Behind The Schemes: Restoring a Georgian gem in Mayfair

By PrimeResi Journal

Super-prime design firm Oliver Burns talks us through a technically challenging renovation project with opulence as its central theme...

Situated in one of the most exclusive and secure private enclaves in Mayfair, overlooking picturesque private gardens, we designed this beautiful Georgian townhouse for a lovely family that we have worked with for many years.

A technically challenging listed building in a state of disrepair, we were responsible for the architecture, architectural interior design and management of the project; working closely with the Grosvenor Estate, English Heritage and conservation officers to spearhead its thoughtful restoration.

Set over five stunning floors, opulence was the central theme for the design brief, reflecting our client’s love of glamorous details. A very soft, feminine palette with hues of blush, pink and gold coalesce with crystal chandeliers, stunning book-matched marble, voluminous window dressings and deep carpets, to create the ultimate luxury Mayfair home.

A beautifully proportioned entrance hall paved with Crema Marfil marble sets the tone of this elegant family home. Restored original wall panelling provides a striking backdrop for a crystal chandelier and centre table whilst a patterned border that mixes Emperador, Galliano Sienna and Verde Luna marbles makes a captivating statement.

In order to incorporate a lift with access to all floors into the building, we designed and relocated a new staircase and extended the basement to the rear of the property; in turn doubling the size of the space. Challenges around M&E due to its listed status were overcome to deliver air conditioning and underfloor heating throughout. We also created a new roof with a beautifully formed skylight that lights the way up the grand staircase through the house, acting as the jewel in the crown of this Georgian gem.

Leading off from the entrance hall, the formal dining room is a glamorous space for entertaining. Here, the pièce de résistance is the silk Fromental hand embroidered and hand painted blossom wallpaper in delicate sage green and pinks. The high gloss dining table with meticulously book-matched veneer and the chandeliers above finish off the design effortlessly.

The fine details, the panelling and cornices, the original fireplace and huge great windows, have all been retained, but now they come with bespoke joinery with acoustic panels, a Chloe Alberry mirror and antique mirror shelves.

The ground floor is as much about functional living as it is about style. The house kitchen is a sleek interplay of textures – high gloss Birds Eye maple veneer with a brass trim and glass handles mix with Taj Mahal marble worktops – housing state of the art appliances, illuminated by a Barovier & Toso chandelier. The banquet seating area around the bespoke high gloss table maximises space.

An interpretation of an 18th century Chinese tree of life mural was created in a bespoke colourway to complement the soft palette of the scheme

All floors are linked by the graceful sweep of the staircase, emerging on the first floor to a luxurious reception room which offers two distinctive spaces for relaxing and entertaining. The design highlight in this space is the hand painted Fromental Eleanora chinoiserie feature doors on the bespoke media and display unit. An interpretation of an 18th century Chinese tree of life mural, this was created in a bespoke colourway to complement the soft palette of the scheme. At the other end of the room, a formal seating area in front of the restored marble fireplace creates an inviting space to entertain.


Also on the first floor is a private study in rosewood – a classic masculine space reminiscent of a gentleman’s club.

The stairs lead fluently up to the second floor which is exclusively dedicated to the sumptuous master suite, comprising a bedroom, his and her bathrooms & his and her dressing rooms, which occupy the entire level. Outstanding attention has been paid to the bathrooms, one distinctly masculine, the other wonderfully feminine. Handsome walnut characterises his bathroom, with Calacatta Oro marble contrasted with a Tundra vanity top. Antique gold sanitary ware adds to the opulent feel of this space, whilst the in-shower TV provides a contemporary touch. Discreet double pocket doors recess into the dressing room to create a subtle transition between rooms.


Her bathroom is a luxury oasis, the ultimate place to relax and luxuriate, with stunning book-matched Palissandro marble throughout. Champagne gold eucalyptus joinery combined with gold and crystal sanitary ware creates a glamorous statement in this luxe environment.

A further 4th floor is home to the second and third suites, formed of a palette of metallic, blush and pinks.

Seven further generously sized rooms are located at lower ground level, where a private cinema, wine room, gym and adjoining sauna can also be found. Like a shimmering cascade, hundreds of lengths of draped crystal combine and link to illuminate the arresting chandelier in the deluxe Cinema room, suspended at a low height to create the illusion of a coffer detail. Neutral wallpaper shimmers with metallic details and blush draperies, delicately embroidered, provide a beautiful setting for the Fendi sofa and Visionnaire swivel chairs – the picture-perfect place to relax and watch a film.

We restored every inch of this period building, reinstating many of the original features to reflect the heritage of the house. Coupled with meticulous attention to detail, we returned the property back to its former glory – a true 18th century beauty.

In Pictures: Georgian Family Home, Mayfair (Oliver Burns)

Images: Oliver Burns