INSPIRATIONS for your home
Fashioned to his own design.
In his north London converted apartment, fashion designer Kaveh Savage has created a style that unites his Persian roots with his love for old and organic materials.
Having grown lip in north London, after his family moved there from Iran when he was eight. Kaveh Savage, owner of an independent fashion label, wanted to remain in the area. I bought this 1930 s style property in 2001 and it took over a year until the renovations were complete. I finally moved in during April 2003.’ he recalls. The previous tenants were students and the house was dark and smelly with shag-pile carpets. The whole place had been neglected, but I could see it had great potential right away.’ Kaveh now shares his apartment with girlfriend. Lillian Givens, although when he bought it he was single and felt the house was too big just for him. ‘I decided to convert the house into two separate apartments. Space was the major necessity and by converting the property.
I was able to increase the size of the house by over forty percent!
Kaveh was determined to retain the original features of the house. I believe a property should look aesthetically pleasing from the outside.’ he states. A passer-by shouldn’t notice that a property is divided into two apartments from the exterior.’
When the building work and decorating was complete the first thing Kaveh did was to find traditional cast-iron radiators from Station Mouse Reclamation. I was looking for uniformity,’ he explains, ‘but it proved quite difficult to find enough of the same style of radiators to furnish all the rooms. As with any antique furniture, old radiators need a little extra care and attention. However, once they have lx*en fixed up and polished they should work for another 100 years!’
Being a highly skilled carpenter, Kaveh designed his own furniture range using natural materials. 1 hate anything that isn’t organic.’ he enthuses. All the materials I have used have their own natural form.’ Kaveh displays a meticulous attention to detail throughout his home including handcrafted fireplaces in the bedroom and living room. ‘Being a Gemini I love clashes of different styles and wanted to give the fireplaces a raw. stony edge, fused together with a modern style. I used old York stone which was extremely heavy yet durable.’
In the bedroom Kaveh was determined to retain the original French doors that overlook the garden. While looking for a bed, he chose to interpret a design he had spotted in a local furniture shop. Using teak railway sleepers he bought from a garden centre. Kaveh built his own bed frame. The total cost of this bed was about four days of work, plus £60 for the material, which was a lot cheaper than buying the original bed I had seen!’
To achieve the open-plan en-suite bathroom, Kaveh came up with a resourceful idea. ‘My father is a builder by trade and found some stained glass panels, which he rescued and gave to me.’ Although Kaveh had never worked with stained glass, he designed a layout of screens to form an enclosure for his bathroom that incorporated the panels. For the floor and the walls around the bath, Kaveh chose tiles that are a softer variety of marble. As no two tiles look the same, the overall effect is totally organic. Kaveh also grouted each tile himself, both in the shower room and the bathroom. It was the most tedious job.’ he grins. ‘Now, though, I come home from work and relax in the bath, admiring the tiling that took me so long to do!
The house is perfect.’ he continues. ‘In the winter. 1 chill out in the bedroom and living room. In the summer, I love to relax in the garden. When I’m at home I feel comfortable and secure. Although I designed my home so the aesthetics and the overall look are essentially male driven, it still works, even though my girlfriend has her belongings to it!’