Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ROOM ON THE ROOF; Lighting Takes a Chelsea Terrace from Daytime Chic to Night-Time Glamour, Says Pattie Barron

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ROOM ON THE ROOF; Lighting Takes a Chelsea Terrace from Daytime Chic to Night-Time Glamour, Says Pattie Barron

Article excerpt

Byline: Pattie Barron

UP ON her London roof, lighting expert Sally Storey has created an outside space that needs no maintenance, yet provides a great extra room in fine weather for relaxing and dining, and a good escape -- important when you are a family of five living in a small Chelsea cottage.

Practised at giving rooms atmosphere, whether inside or out -- she works with major garden designers such as Luciano Giubbilei, Arne Maynard and Marcus Barnett, whose Chelsea Flower Show garden she will be lighting this year -- Storey can dramatically alter the mood on her roof terrace from daytime urban cool to night-time Moroccan glamour, simply by changing the decor and lighting up the space at the flick of a switch.

The cool part starts at the entrance, where Storey designed an overhead glass panel that slides open as you ascend the carpeted stairs at the top of the house, creating an easy segue from indoors to outdoors. "When you walk out, you don't have to duck," she says. "I take the remote with me, so if it starts to rain, I can close the window from wherever I am on the terrace."

Storey loves the juxtaposition of old with new, so had no qualms about fixing, alongside the old Victorian balustrading, a contemporary screen of grey slatted timber.

USING CLEVER FAKES

The chimney on the opposite side is redundant, but to live the lie, and provide a fire on chilly evenings, Storey had a bioethanol fireplace installed at the base. "I love the fact that it's instant, though I did want real logs. But there could be problems if a hot log falls on the deck."

It's debatable what would happen, because the decking is a clever fake, comprising boards that resemble weathered hardwood but are, in fact, synthetic: a polyurethane resin blend that needs zero maintenance. "It's awesomely good," enthuses Storey. "I've never had to clean it or hose it down and it never goes green. I wanted a wood that weathers and it was a lovely silvery-grey from the start. I've been telling everyone about it."

More clevery fakery is supplied by several cylindrical fibreclay pots that look like slate and are planted with faux hydrangeas that appear realistic even close to, while a fake mini box hedge makes a neat green shape inset into a timber surround that is built around the house boiler. …

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