When house-hunting, there’s a moment you realise you’ve found the neighbourhood you want to call home. Sean Cochrane, the CEO and creative director of Cochrane Design, was so enthralled with the location of his home that he decided to redesign it from the bottom up, completely transforming the layout.
“The location was perfect – just off the King’s Road, near a coffee shop,” he says. “We did everything from scratch. It’s one of the biggest, most complicated structures I’ve done.”
The townhouse was extended over three storeys to the side and rear, and a basement larger than the first level was added. To make room for the basement, the existing foundations were demolished, along with most of the internal elements of the structure, from the staircases to the partitions. “Before, the home was like a series of boxes – lots of tiny, cut-up rooms,” he says. “I love an open-plan layout, so I created a double-height expanse that joins the living areas together for that feeling of space.”
The need for volume can be explained by Sean’s family of five, including three teenagers. “You want your areas to be close enough together – but not too close,” he says. A double-height garden room – dubbed the Coach House – was also added, accessible from the main house through a tunnel that runs under the length of the garden. Aside from providing a wealth of space, the new layout’s vaulted, symmetrical ceilings allow for plenty of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The luxurious style of Cochrane Design is evident throughout the space, but Sean also infused some of his own personality into it, too. “I like things slightly darker,” he says. “Everything in the home piques the senses, too, from the fabrics to the lighting.” Each item was custom-made for the abode, including the cabinetry and the staircases. While the aesthetic of the space is timeless and classic, it has been adapted for modern living thanks to a home-automation system by Crestron that allows the family to control the LED lighting, curtains and air conditioning with a swipe on their smartphone screens.
Everything was carefully considered down to the last detail, but the most attention was clearly paid to the bespoke kitchen, Sean’s favourite space in the home. Macassar bark and marble worktops combine with high-tech appliances and fixtures by the likes of Sub-Zero and Wolf for a kitchen that oozes sophistication, all the while providing everything a home cook needs to whip up a stunning dinner party.
Indeed, the ingenuity of the home lies in how thoroughly each element has been infused with the family’s personality – from the art deco chandeliers to the carefully selected accessories, each piece reminds you that you’re in the realm of the Cochranes.
Photography by Paul Craig
See also: An Animated Heritage Abode on the Peak
A version of this article originally appeared in our August 2017 issue.