a London Remodel by a Rising Interior Designer
After earning a degree in interior architecture from the prestigious Inchbald School and working for two design companies at Chelsea in London, Lonika Chande felt ready to go it alone. What she needed was a first solo project to show what she could do.
This order came from Lonika’s mother, Lucy Dickens, an artist (and great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens), who meddles in real estate: she and Lonika’s stepfather had bought a fixer ‘a room in Hampstead they wanted to revise as an upscale and long term rental. The place needed a renewal from top to bottom: scroll to the end to see the Before plans. “Having worked on a number of projects since then, it’s fair to say that working with family isn’t the easiest,” says Lonika. Among the challenges: having to meet her own perfectionist standards and those of her mother on a budget, selecting finishes that can beat tenants and persuading Lucy to embrace color: “Her tendency has always been to paint absolutely all this white brilliant. ” Being “more emotionally invested,” adds Lonika, also played on their two strengths. Join us to see the results.
Photograph of Simon Brown, courtesy of Lonika Chande Interior Design.
The living room had nearly 10-foot-high ceilings and original windows that needed to be restored. Lucy has agreed to widen her palette of white paint: the walls are in “a warm and welcoming shade but always neutral”, explains Lonika – Paper I from the Paint & Paper library. “Without a cornice, the ceiling was painted with the walls to soften the junction between the two. The window sashes and bars were painted in Off-Black by Farrow & Ball, not only to make them stand out, but also to highlight the pretty Victorian brooches on the balcony behind. We opted for blank blinds made to measure inside the niche to expose as much as possible the original paneled details on the architrave of the window. “