Remodelling of a Waterfront Home, River Hamble, Hampshire
The top floors of two adjoined Hampshire properties are reconfigured to create beautiful bedrooms, striking bathrooms, and a wonderful rooftop bar and terrace.
A bold interior design scheme for the principal bedroom suite
Drawing inspiration from the location overlooking the River Hamble, the teal and taupe design scheme is combined with a sensitive approach to finishes. Timber panelling is combined with full-wall upholstery to create a bold backdrop to the bed.
Sleek, modern bathrooms with consistent design details
Apparently simple bathrooms aren’t easy to achieve, and our design work focused on meticulous detailing to deliver sleek, modern shower rooms. The bathrooms all have different design schemes, yet consistent finishes and details are followed through all of them so that the home has a coherent feel.
Redesigning a rooftop structure to create a new bar overlooking the River Hamble
A whole new space on the top of the home. A previous access structure is cleverly redesigned to create a bar area. Now the spectacular vista over the River Hamble can be enjoyed all year round, from breakfast coffees to evening nightcaps.
Background to the project
This was the third phase of a complete renovation of this house. The property had been formed by the joining together of two adjacent waterfront townhouses by the previous owners. This has created a large home, although the layout hadn’t been given much attention in this linking of the houses. We reworked the entire property over a few years to provide a clear and rational layout throughout, no longer compromised by its origins.
We’d previously worked on the full interior design of the entrance floor and created an open plan family room spanning the width of the property and with fabulous views over the River Hamble – see here – as well as the interior design of its self-contained apartment for visiting guests and relatives – see here.
This phase was the top floor – the bedrooms and bathrooms – as well as the roof terrace on top. This was the last piece of the puzzle and in some ways the most complex part of the redesign of this home.
The interior design brief from our client
As with the previous phases of this design project, an overhaul of the layout was needed to bring order to what had been left as a jumble of odd corridors and rooms. There were difficult spaces to make sense of too, with the bedrooms having some awkward details from the roof above.
They were also looking for an exciting design for the bedroom of their teenage daughter. They were interested in a design that would be interesting and impactful, perhaps with lighting, and which would also have some longevity and be something she didn’t tire of.
The bathrooms were also tired and dated, from the original construction of the properties. The client was looking for sleek, contemporary bathrooms, with simple details, concealed lighting, and visual impact.
The concept and interior design scheme
The interior layout and space planning of this home was the first consideration, and we reworked the layout to improve all the individual rooms, and crucially the access to them and between them as well. Considerations of circulation, orientation, privacy, proximity, roof terrace access, and natural light informed a complete rearrangement. Alongside these considerations we needed to work with the locations of services and drainage in the existing structure, as the scope of work included four new bathrooms. The resulting layout is a beautiful set of bedrooms and bathrooms, with clear and logical circulation between them, and a comfortable home that makes sense of the space within the property.
The design scheme drew on the influence of the riverside location on the Hamble, with colouring, finishes and details that would suit the high levels of natural light that the property benefits from.
In the bathrooms we worked hard to give the rooms a sleek and simple appearance, with walk-in wet room showers throughout. Although they share similarities in the fittings, tile finishes and wallcoverings, the colours and finishes of these vary throughout the home, creating a consistency in their designs despite some very different designs and colour schemes.
Redesign of the principal bedroom and bathroom suite
The remodelled principal suite is a beautiful retreat overlooking the River Hamble. For privacy and seclusion, the entrance to the suite is not straight into the bedroom. Instead, a vestibule room welcomes the clients to their private space and provides circulation between the bedroom and the principal bathroom. A console table and lighting forms an elegant arrangement on entry. Behind this a mirrored feature wall expands the feeling of space, as well as allowing appearances to be checked on the way out after dressing. Access doors hidden within the mirror panelling also hides away services and the hot water cylinder for the home. Removing these services from the bedroom space improves the acoustics and prevents any disturbances.
In the bedroom we altered the architectural shape of the room behind the bed to discreetly hide awkward roof features within the overall shape. This helps to give the room a settled and calm feeling, without the visual disruptions from the previously irregular roof line. This design also accentuated the width of the room behind the bed, and the effect is to enhance the feeling of space in the room.
An elegant backdrop to the bed was designed using a combination of timber panelling and upholstery, with a bold teal and taupe colour palette inspired by the location. The effect of the double-panelled wall treatment is highlighted by LED uplighting running along the length of the bedhead – the light source hidden from view but the effect creating a warm glow and soft atmosphere behind the bed. Feature pendant lighting for reading hangs by either side directly over the bedside tables, with wall stays to prevent them from swaying. The upholstery beneath also stretches the full width of the room, with a layout and sizing that aligns exactly with the panels above. Upholstered in a faux suede fabric, it’s a soft and tactile backdrop to the bed. Switches and electrics are also incorporated into the upholstery for a neat finish.
Opposite the bed a new installation of fitted wardrobes provides extensive, customised storage space.
The main bathroom in this suite is a dramatic space. Architecturally simple and decorated in deep, warm colours, this is a calm and restful sanctuary for the homeowners. Visually the effect is that the walls become recessive, so this internal room feels cocooning rather than claustrophobic. The colour matching of the gunmetal brassware and the colour-coded radiator create a visual unity to the room.
Using a reductive approach to detailing to deliver simplicity, the design scheme is combined with recessed lighting and large format tiles. The introduction of texture in the wallcovering behind the basin, as well as the sleek Corian basin and its own raw oak timber vanity unit, create features and points of interest to enhance the space.
The quest for simplicity is most apparent in the wet room shower area, open to the room and without barriers, where the same floor tile continues in a slip-resistant finish. The shower head is recessed into the ceiling and finished in a matching colour so that it’s hardly visible. The floor drain is similarly discreet and fitted along the back wall. Lighting is recessed and the sources hidden, leaving the dramatic effect of the light washing over the deep-coloured tiles.
A striking lighting design for a teenager’s bedroom
Designed for their teenage daughter, the concept of this room was to create interesting features that weren’t age-specific, so that they would be appropriate and appreciated over a time during which tastes and interests often change.
The centrepiece was a feature lighting installation to a seemingly random-panelled back wall, with hidden lighting in the stepped panels creating a striking backdrop to the room at any time. With the whole installation smoothly dimmable it can be set up to be bright and vivid in the daytime and reduced down to a soft glow in the evening.
This installation was designed to work with another irregular roof shape, and again the effect was to bring the attention back to the room rather than its roof. It was carefully designed with the bed shape to ensure everything works in practice, and again the sockets and switches and incorporated into the joinery for a neat finish.
Elsewhere in the room a custom fitted mirror was designed, floating off the wall and with hidden lighting behind to create a glamorous dressing area.
The ensuite bathroom alongside is a neutral and light design in natural limestone-coloured porcelain. Even with a variety of design schemes, it’s important to have a sense that the different rooms are part of the same home. Here that’s achieved by using the same tile type, a different brassware range in the same gunmetal finish as the main bathroom, and a similar basin and vanity unit in raw oak timber.
Other consistent design choices are a wallcovering stretching across the wall behind the basin, a colour-matched radiator, and the luxurious open wet room shower at the end.
A flexible guest bedroom to accommodate varying needs
The guest bedroom needs to be able to accommodate different guests, and to have the flexibility of setting up naturally as either a twin or a double bedroom. A fitted bedhead was designed with a clever layout to the electrics so that for both bed configurations the bedside tables and power sockets would be in the correct place as needed, with the spare set covered.
Along the back wall above the bedhead, a shelf provides a space for artworks to be placed, again with the flexibility to be moved around as desired. Uplighting from the shelf is directed back to light the artworks and the textured wallcovering used as a backdrop. It casts a glow around the bedhead too and reflects light back for reading in bed.
The guest ensuite bathroom follows the design scheme of its bedroom as well as the other bathrooms. Combining the colour palette of the guest bedroom with the ranges of tiles, finishes and fittings used elsewhere, it feels like a consistent part of the home, yet it retains an individual design.
A refinished roof terrace with a new lookout over Hampshire’s River Hamble
Access to the roof was reworked through a new staircase and glass roof opening, in a new position to bring light into the top floor landing and down through the staircase to all floors.
This left the previous structure that housed the roof access to be converted for a much more worthwhile use – a rooftop bar. Here there are bar facilities, drinks, fridge, freezer, a coffee machine, and a small sink. At the riverside end a fitted bar and stools overlooks the River Hamble.
The backdrop to the room is a subtle, decorative wave pattern to the whole wall, downlit with mini LEDs. These can be the only lights used to softly light the space, preserving evening views and balancing the illumination if the outside terrace is in use.
On the terrace itself discreet new lighting was installed, downlighting to hide the light source and for visual comfort at dusk or in the evening. Sleek concrete coastal-rated fittings were specified for resistance to the corrosion that would be caused by the coastal location. The old decking was replaced with long life composite boards for slip resistance and their anti-mould properties.
Now the rooftop area can be used at any time, and there’s an indoor shelter so that it can be any time of the year and in any weather. In practice it’s a huge expansion to the home and how it can be used by the family, or with guests and visitors.
The finished home
With the new layout to the bedrooms and bathrooms on the top floor, the home is complete. Now consistent in style and interior design throughout, it’s a wonderful contemporary home in a modern style that suits the location in Hamble. The top floor now enjoys natural light into the staircase at the centre, leading to a selection of beautiful bedrooms, each with its own sleek bathroom. Each room has its own feel, although together they’re linked by finishes and details to ensure a consistency throughout the home. On top of the internal redesign, the roof terrace has been transformed into a new space that can be used year-round, and from breakfast coffee to alfresco lunches, early aperitivos to evening nightcaps.