Good Mews

written by:
photos by:
May 28, 2009
Originally published in Small Wonders

Brad Smith’s compact former coach house, tucked away in one of London’s many hidden cobbled mews, was in need of a radical over-haul when his partner Brian Brennan moved in. Scape Architects remodeled inside and out to maximize both space and light, redesigning the property around the pair’s possessions and utilizing every available void for storage.

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  The couple both cycle to work, thus avoiding the crush of London’s public transport. The Brompton fold-up is not only a design classic but one of the most popular cycles in London—though it is also a favorite of  bicycle thieves.
    The couple both cycle to work, thus avoiding the crush of London’s public transport. The Brompton fold-up is not only a design classic but one of the most popular cycles in London—though it is also a favorite of bicycle thieves.
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  The staircase acts as both room divider and main storage. The stair “carpet” is made from the same tough rubber that is used to make tires for semis.
    The staircase acts as both room divider and main storage. The stair “carpet” is made from the same tough rubber that is used to make tires for semis.
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  The storage of the bicycles and cycling gear was a major factor in the design of the cupboard space. The floor is plain and simple to clean, which is essential for those wet winter days when they return home from work with muddy wheels and dripping clothing.
    The storage of the bicycles and cycling gear was a major factor in the design of the cupboard space. The floor is plain and simple to clean, which is essential for those wet winter days when they return home from work with muddy wheels and dripping clothing.
  • 
  The outline of the stair shape gives the design a playful quality and breaks up the outer face of the stairs to provide cupboard doors.
    The outline of the stair shape gives the design a playful quality and breaks up the outer face of the stairs to provide cupboard doors.
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  The glass walkway.
    The glass walkway.
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  The limited space means that every purchase has to be a rational one. So each sock, shirt, and shoe has to have a place, otherwise something else has to make way for it. Not ideal for those who enjoy Sunday-morning flea markets, but it certainly enforces a high degree of tidiness.
    The limited space means that every purchase has to be a rational one. So each sock, shirt, and shoe has to have a place, otherwise something else has to make way for it. Not ideal for those who enjoy Sunday-morning flea markets, but it certainly enforces a high degree of tidiness.
  • 
  The couple still prefers CDs to the more space-efficient MP3s, though a retro Plexiglas car-ousel nicely complements their Bang and Olufsen multiple CD player, showing off their favor-ite selections. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the upstairs bedroom bring a vast amount of light in, making the bedroom seem far more spacious than it actually is.
    The couple still prefers CDs to the more space-efficient MP3s, though a retro Plexiglas car-ousel nicely complements their Bang and Olufsen multiple CD player, showing off their favor-ite selections. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the upstairs bedroom bring a vast amount of light in, making the bedroom seem far more spacious than it actually is.
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  In keeping with the maxim “a place for everything and everything in its place,” 
any A/V equipment that does not need to be on show is hidden away in these neat push-to-open cupboards beneath the stairs. This means that you’d never spy 
an unsightly trailing power cable cluttering up the compact space.
    In keeping with the maxim “a place for everything and everything in its place,” any A/V equipment that does not need to be on show is hidden away in these neat push-to-open cupboards beneath the stairs. This means that you’d never spy an unsightly trailing power cable cluttering up the compact space.
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