Mo-tel House: a colorful and joyful interior

London based Office S&M, established by Catrina Stewart and Hugh McEwen, transformed a previously damp and dark space into a colorful and playful house for a young family of four.

Mo-tel House is the remodeling of the lower ground floor of a Victorian townhouse in Islington, London. The name Mo-tel House was chosen to reflect the clients’ aspiration for a joyful and bright escape from grey London.

By removing internal walls, Office S&M created an open plan with dual aspect kitchen and dining space and a further two bathrooms and utility space. The house is characterized by a palette of bold and bright colours used to both separate and connect the spaces and framing views across the room.

The architects designed each piece of furniture to be multi-functional. A pink and blue bench with crested canopy acts as dining seating, cozy reading nook, storage and cabinet to display curiosities collected during the family’s travels. This allows each family member to find new uses for the furniture assuring longevity for the furniture and thus reducing waste.

Because of the reduced sunlight to the lower ground floor, Office S&M designed the lighting to come from multiple directions to mimic the sun. Mirrors have also been placed strategically to reflect light throughout the space and create elements of surprise.

The client, Tamsin Chislett, is co-founder of Onloan, an online service based on lending fashion rather than consuming it. The ideas of borrowing and reuse were carried through in the project, with every material being recovered, reused and reframed for a new purpose: worktops in the WC, bathroom and utility room are made from melted and discarded milk bottles; green terrazzo for the kitchen is made from marble chips and offcuts; light pendants are made from recycled brick grog.

Catrina Stewart, Founding Partner, Office S&M, said: “Tamsin and Max gave us a fantastic brief and we’ve delivered an amazing home that reflects the family’s personality and professional ethos with our love of colour and imaginative design. Mo-tel challenged us to see reuse as a design tool for bold new ideas, and we found value and opportunities in materials that would otherwise have been overlooked.”


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