Lauded for her approach to the classic contemporary style, Laura Hammett has clients that are loyal for good reason. The Emirati owners’ of this family estate in the Surrey Hills are no exception, (they went on to enlist Hammett’s expertise for a further three projects as well as their 18-seater private jet). It’s no doubt the British designer’s indubitable eye for the finest attention to detail and her finesse for liveable luxury makes her one of the most in-demand interior designers in the country.
Specifying a “masculine English country home” with an opulent Emirati twist, the brief was to create a space that balanced elegance and warmth whilst avoiding the impression of a typical Surrey new build.
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“Our clients are always the inspiration for our projects. We knew their needs and tastes very well,” Hammett reveals of how the process began. “As with all of the homes we design, this house was about comfort and functionality just as much as style.”
Rash, this project was not. Each detail was carefully deliberate in its placement, building a journey through the home. In the entryway, the dark navy walls open up to the light-filled living room, on the opposite wall the staircase is yearning to be admired. A step away from the wall, the timber and iron staircase—a centre point of the home—flows through all three floors. Behind, the light feature made up of gilded leaves cascading down the curved fabric wall, a reminder of Hammett’s architectural prowess.
To counteract the contemporary feel of the initial blank canvas, Hammett’s team also employed the use of antiques throughout the property. “Antiques were a really important part of the design aesthetic, but our client was keen on having the key pieces [be] new, so we used a scattering of accent antiques paired with our bespoke furniture throughout.”
From upholstering the custom-made trunk in the living room with vintage leather to showcasing an original grandfather clock in the entryway, the fabric of the home is threaded together with heirloom pieces which inject character and an established sense of history. And sourcing paintings of the surrounding Surrey scenery achieved the feeling of a home that has long-been ingrained in the landscape, satisfying the client’s appetite for an English atmosphere.
It’s the layering in this home that truly sets it apart.
For Hammett, it’s all the details; “we wanted to bring in classical architecture with wall paneling, parquet flooring and lots of rich natural materials throughout.”
By making use of a palette made up almost entirely of natural fibres—warm leathers, rustic woven fabrics and wools—the home has a rich traditional feel with a necessary warmth to it.
The statement staircase is not the only fabric wall of note. Both bedrooms have feature-wall headboards—padded panels custom-made for the space— which balances the masculine with the intimate. Little pockets of softness in a space dominated by strong lines, rich marbles and flawless walnuts.
Adopting the client’s love of deep blue, the home holds an abundance of navies and Aegean shades to create a dramatic backdrop. Combining them with light neutrals avoided the space feeling too dark and made for a timeless colour story.
“Our client was thrilled with the results, and it remains one of my personal favourites.”
The unexpectedly bright kitchen, swimming in white marble and natural luminosity, is the moment that the darkness meets the light. Finished with gold accents for warmth, the kitchen is the lighthearted breath of air in this otherwise strongly-hued house. This is a kitchen designed for function and togetherness, yet, in true Laura Hammett style, it never compromises on its unmistakable sophistication.
And the bathrooms are no less spectacular. By choosing to use a dark stone, the masculine energy of the home permeates into the bathroom spaces. Dark and moody, they provide moments of solitude with their deliberate lighting and deep tones. Bronzes and rich chocolate shades fill one bathroom clad in stone, whilst the other boasts panelled walls, mimicking those found in the kitchen. The patterns of the marble sink subtly mirror the patterns found in the framed maps, creating a cohesive, handsome space.
“Our client was thrilled with the results, and it remains one of my personal favourites," Hammett discloses. But that should come as no surprise. With her eye for meticulous design, her quiet confidence has been well-earned. This home is nothing but a testament to her skill.
As her website bio reveals, “Laura Hammett’s designs respond to the architectural vernacular of each property, contextual and geographical cues and the individual culture, lifestyle and taste of each client.” And in that she has certainly succeeded.