‘Upside down you’re turning me’ – the Marylebone mews seen in a new light, giving love instinctively to its happy owners, puppy and piano
When you talk to India and Rohan, you know they’re coming from a very good place… and indeed they are. Let’s be honest, we’d all wake up super happy, if we lived in our own mews house – a light, plant-filled oasis of calm. And it doesn’t end there, because this triumph of a reconfigured and reworked home is tucked away, but in the heart of Marylebone, one of the city’s prime central locations.
But it didn’t just happen. India and Rohan and now with Pomsky puppy, Wulf at their heels, had a vision for their Wimpole Mews house. Literally to turn it upside down.
Where do you both come from?
India, a management consultant and Rohan, who works in banking, are both 36, and grew up in London.
“I grew up in Chelsea,” says India. “And I always remember as a child, thinking, when I grow up I want to live in a mews house, despite being surrounded by lots of large grand houses in the vicinity.” Now a fully-fledged grown-up and owner of her dream mews house, India has enjoyed spending more time working from home.
For Rohan, home was in Hampstead, but he loved the vibrancy of central London and the quiet charm of London’s mews discreetly hidden away from people and traffic.
“You feel in your own special haven, yet at the same time, you’re within minutes of everything that’s great about living in central London. It’s funny, that we both originally come from opposite ends of London and ended up buying a mews house pretty much in the middle,” laughs Rohan.
“We have the best of both worlds and during lockdown, I felt guilty that we could carry on getting out and about, walk everywhere, enjoy sitting outside our favourite cafés, and have access to Paddington Gardens and nearby green spaces,” adds India.
Tell us about the original house in Wimpole Mews
“We bought it in 2014 and definitely just knew it could be a wonderful home for us both. When we bought it, the accommodation was very limited, just a ground floor and a first floor,” explained Rohan. “We knew the existing floorplanwould not be practical and certainly wouldn’t
give us the living space we wanted.”
“We fell in love with what was once a house for horses, but these former stable buildings are so quaint and have so much charm and the location is just amazing.”
The couple decided to pull in the expertise of architect, Neil Wilson, who not only had previous experience of working on mews projects, but also had a good relationship with Westminster’s planners.
“It’s fair to say, this was a major project, involving creating a basement and a second top floor. We knew we were embarking on a challenge, one that took up a lot of time and energy, and money in legal fees. There were issues about ‘the right to light’ with our neighbours, but we
overcame these and Neil was able to work successfully with the planners, so our plans and design weren’t compromised.”
India and Rohan stayed true to their original vision for their mews home, which they explained was, “to flip the house upside down and create a whole new top floor dedicated to a living, dining and entertaining space – the real social hub of our home.”
“We figured that you spend far more time in your living space than anywhere else in your home. We didn’t see the point in putting the most important rooms down in the basement. A feeling of airy, natural light rather than subterranean daily living, was what we were after.”
Were there any memorable challenges?
“Okay, so that has to be the craning of our piano into the new top floor space at the back of the house. It was actually quite a spectacle to watch it dangling high up in mid-air. Our stairs are narrow, and so it meant that furniture either had to be carefully dismantled before being carried up, or we needed the crane guys to hoist it up, over and in.”
And what can we expect to see now?
The smiles from the couple say it all. “Well, it’s a true transformation and we love it!” India says, “It’s actually completely changed the way we live. It’s such a light, happy relaxing living space, that neither of us want to leave or go ‘out-out’ nearly as much as we used to.”
“Our home seems to be the social meeting place for all our friends who choose to gravitate here. We cook up something delicious, they come over and everyone is just so relaxed being in this space, where we can cook, chat, laugh and chill. And because everything is on one floor –
kitchen/dining area and living space with big squishy sofas, it makes it incredibly easy and sociable; no traipsing up and down stairs when you need a glass refilled!”
Most favourite object that suits the space perfectly
With no hesitation from either India or Rohan, they both say ‘our plants’. “We’ve been here six years now and our orchids arrived with us and still flower regularly year on year. I think the natural light suits them. The plants just add a natural dimension to the interior and like a lot of people, we find them beautiful and a way of connecting with nature all year round.”
Puppy love and a friendly canine community
The couple recently took on a new four legged mews-mate – Wulf, their four month old Pomsky puppy, who immediately became a popular member of the mews community. Both India and Rohan enjoy exercising and walking everywhere, with so much green space on their doorstep, they’ve already become part of the dog loving community. “I hardly get out of the door with Wulf before a neighbour has stopped to chat and say hello to Wulf,” says India. “We’ve joined our local dog club, it’s very relaxed and people come and go with their dogs between 8am to 10am. I’ve met so many lovely people and their dogs – it’s just such a great start to our day.”
Best things about living in this area in Marylebone
“Ah, well it could be seen as the best and the worst… temptation!” admits India. “We’re truly spoiled living here – we’ve got Marylebone High Street on the doorstep, spilling over with gorgeous shops selling everything from artwork to homeware to great clothes. The problem is that when you pop out to Waitrose to grab eggs or a paper, you are in constant danger of getting wildly distracted, staying out far longer than intended and returning with more bags than you ever expected!”
Our favourite places to be – apart from Wimpole Mews…
The couple say: “We love Sundays when the local farmer’s market takes place. After some exercise and a walk with Wulf, we’ll wander around, bump into people we know and chat to stallholders. It’s has such a friendly village-like atmosphere, and the produce is brilliant; we never come home empty handed.”
For that all important coffee, India and Rohan love The Monocle Café round the corner on Chiltern Street. For a night out they will head out to the Chiltern Firehouse for drinks and dinner. And they wouldn’t be without their local pub, The Cavendish on New Cavendish Street, which they both agree, “feels like a proper village pub in the middle of London, with a delicious sustainable seasonal menu and where we always feel welcome.”