Designed by Schwenweima in 1952 for Chinatown co-founder Peter Su, this mid-century gem remained untouched except for a few changes in 1965. Recently purchased by Arctic Monkeys drummer and avid photographer Matt Helders. A 2,680 square foot house for himself and his daughter. So he used interior designer Corinne Mathern to regain his soul while inserting contemporary amenities and finishes.
“The house had so many great details that led to the design,” says Corinne Mathern, the founder of the studio from which her name came from. “By diverting some of the details of the original architecture, we were able to preserve the characteristics of the house.”
This design approach was in line with Matt’s own visual reference, a work of modernist icons throughout the film and design, such as Jacques Tati, Jean Prouvé and Michelangelo Antonioni, in part guided by it.
Brass and chrome luminaires were removed, re-plated and mixed with various vintages supplied by the Massern team. The double-hung windows have been refinished and new ones have been created to fit them. The original walnut woodwork at the office and entrance was pulled, refinished and returned home.
Chromium metal and sharpened concrete provide the foundation for masculine industrial material pallets found everywhere. Handmade tiles by Heath Ceramics, walnut accents, and a combination of vintage and custom furniture add a layer of warmth to the “collected thoughtful” interior.
Inspired by Jacques Tati’s 1958 movie, My uncleThe Mondrian-inspired color palette of furniture and fixtures adds bold shades to the otherwise neutral base. At the moment of excellence, there is a Prube-style dining table with yellow powder-painted metal legs and a coffee table that is the centerpiece of the sculpture covered with rust-colored tiles. The bar next to Matt’s music studio nods to his English roots. The bold blue color represents Wednesday, his hometown soccer team, Shefield Wednesday.
Matt’s love for photography has led to another important inspiration. “Light filtering in William Eggleston’s photographs has always been referenced when considering colors and potential materials,” explains Corinne. “All the materials and colors were chosen to have a chalky smoky filter, so it felt calm and as if it was part of the house in 1952.”