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Orchestrating Calm and Quiet: House of Grey’s Multi-Sensory Design in a London Apartment

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Orchestrating Calm and Quiet: House of Grey’s Multi-Sensory Design in a London Apartment

March 14, 2022

Louisa Grey creates interiors that promote wellness. Her design firm, House of Grey, practices what she calls “circular salutogenic design,” which translates as living quarters that are healthful to humans and gentle on our planet. And lovely to be in, too.

A recently completed residence in London’s Gasholders building in King’s Cross exemplifies the House of Grey way: working in a palette of pale shades and soft, wooly textures, Grey swaddles her clients in spa-like calm and quiet. All materials are natural and ethically sourced. In lieu of latex paint—which is petroleum based even if low VOC—Grey collaborated with Bauwerk on her own line of limewash. At a time of extreme crisis and suffering, join us for a look at an otherworldly cocoon.

Photography by Michael Sinclair, courtesy of House of Grey.

in response to the fact that so many people live for their vacation time, grey  9
Above: In response to the fact that so many people live for their vacation time, Grey began designing “the ‘holiday life’ at home,” by creating rooms that, in her words, “enable us to decompress and download the day in a nurturing environment.” Her interiors are stripped of  the “unnecessary visual noise that contributes to high stress levels.”

Shown here, a white-oiled ash bench by Sebastian Cox, Mazo WNG chairs, and a 1950s Italian hanging light. The Afghan wool rug is the Umbra design; see more in our posts Natural Fiber Rugs by Armadillo x House Grey and Trend Alert: Modern Wall Hangings in Wintery Shades of White.

house of grey&#8\2\17;s bauwerk limewash, used in all of the rooms unless n 10
Above: House of Grey’s Bauwerk limewash, used in all of the rooms unless noted, is aptly named Visual Silence. Read about the mineral-based finish in Remodeling 101: Everything You Need to Know About Limewash Paint.
above: softness and light: faye toogood&#8\2\17;s puffy lounge chair is pai 11
Above: Softness and light: Faye Toogood’s Puffy Lounge Chair is paired with a Caprani floor lamp, a 1970s Danish design in bent beechwood with a pleated shade (it can be found in a range of versions and prices: search “Caprani floor lamp”). The curtain is a House of Grey design made by The Hackney Draper (for stitched shades, go to Trend Alert: Patchwork Cloths as Window Coverings).
the three gasholders buildings are circular—read about them here— 12
Above: The three Gasholders buildings are circular—read about them here—which meant the project came with the challenge of curved walls. “The need to make an industrial space and a new build feel like home was the overarching objective,” writes Grey. Here, she sits on a curved sofa that she and her team designed with London furniture maker Sedilia. There was no struggle getting the piece in place: it was upholstered in situ.

All of House of Grey’s rugs are made for padding around on barefoot. This one is the wool and silk rug is Perilune from Armadillo.

Above L: A pleated linen curtain encloses an area near the entry with a duel purpose: it serves as a “welcome area” with a shoe bench, and also as a bar for entertaining. Above R: The bench arm’s carved “bowl” can hold keys or drinks.
Above L: The enclosed balcony is furnished with a Faye Toogood Roly Poly Sofa on a Terra rug, and potted plants supplied by indoor landscapers L’Appartement. Above R: Franky Farra Frond and Symmy Templeman are the two creatives behind L’Appartement. Based in Peckham, they specialize in “combining unique indoor plants with furniture, design, and architecture.”
Above L: “A space must provide warmth and comfort at a base level,” writes Grey. “This requires making choices about finishes and materials most suited to the building. Only then can you add layers of sensory experience.” Shown here, a paneled wall with an art niche outside of one of the two bedrooms. Above R: A ceramic sculpture by Re Jin Lee and 3D painting by Edith Beurskens.
a modern patchwork quilt is casually hung in an otherwise very tailored bedroom 19
Above: A modern patchwork quilt is casually hung in an otherwise very tailored bedroom. The textile was sewn from naturally dyed fabric remnants by Yorkshire artist Tessa Layzelle, a member of  the House of Grey’s “creative tribe” who describes her work as “practical paintings.”

The walls here (and the ceilings and painted woodwork throughout) are finished with Graphenstone, a revolutionary eco paint that absorbs CO2. Frama’s T-Lamp stands on Kristina Dam Studio’s powder-coated steel Curved Side Table, currently $425 marked down from $500, at DWR.

house of grey&#8\2\17;s &#8\2\20;multi sensory&#8\2\2\1; approach i 20
Above: House of Grey’s “multi-sensory” approach includes scent. “When we hand over a project,” says Grey, “each room smells of nothing but nature.” The main bath’s Japanese-style cedar soaking tub is a custom design built by Roundhouse Woodwork of Wiltshire. As the tub fills, the cedar perfumes the air.
house of grey reupholstered their clients&#8\2\17; existing headboard in li 21
Above: House of Grey reupholstered their clients’ existing headboard in linen and had Tessa Layzelle make a quilt for it. The curtains incorporate three types of linen. “Do it once, do it well is the definition of true sustainability,” says Grey. “As everything is built to last, nothing goes into landfill.”

The bedside table is Ilse Crawford’s Companions Side Table for De La Espada (its removable cork bowl is for stashing small items). The sconce is Serge Mouille’s classic Antony Wall Lamp.

the bedroom&#8\2\17;s smooth walls and floor set off by house of grey&# 22
Above: The bedroom’s smooth walls and floor set off by House of Grey’s nubbly Palus rug and Another Country’s Modern Farmhouse Occasional Chair.

More by House of Grey: see Louisa Grey’s own Victorian terrace house in Kitchen of the Week: Serenity in a London Remodel.

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