The third addition to the Artists Residence brand can be found in London’s Pimlico neighbourhood, just a 5-minute walk from Victoria Station, Sloane Square & Belgravia.
The 10 bedroom townhouse comprises a hotel, a restaurant and a cocktail bar.
Charlotte Newey and Justin Salisbury, owners of Artists Residence, have hotels in Brighton, Cornwall and now London following a year-long construction process. We caught up with Charlie to find out where the initial idea for the brand came from. The entrepreneur commented:
“My partner Justin took over his parent’s rundown guesthouse in Brighton seven years ago in order to keep the family business afloat, after his mother suffered a head injury. He did not have the money to redecorate the building himself and so came up with the idea of doing a call out to artists in the area, allowing them to decorate the rooms in return for board.
“We were fortunate enough to take over the building next door five years later transforming the venue from a 10 bed hotel to a 23 bed space. Some of the rooms were decorated in house style using reclaimed furniture and vintage design and some were decorated by artists.”
The in-house quirky, vintage design style has been used in the London venue and the 10 bed hotel has been decorated with antique materials and quirky design features. Previously the venue was a rundown pub and so needed completely refurbishing; the upper floors were being used as staff quarters and were in a very bad condition and the basement was a huge cellar.
The onsite team managed to gain planning permission to convert the cellar, fit new windows in and completely refurbish the space. Works began on site in August 2013 and took a year to complete with the venue being unveiled to the public in September 2014.
Working alongside main contractors Ashbridge Building and Maintenance Services and CGL Architects Justin and Charlie transformed the former pub into a boutique style hotel and restaurant-bar. The ten bedrooms, which have all been individually designed, are located on the top three floors of the building, with the restaurant on the ground floor and the bar on the lower ground floor.
The bar offers guests an intimate, industrial space to enjoy their drinks, as does the private dining room which leads out to the garden. The venue features an array of exposed bricks and quirky antique and vintage furniture.
In order to achieve this, the construction team stripped the space back to the bare bricks, doubled up all of the joists, reworked the walls and ensured all of the fire regulations were met. In the basement the team also lowered the floor slightly in order to improve the ceiling heights, installed a damp-proof membrane and concrete slabs, before polishing up the concrete.
Charlie said that she tried to salvage as much as possible from the existing building in order to maintain its character. A beautiful pitched pine parquet floor was laid in the grand suite and Mumford & Wood improved all of the building’s windows.
The venue features two different entrances one of which leads to the hotel and the other leading to the restaurant. The venue’s façade has been painted and the ground floor has been finished in a dark grey colour with red striped awnings and large windows.
A beautiful old grand staircase leads to the ten bedrooms, one of which is the loft suite comprising an impressive pitched roof, exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood flooring and an open plan bathroom. The bathroom boasts an old lead glass window, which was salvaged from a library, which screens off the bath area creating a private space.
The venue’s restaurant comprises high ceilings, copper lights and chandeliers all of which point to the impressively designed open plan kitchen. In the downstairs bar area a sky light floods the space with light and booth seating provides guests with an intimate space to enjoy themselves. A parquet floor, tin tiled ceiling and rustic exposed bricks also act as main features in the bar space.
Charlie said the team did encounter difficulties due to opposition from local residents at the beginning of the project. She added:
“The pub used to be very noisy and so the local residents were very hesitant about what we wanted to do and there were 60 objections. In light of this we visited local residents and reassured them; we tried to find solutions to any issues they had.”
Charlie explained that seeing the third venue open has been “fantastic”. She added:
“One of our saving graces during this project was finding a really good builder who we were really happy to work with. Seeing the venue open and seeing people enjoying themselves is what it is all about. Seeing the designs come together has also been great.”