Discover this London pied-à-terre in Chelsea adorned with custom-made pieces created by up and coming studio OZA Design and artworks curated in collaboration with art advisor Maria Abramenko. The homeowners tapped OZA Design, an architecture and design studio based in London and co-founded by Özge Öztürk from Turkey, and Alexandre Simeray from France.
Travelling to different countries, the designers pursued the best craftsmen to create their first collection of furniture and lighting. This refuge combines a minimalist approach with raw natural materials and a soft color palette enhancing its natural beauty, focusing on materiality and emotions. The sense of flow and soul of the house characterize this true gem in the heart of the British capital, which is owned by an English and French entrepreneur.
“Here, the essential is invisible to the eyes. It is a beautifully crafted balance between light and shadow, feminine and masculine, traditional and unusual,” says Ozge and Alexandre.
Located in London’s suburb of Chelsea, the house is invisible from the bustling street, behind a door framed by a distinctive classical stone portal. As soon as you enter, you discover a tranquil oasis.
“This is not what you would expect from a traditional Chelsea house, there is no pretentious architectural detailing, no fake patina to shine, every material comes in its raw appearance enhancing its natural beauty. Everything is bespoke and handcrafted,” says Oza Design’s duo.
Originally built as a small outbuilding at the rear of the majestic Cranleigh Garden residence, this house saw various uses through its life. Once a gentlemen’s snooker room, it later became the home of an actress and then of a famous writer.
Meet the Homeowners
A half English, half French young successful property developer in his thirties. He decided to joint venture with a well-known New York real estate financier (who is half English, half Australian) to create a showcase property in the heart of Chelsea. The young property developer loved this home so much that it is now his London pied-à-terre.
Everything from the hot-rolled steel kitchen to the painstakingly executed clay walls had been carefully designed, curated and in many instances fabricated by OZA through their bespoke interpretation of modern luxury.
For this project, OZA collaborated with art advisor Maria Abramenko and they chose together artworks from Cadogan Gallery with pieces by Sam Lock and Tycjan Knut.
The concept behind this home is balance and harmony; peaceful sanctuary and emotional design.
“The design of this place is an attempt to convey feelings and emotions through space and materiality,” says Ozge and Alexandre. “Our minimalist approach, natural materials and sophisticated detailing create a timeless soul to this house.”
The function remains primarily a house, but also considers the client’s requirement for hosting events and having a workspace, in line with the new cultural shift of the era. The ground floor is dedicated to the public living spaces and the first floor is for the private areas.
What makes the home special
“Each room has been drawn with the same rigorous line, tying together the architecture, the concealed joinery, the fittings, and the furnishing,” says the duo. “Throughout the house, we deliberately removed all unnecessary doors and increased the size of the architraves to allow light to flood the space, creating a visible thread that connects each area.”
Clay wall cladding helps to regulate the humidity and temperature, reducing the use of heater in winter and avoiding the use of air conditioning in summer.
“The application and bespoke patterns playing with light creating different shadows and depth on different times of day were unique for the project,” say Ozge and Alexandre. “It was like creating art on these large-scale walls.”
OZA also created a custom-patterned wood flooring (for the living room and the dining room) out of discarded wood pieces, which are of naturally finished British oak leftover to avoid chemical treatments.
Discover the heart of the home, the Living room
Filled with natural light, the living room is the heart of the home. Its orientation is given by a large, fully functional, integrated cabinet with a fireplace, spanning the full width of the room and seemingly floating above the floor. A recessed dark metal ribbon forms the base, concealing a series of drawers and curving inward to reveal the minimalist fireplace. Its light oak panels fold away into the depth of the joinery, to reveal a mirror-backed integrated cocktail bar and a media unit. This feature wall allows different uses of the living room: when you close the cabinet doors, the space looks really peaceful and tidy – perfect to heal and rest comfortably seated in front of the fireplace. When the bifolding doors are open, it is a warm and inviting place to enjoy a drink with friends and the home cinema.
Discover the Dining room
The dining room creates a transition of space between the living room and kitchen. It features a deeper color palette. The thresholds are marked by vertical metal architraves from floor to ceiling framing the scene. The play with symmetry of wall boxings, lighting and wall paneling composes the stage where hosting dinner becomes an act. Inserted into a wall recess, a bespoke wine cellar is a crafted piece of art, fully bespoke. Each Grand Cru seems to be floating behind the glass doors. The large-scale Sam Lock artwork behind the dining room works perfectly with the space, giving it a nice perspective. Next to the wine cellar, OZA created a bespoke oak plinth and placed an artefact of iron Mfunte currency from The Democratic Republic of Congo from 19th Century from Evoke London.
Contrasting Kitchen Design
Adjacent to the dining room, the kitchen is a study in contrasts. OZA used hot-rolled metal to clad the cabinetry, emphasizing the raw, natural beauty of the material. Between the dining room and kitchen, OZA used curtains, allowing to close the kitchen for catering purposes when there is an event. OZA created three sculptural charred oak plinths sitting in front of the clay wall and a Sam Lock artwork complements the atmosphere.
A softer, more intimate approach to design was taken for the private spaces. The open-plan study room comprises a desk from OZA and an artwork by Tycjan Knut.
The main suite overlooks the front garden and receives great sunlight during all day. In front of the bed, the bathroom was designed as a stage for the ritual performance of bathing and the celebration of the body. All doors of the project are concealed and can be read as part of the paneling when open. The best example of this strategy to reinforce the scenic aspect of the design is the sliding doors of the main ensuite which slide both sides of the shower to offer the needed privacy without compromising the use of space.