While embracing the historic feel, a dated two-bedroom home was transformed by CTX and won our 2017 Interior Design Awards.

The perfect marriage of classic and contemporary style within a stunning space masterfully reconfigured for modern living has won CTX Design Group the overall win for Residential Interior Design in this year’s awards.

The clients were looking to purchase a new home and invited CTX to view this beautiful, but certainly dated, second-storey unit at Tanglewood to discuss a face-lift. “We agreed that the house had all the bones to be a stunning home, but just needed a bit of work to bring out the beauty,” said interior designer Lauren Grayston. The owners—a husband and wife who hail from the U.K. but have lived in Bermuda for the past 20 years—were looking for “a contemporary new space that respected the grandeur and history of the original house,” said Grayston.

The wife’s office/guest room features a marble desktop.

With an incredible Great Sound view, luxuriously high ceilings and beautiful crown mouldings to work with, the designer set her sights on maximising the inherent natural beauty of the 2,000-square-foot space while making the home livable for the new owners. “[The unit] was very traditionally decorated with dark wood cabinetry and travertine tiles in the bathrooms and kitchen,” explained Grayston. “The main floors were carpeted in yellow carpet and the walls were yellow with off-white moldings. The kitchen was located in the southeast corner of the house, separated from the main living area. The living room, which has stunning views of the Great Sound, was closed off by two walls that ran down the centre of the unit. Overall it felt a bit dark and in need of an update.”

Interior renovations included opening up the walls that ran down the centre of the house in order to access the view from the entire main living space; moving the kitchen to the entrance of the unit; creating a new combined dining area within the kitchen; adding a new entry door in the kitchen; creating a new bathroom and bedroom (doubling as the husband’s study) where the old kitchen was; and adding a new walk-in closet, complete with washer and dryer, in the primary suite. Throughout the entire unit, the flooring was replaced, bathrooms were reconfigured with all new fixtures, tile and lighting, and all new electrical window and door blinds were installed. Elements retained included the ceilings, crown mouldings, architraves, window mouldings and sills, interior
doors and two Waterford crystal chandeliers.

The kitchen features a built in dining island.

Striking the balance between cosy and sleek, the new, modern kitchen is a highlight of the main central living space. Grayston describes it as such: “The kitchen is contemporary with high-gloss white and matt charcoal grey flat paneled custom cabinetry with integrated appliances and charcoal grey walls with white mouldings that pop. The custommade reclaimed dining island top and wood panels over the range cabinetry provide warmth. The paneling of the appliances, oversized brass hanging light, and three-inch thick rustic tabletop make the space feel cosy yet sleek.”

While the overall colour palette was soft greys and white throughout, each room in the house has its own character, reflective of the personalities of the owners: “The wife is very energetic and creative and the husband is easy-going and calm. Both have great taste,” said Grayston, who created a unique guest room/office for each of them. “The wife’s suite is contemporary urban with a dash of glam— crystal sconces and chandeliers with graffiti walls and high-gloss cabinetry and thick statuario marble desktop,” explained the designer, “while the husband’s suite is earthy and relaxed with the natural wood cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling wood-tiled walk-in shower.”

The stunning original crown moldings were highlighted using charcoal grey paint on the ceilings and walls.

In the main living area, Grayston managed to combine the tastes of both owners to create a comfortable yet chic entertaining space with pops of colour, while the primary bedroom was finished in ethereal shades of soft greys and whites with a spectacular chandelier to add a touch of sparkle in the otherwise serene room.

One judge described it as “one of the nicest residential interiors I have ever seen,” while another commented on the “subtle use of colour which gives the space an elegant and intense quality.” Yet another judge described the kitchen as the “perfect blend of metal, marble and wood.”

The wife’s guest bathroom features vibrant graphic wall art.

The challenges that had to be overcome in the project—and the successful ways that CTX handled them—were also well noted by the judges.

“This is a very old building that came with all the quirks of one—out-of-square walls, floors very out of level and, of course, building on a second storey always makes delivery of thousand-pound pallets of tile and thick slabs of marble countertops a nail-biting experience to watch!” said Grayston. “The Heart and Soul crew did an amazing job re-plastering walls to make them perfect and Souza’s did a meticulous job of levelling the floors and installing the new oak flooring. The moving of everything onto site was done by Heart and Soul by telehandler—no easy feat as each item had to be picked up and gently set down two storeys up before being carried across the exterior patio into the house.”

The primary bathroom is a calm oasis for the busy couple.

Other challenges included the finishing and installation of the custom dining island top by SJ Carpentry. “The top, which was made out of salvaged beams that had been sitting outside for months, was a real challenge to finish perfectly but I think the end result is exactly what we wanted,” said Grayston. The designer also wanted to mention the great work done by Souza’s Carpets and Flooring: “The laying of the new wood floors was a real challenge and they did a fabulous job of the preparation and installation.”

“We had a very clear vision to create a contemporary home whilst still embracing the historic feel of the building—I’d like to think we achieved this,” said the owners, who are thrilled with the outcome. “CTX completely understood the brief, resulting in both a successful and enjoyable collaboration. Thanks go out to the entire team—especially Lauren and Jacob!”

 The husband’s earthy office/guest room.