The townhouse home that doubles as a design hub

Angela R. James



By day, this immersive space champions up-and-coming designers; by night it’s a family home for five.


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By day, this immersive space champions up-and-coming designers; by night it’s a family home for five.

In a quiet London street (around the corner from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s house), this stucco-fronted home is unassuming as they come. But step inside the townhouse that gallery owner Nathalie Assi shares with her husband and three children, and its true magic is revealed.

The five-storey abode doubles as a showroom for Nathalie’s design business SEEDS, and as such, striking conceptual objects mingle happily with the family’s furniture and possessions. “Design is part of our lives,” says Nathalie simply. “We sit on the chairs, serve dinner on the ceramics; the children do their homework at the coffee table.”



A family room with a low veneer coffee table by Francois Dumas flows into the adjoining kitchen.


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A family room with a low veneer coffee table by Francois Dumas flows into the adjoining kitchen.

The idea for the home gallery sprouted when Nathalie began renovating the 19th century home in 2014. “I always envisaged it as a calm, cohesive setting for work and family,” says Nathalie, who worked with architect Carole Asfour-Lin to redesign the interior. They added a glass extension at the back to house a dining room and study area, and incorporated sliding pocket doors in the living areas for flexibility.



A new double-height extension houses the dining room. Nathalie commissioned the table by Martino Gamper and Friends for a SEEDS show in 2016 and has paired it with Tiago Almeida and vintage Pierre Jeanneret chairs. Pillar candles by Lex Pott are dotted along the table's surface, lit from above by a slender Franz West pendant.


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A new double-height extension houses the dining room. Nathalie commissioned the table by Martino Gamper and Friends for a SEEDS show in 2016 and has paired it with Tiago Almeida and vintage Pierre Jeanneret chairs. Pillar candles by Lex Pott are dotted along the table’s surface, lit from above by a slender Franz West pendant.

“I can shut off the sitting room and it becomes a gallery. In the afternoon, when the children are back, I open it up. The transition happens every day,” Nathalie tells. The ability to open or close off areas means the family can seek out privacy or togetherness as required. “It allows us to have different moments for different moods,” she explains. “We can have a barbecue in the garden, read a book in the sitting room or use the study when we want to concentrate.”



The home's ground floor was opened up to create flexible zones that double as both gallery and family spaces. The wall hanging is by Soojin Kang and the maple and iron Piuma table was commissioned from Pietro Russo, who also designed the Metropolis pendant. The vintage sofa is by Leif Hansen, the low stool on the left is by Aldo Bakker and the angular stool on the right is by EDHV. In a corner of the same space, spiral stair shelving by Pietro Russo was inspired by the


© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd
The home’s ground floor was opened up to create flexible zones that double as both gallery and family spaces. The wall hanging is by Soojin Kang and the maple and iron Piuma table was commissioned from Pietro Russo, who also designed the Metropolis pendant. The vintage sofa is by Leif Hansen, the low stool on the left is by Aldo Bakker and the angular stool on the right is by EDHV. In a corner of the same space, spiral stair shelving by Pietro Russo was inspired by the

The base palette has been kept deliberately restrained – walls in cool greys and soft pinks, subtle oak flooring – so as not to overshadow Nathalie’s curation of furniture, ceramics, lighting and mirrors by contemporary makers, which are displayed for collectors to view by appointment. “Some of this work is quite experimental, but when clients see it in a domestic setting it feels more approachable,” she explains.



In her light-filled home in London's West End, Nathalie Assi has successfully intertwined her personal and work lives. The sitting room doubles as a showroom filled with contemporary designs for sale. The Daffodil lights, made from bevelled mirrors, are by Pietro Russo, and Marc Dibeh designed the (Not So) Gloriole floor lamp. The blue aluminium chair from Soft Baroque acts in stark contrast to the vintage Compass timber chairs by Pierre Jeanneret; Danish artist Jesper Skov Madsen created the pink artwork on the mantelpiece.


© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd
In her light-filled home in London’s West End, Nathalie Assi has successfully intertwined her personal and work lives. The sitting room doubles as a showroom filled with contemporary designs for sale. The Daffodil lights, made from bevelled mirrors, are by Pietro Russo, and Marc Dibeh designed the (Not So) Gloriole floor lamp. The blue aluminium chair from Soft Baroque acts in stark contrast to the vintage Compass timber chairs by Pierre Jeanneret; Danish artist Jesper Skov Madsen created the pink artwork on the mantelpiece.

Plus, being able to sit, touch and use objects makes for a greater connection. “I feel that the definition of luxury is changing,” Nathalie says. “We’re looking for things that make us think – and dream. Learning about a maker’s ideas and techniques creates an emotional connection you can’t have with a mass-produced object.”






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