This London townhouse has a serene Japandi interior

East meets west in this magnificent five-storey Notting Hill townhouse in Japandi style, which has been transformed into one of the best houses in the world thanks to a cleverly renovated open plan by the architect and the interior design company De Rosee Sa (opens in a new tab).

Built in Victorian times, the terraced house originally had an impractical layout and was a maze of small rooms. A modern London townhouse vibe brought it into the 21st century, and the new large entertaining spaces where owners can gather with family and friends are an integral part of that.

The interconnection of spaces, rather than rooms off hallways, resulted in a sense of circulation, while the zoning of areas means that each space has a purpose. Additionally, joinery was used to enhance the architectural language and maximize the sense of space.

Key to the calm and serene aesthetic is the Japandi-style interior which focuses on a neutral yet warm color palette, and includes natural materials and textures. The spaces were designed to be minimalist but not clinical, with clean design details, clean lines, and an emphasis on craftsmanship and the honesty of natural materials. A minimal palette of materials keeps the project from feeling fussy or overworked – Caliza Capri limestone was used on the lower ground floor, landscaping, raised fireplace on the ground floor and a family bathroom , for example, while the same oak wood was used on the floor, kitchen , carpentry and staircase.


oak kitchen with credenza and island in tundra gray marble, oak chairs, white stool and white suspension

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The kitchen is located at the front of the house and an enlarged window, with a built-in herb tray built into the sill, helps flood the space with natural light.

Kitchen ideas to provide a clean aesthetic include streamlined handleless oak cabinets. They are paired with tundra gray marble on the island and backsplash, and natural stone flooring is used to keep the look light and complement the light oak joinery.

oak kitchen with backsplash and island in Tundra Gray marble and oak chair

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The island provides an informal seating area in the kitchen, with oak chairs hanging from the cupboards. Shelves enliven the full-height marble credenza, which adds a powerful backdrop and focal point to the space.

Lounge/dining area

lounge area with dining table and chairs, modular sofa and green marble coffee table

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The ground floor open plan living space connects to the garden, creating flow and easy accessibility from indoors to outdoor space. The ground level of the basement has been lowered and has transformed the space, improving natural light and the connection with the outdoors and the nature of the garden. “You retain a view of the sky and greenery further down the plane than you otherwise would,” says George Yallop, project architect.

Zoned areas on the ground floor create different spaces for the family at different times of the day. Triple sliding glass doors move to either side of the space and open the interior to the garden, flooding the space with natural light. The established planting creates a green cover from the terrace level to the communal garden, immersing the house in the natural environment.

Dining room ideas include positioning the table and chairs to take advantage of the smooth transition from house to garden, creating an entertaining space that doubles as a semi-outdoor space with the sliding doors open.

neutral living room with soft gray sofa, green artwork and green marble coffee table

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Incorporating green accents through artwork, a green marble coffee table, upholstery and plants were among the living room ideas. “They add a natural touch to spaces and reflect the garden,” says George.


neutral hallway with floating step staircase and wooden handrail

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

“The staircase is an incredibly special feature of the project as it has a huge impact on the open nature of the house – the first thing you see when you enter the raised ground floor,” says George. Over the entire height of the property, the staircase creates an opening between the levels. The floating step design is enhanced by the extended, recessed hexagonal balusters and “draped” handrail, which run the height of the building. The floor, handrail and steps use the same wood, mirrored elsewhere in the project, creating a sense of calm and refinement.

master bedroom

neutral bedroom with soft gray headboard, elephant photograph and mid-century style nightstand

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

“The master suite, which takes up the entire first floor, is special – a generous and quiet oasis,” says George. “Positioning the bed space to the rear of the property benefits from views over the garden and communal garden, taking you away from the hustle and bustle of London and transporting you to that English garden square.” Large windows make the most of the incredible garden views.

Bedroom ideas to create a quiet space include incorporating a subtle wall color, which provides a backdrop for the client’s art and photography collection, and neutral furnishings. The furniture and fittings are a nod to the Japandi style, with elegant and timeless pieces.

Attached bathroom

white bathroom with arched windows, freestanding bathtub, gray sofa and parquet floor

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The master suite was designed as a series of flowing spaces: bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. The arched windows in the bathroom face the rear bedroom window, forming a dual aspect space flooded with light.

A freestanding tub under the arched windows was one of the bathroom ideas. Subtle tonal shifts between materials add character and interest.

Children’s room

child's room with green wigwam, carpentry and built-in bed space

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

A wall full of joinery with integrated bed space creates a play area for the client’s child, with niches at the end of the bed for toys and books to enliven the space.

Top floor living room

white living room with artwork, white sofa, gray rug and white armchair

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The top floor living space is flooded with natural light through the two wide skylights and the oversized skylight above. Client artwork complements the architectural aesthetic, subtly lifting the space and adding character.


garden with white bleachers and planting

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

“The design of the outdoor space was an important element in the overall design. The aim was to create a successful green area in which the client could retreat, which still felt part of the interior space. Access to the communal garden has heightened the importance of the garden space,” says George.

The use of levels creates a flow of green space away from the house, to the mature planting of the communal garden beyond, encouraging the use of space for entertaining. Plant beds combine with climbing plants that green the side walls to create a real oasis away from the city.

Architecture/ De Rosee Sa (opens in a new tab)

Interior design/ De Rosee Sa (opens in a new tab) in collaboration with Alix Lawson (opens in a new tab)

Photographs Taran Wilkhu (opens in a new tab)

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