the ground up. The open-plan space these rooms now occupy once was a basement with low ceilings filled with darkness and smelling of dampness. The excavation took a year — but Daytrip have no doubt that it was worth it.
Unrecognisably, the basement now boasts a bespoke kitchen space, beautifully crafted with a dash of honesty and simplicity. These values flow through the Douglas fir and the honed Evora marble, everything elegantly weaving itself together into a narrative that continues speaking as the kitchen seamlessly merges with the rear garden.
Working with landscape designer Lauren Goldfinch of Tyler Goldfinch, Daytrip used poured and polished concrete to effortlessly blend the kitchen with its natural counterpart: an exterior dining space. Lauren wanted the garden to reflect the interior scheme and the values behind it. She designed a garden that is low maintenance and is practical for a busy urban dweller. Wild grasses and rushes burst with an understated texture against the rendered plaster and white painted fencing, providing an Edenic feel that almost sustains itself. As an added nod to the interior’s style, Lauren chose variegated leaves whose dappled colours harmonised with the pale palette of the materials inside.
Modernising the bathrooms required paying attention to the marble tones used elsewhere in the property. Smoothness, softness, and sleekness radiate from this material. Its effect travels out into nearby rooms, bouncing off the textured prints hung across the walls.
Deep blues from the crackle-glaze Lavastone in the traditional family bathroom replicate the welcoming warmth of the ocean, whilst the classic Calacatta marble spread throughout the bathrooms become their own metaphorical light source.
Up in the attic, a dynamic space awash with the same natural daylight that fills the kitchen several floors below, a contemporary shower room is ensconced. Its three roof lights provide access to the outside whilst simultaneously tying together the entire harmony of the home.
When it comes to furnishing properties, Daytrip is known for working with highly skilled local craftsmen and artisans. By keeping things local and not having to rely on overseas deliveries, the stressless tone the project wanted to embody was replicated in the process of its creation.
Daytrip chose Sophie Pearce of Beton Brut and Laura Fulmin of Modern Art Hire to decide upon the style of the furnishings. They made careful and considered selections that spread across eras, seamlessly mixing antique, mid-century, and contemporary pieces to create an interior not defined by time. The delicacy of their selections is clearly visible with every step.
Powerscroft Road may have begun its journey as a crumbling remnant of the Victorian style, but Daytrip ensured that the essence of property stayed true to its roots. The Studio brought modern minimalism and contemporary comfort to the property with a delicate touch. Nothing was forced. Everything flowed naturally from past to present. Powerscroft Road is a testament to Daytrip’s incredible ability to bring together a broad palette of references into a coherent whole.
A little insight from Interior Designer Iwan Halstead
Continue reading to hear from the Designer Iwan Halstead
1. What is your favourite room, and why;
I have visited the house at various times of the day and each time the sun is at a different angle and its incredible how the light shines through each space and creates beautiful and sometimes dramatic shadows, eye capturing moments you don't expect as an architect which really is the charm and beauty within our work. Many visitors have their favourite rooms, some could spend all day in the open plan living and kitchen space, it is designed to be seasonal for summer dining with the glazed doors fully open or in winter months one can hibernate in the secluded lounge with built in log stove and bookcase. The master bedroom has many admirers, those who enjoy built-in storage for their expanding wardrobes! It feels like a suite at a boutique hotel with a stunning en-suite and floor standing bath. My personal favourite room is the top floor studio. The roof extension is a wash with three separate roof lights creating a dramatic yet tranquil bedroom. The showstopper being the walk in wet room with open glazed ceiling.
2. What is your favourite material used if you have one and why;
The materiality of Powerscroft road was very considered; we carefully selected each material and finish to relate and pair with one another in order to create a very serene and calm home. We were keen that every detail was treated with a pale treatment; for instance, all metal framework or detailed elements in the home were powder-coated in an off-white to match with the walls, this idea of continuity is apparent throughout. A muted and pale palette of off-whites are always a good beginning for a new home, paired with honest materials such as white oiled Douglas fir or polished pale concrete, both promote their inherent patterns and textures without feeling ‘over-designed’ or mass produced.
3. What was the biggest hurdle in the project and how did you over come it?
No architectural project is ever easy and there are always problems and unforeseeable issues that arise. We worked with many local craftsmen to procure a lot of the designed elements which made the process a lot easier, not having to rely on overseas deliveries, for instance and communicating with the maker one on one is much more efficient, you can resolve issues and details that perhaps you didn’t consider in the design process. The timings of a build are never determined. It took almost a year to excavate to basement, it was a huge job but worth it. Furthermore, as architects and designers we are always prepared to consider the budget and compromise on finishes or features that aren’t achievable. We were lucky to have so many creative talents and artisanal skills involved in Powerscroft Road, who were flexible and keen to collaborate on this project.
Photography by Jake Curtis & Elliot Sheppard