Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pasty Man Finds a Clever Mix for His Home

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pasty Man Finds a Clever Mix for His Home

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Sarre

MARK Christophers is a bit of a magician. First he made pasties a cool foodie option -- even Prime Minister David Cameron recently declared himself to be a fan of the West Cornwall Pasty Company, which Mark once owned. Now the entrepreneur has transformed a tired west London Victorian terrace house into a jaw-dropping, light-filled home.

The property had been chopped up into flats in the Eighties, but after three years it is now an impressive townhouse with a kitchen-diner, utility room, home cinema and loo on the lower-ground floor. On the ground floor is a living room and on the first floor there are two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. The top floor has a master bedroom suite, with an office area and roof terrace on the mezzanine above.

"I didn't just want a house," says Mark. "The more important thing was to create a place that my friends would enjoy as much as I do."

The appeal of the "pretty hideous" house he spotted in 2009 was its small back garden and the way the light entered the building.

He wanted an invisible boundary between the interior and exterior and imagined a skylight bringing light from the ground floor to a basement kitchen. "I had big ideas with no idea of how to make them happen," he says.

But architect Gianni Botsford did. He suggested a two-storey extension at the back of the house with a double-height light well and also the conversion of the top floor into a bedroom suite with a cool spiral staircase leading to an office and roof terrace.

There were a few luxurious extras, too. "It was always my dream to have a freestanding bath in my bedroom -- I see it as 'house art'," laughs Mark, "though it's definitely not form over function."

The lower-ground floor is where the cooking, drinking, talking, relaxing, listening to music or watching a film happens. There's a courtyard with a seating area at the rear and a party-size home cinema room at the front. Upstairs on the ground floor is a huge, comfy living room that almost doubles as an art gallery. "Most of the art I buy has a twist. Not everyone would like it, but it makes me smile," says Mark. …

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