This is the home of interior designer, Karina Goncharova. It’s a grade II listed semi-detached house from the Regency period that has been sympathetically converted into a stunning home for herself and her family. Karina is Russian by birth and studied interior design in Moscow, but moved to London after a 5 year stint in Egypt. Finding something suitable in Central London proved to be quite a task, and once found, it took over 6 months and 60 planning applications before work could begin.
When Karina first saw, what was to be her family home, it was dark and out-dated, but it was spacious and had lots of potential. Including lots of period features and the character that she was looking for. It had been owned for over 50 years by an American family, and luckily for Karina they had extended the back in the 60’s to provide a good sized family room and master bedroom. She doubts that she would be able to get planning permission for such an extension today.
Today the house has an open-plan kitchen/living area, 3 sitting rooms, a dining room, conservatory, 3 en-suite bedrooms and a basement studio. Plus a good sized garden for her 2 year old son to run around in.
“We don’t have a formal lounge in the house , we are just not a very “formal” family. We love it when our friends come with their kids and they all crawl onto that oversized daybed and watch cartoons, or my husbands friends come to watch football on that gigantic TV.” says Karina.
The “boys only room” still has all the original panels, fireplace, and ceiling decor, but a statement chandelier made by Timothy Thornton out of medical tubes adds a bit of fun. There is even an original coat of arms on the fireplace saying FORTIS ET PATIENS , which possibly belonged to an old american family who lived here between 1811-1837.
Karina kept all of the original wall panels in the hallway and added traditional F&B wallpaper and paint. The floor panels were found in Italy and integrated into the original floor boards creating a beautiful and unique feature to greet guests.
The new and bigger conservatory replaces the old one, It’s now the favourite reading room in the house. The reclaimed printing stand from 1357 now holds plants and works perfectly to add that “old touch” to quite a modern conservatory.
“We are extremely happy with the result, it really feels like home where everyone gets their space” says Karina. “I’m still hunting for decorative pieces and art, but it’s going to be a lifetime project.“
Karina Goncharova is Partner and Creative Director of Kima Architecture and Interiors who specialise in architectural work in conservation areas and high-end residential interiors.