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House Call: A Georgian Townhouse in Edinburgh Remodeled for an Artist

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House Call: A Georgian Townhouse in Edinburgh Remodeled for an Artist

March 21, 2014

When Scottish artist Alison Watt was looking for a studio space in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she could also live, she turned to local architect Helen Lucas  to help turn a floor in an A-listed Georgian townhouse into a combination painting studio and gracious flat. As Helen tells us, “It demanded a clean and minimalist approach to the detailing, to provide an uncluttered, light-filled environment that allows Alison to focus on her art.” Watt is a well known Scottish artist with an OBE–Order of the British Empire award–to her name and often works on a large scale. She now the perfect setting for that. Have a look.

Photography by Angus Bremner.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio mantlepiece Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: Helen notes that “everything is very stripped back and plain to complement the Edinburgh Georgian details. 

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: The former living room is now Alison Watt’s studio with suspended lighting in lieu of wall lights.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio Georgian House Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: Double doors lead from the studio to a grand, bow-fronted library.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio with table Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: All of the shelving and wall storage in the library had to stand off the ceilings to allow the cornicing to remain. The bookshelves are spray painted white and the walls are painted in Farrow and Ball’s Pavillion Grey.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio art storage Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: A towering canvas storage unit in the library is detailed to sit like a piece of furniture, complementing the simple bookshelves.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio white kitchen Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: “The kitchen is absolutely tiny but beautiful with every bit of space put to good use,” says Lucas. The cabinets are custom built and have Corian worktops in Designer White

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio paint brushes Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: The sink-side Corian counter. “Corian is seamless,” Helen explains, “and it can cope with brush washing and oil paint.”

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio kitchen Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: Tubarad radiators in the kitchen provide “a modern interpretation of chunky cast iron,” says Lucas. “The shelves were a bonus added when we found a hollow section of wall where the curved shape was formed to the bow-ended room.”

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio kitchen storage Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: A detail of the inset shelving.

Helen Lucas Architects Alison Watts Studio entry Angus Bremner Remodelista

Above: The newly positioned front door opens straight into the kitchen rather than a dark corridor, allowing light to flow throughout the space. For more, go to Helen Lucas Architects. Check out Helen’s own Scottish Retreat which she shares with her architect husband, Malcolm Fraser. To see one of the greatest works of art in Scotland, read about Ian Hamilton Finlay on Gardenista. 

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