Lumitrix founder's eclectic and elegant London renovation
Cara Connell, our founder here at Lumitrix, incorporates an interesting mix of approaches in the design of her new home. Inevitably, a good bit of her personality reveals itself in the final product.
A few steps into Cara's home and you're greeted with light and space. The split level home contradicts some motherly advice: never buy a house that doesn't face south or east (because it will be dark).
As a result, one of the main goals when renovating was to find a way to let as much light in as possible. Consequently, Cara worked with architect Ahmad Abu-Ghaida to emphasize light and space with every detail of the design. Of note are the installation of glass ceiling sections and raised interior doorways.
That theme of space is central to Cara's move away from her previous Kensington flat in the first place. As time has passed, and the growth of Lumitrix has gone from strength to strength, so too has Cara’s personal life with the addition of a boyfriend, a baby and a dog (not necessarily in that order!).
Cara has put together a bespoke space; industrialism meets warm and rustic, with a focus on clean, formal lines.
On entering the hallway, a vast glass wall separates this section from the living room which has been pushed back, taking some area away from the sitting room to widen the home's first point of contact.
"I hate that feeling when you come into a house and immediately have to walk around two prams and a bicycle," she said in an interview with Stella Magazine.
This new home also provides an opportunity to separate the Lumitrix side of Cara’s life from the rest with a custom-built garden room studio.
Employing the services of London Garden Studios, a studio was created in the garden, providing a fluid office to the Lumitrix team depending on what the week holds. It also doubles as a gallery for photography that is available to buy from Lumitrix.
The Lumitrix team’s days in the office are spent bordered by pieces such as André Wagner's Glacier Lagoon 6. On the back wall, there is a large print of Caroline Gibello's iconic Lone Giraffe Under Tree in a beautiful floating white box frame.
Of course, none of this goes without her love for bright and bold colors. As well an eye for imaginative details, a dedicated appreciation for pink shines throughout.
In the sitting room, a wavy effect adorns the floor, courtesy of John Harragan. The combination of black waves and white flooring helps a bright and boisterous piece by Hassan Hajjaj take its own place of prominence in the room. That articulate use of flair is joined by elements such as an Anna cabinet, designed by Julian Chichester. Right above an elegant contemporary fireplace sits a photogram by Susan Derges, a stunning example of the artist’s experiments in cameraless photography.
None of these rooms quite compares to her son’s nursery, Cara’s favourite section in the whole house. Elements such as the room’s shelf and skirting boast a gleaming citron glow, the yellow shade being another colour the Lumitrix founder adores. Serving as friendly contrasts are notes of blue via Molly Mahon’s Birds and Bees wallpaper. All of this is grounded by notes of Estate Eggshell white, exemplified by aspects such as the window frame and crib.
The rest of Cara's home is a testament to the Lumitrix founder's keen eye for both the rustic and modern. Bespoke kitchen cupboards by Bert and May live up to the aesthetic of formal lines, joining an exposed brick facade to complete the industrial look.
Taking up the center of this kitchen is a table made from a felled tree from where she grew up in Scotland. Grab a seat on one of the Eames DSW chairs and the whole space starts to feel like home.
In its totality, Cara’s home is proof that both work and homelife can cohabitate. It’s also a reminder of the power behind designing your home as an example of both comfort and curation. Her family, her work, her passion, it all coexists in this eloquent design. Then again, it is perhaps a balance to be expected of someone who summarizes her home’s design philosophy in these terms:
“Think about what you love, and how you’re going to frame it.”