Nestled within a large family estate in the Surrey Hills, this renovated Georgian detached property belongs to an Emirati family with four young children. The family live in Abu Dhabi and the house, which overlooks beautiful rolling hills, is where they go during their children’s school holidays, to unwind and enjoy the English countryside.
The clients wanted their new home to have distinctly English look with details that complemented the natural setting and the building’s heritage architecture. But they the aesthetics to reflect elements of Middle Eastern opulence. Scroll through the gallery ( Photography: Julian Abram) to experience the excetional scene: The house has a classical interior architecture, which Laura and her team carefully restored and enhanced. Symmetry is a typical characteristic of Georgian buildings, so Laura used this architectural quality as a source of inspiration for her design concept. “The scales of the spaces are very unique. We allocated certain rooms for formal entertaining and others for more relaxed family areas. We used furniture, fitouts and finishings from English manufacturers and brands so the interiors harmonise with the property’s garden and pastoral surroundings. We incorporated the high-level of luxury the clients wanted with high-tech mechanical and electrical systems and audio-visual equipment, as well as exquisite details such as a full backlit onyx vanity, and classic panelling and parquet flooring in the guest powder room,” says Laura. Surrounded by lush greenery, the house offers an abundance of outdoor space for dining alfresco and lounging poolside while taking in the magnificent surrounding nature. All of the communal areas are located on the expansive ground floor, including a large, high-ceilinged entrance hall with French doors that lead out to a terrace overlooking the Surrey Hills. “We commissioned bespoke sculptural lighting maker Sharon Marston to create a spectacular seven-metre fibreoptic chandelier that runs through the central staircase. British furniture crafters Davidson custom made a number of the loose furniture items. Our speciality as a studio is bespoke design, so many of the furniture pieces are our own designs, which were handcrafted by some of England’s most talented furniture makers,” Laura says. Symmetry and proportion define the style of Georgian buildings, which also set the stage for this Georgian getaway. To the right of the entrance hall are the formal living lounge and the dining room, an elegant formal reception room with a fireplace and large windows, and the glamorous powder room. There are a number of staircases within the house, the grandest of which is the house’s original staircase, located just off the entrance hall on the formal side of the house. This main staircase leads up to the first floor where a library, master suite and the children’s bedrooms are located. A grand piano is set within the large library, which has full height windows on one side and backlit bookshelves on the other. The master suite has a curved bay window that looks out to the garden, and a four-poster bed set in front of a bespoke, laser-cut, leather headboard wall. Adjoining the suite are his and hers dressing rooms and a commodious and bright marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub. A large children’s playroom and guest bedrooms are contained within the third and topmost level. To the left of the hall are the informal family areas. These include a classic country-style kitchen, a sun-lit TV room, a suede-panelled cinema room, a boot room, utility room and staff catering kitchen. From this part of the house, steps lead down into the health and wellness area, which has a 15-metre-long indoor pool and spa. This area is fitted with sliding doors that open out onto a sunbathing deck. “There is a relaxation area overlooking the pool, and a series of changing rooms, steam room, massage room, gym and other wellness facilities. This level feels much more contemporary than the rest of the house,” says Laura. “The house feels very opulent and grand in many areas but also extremely useable for the whole family, with lots of practical child-friendly spaces. The dining room, formal living room, and master suite are very elegant and furnished with specialist fabrics and materials, whereas the family spaces feel much more relaxed and informal. The views are spectacular, and each room has large Georgian windows that draw in plenty of natural light, so the atmosphere within is bright and cheery throughout,” she says.