Clare Gaskin Interiors

Surrey Fun House

Now this was a FUN project.

The client’s son had asked for a basketball hoop in the back garden. Instead, as a surprise, the client bought a Georgian Lodge adjacent to the main house. The brief was simple, to maintain the exterior of this charming lodge but to create a playful den inside, suitable for entertaining the client’s children and their teenage friends. And in place of a hoop, add a basketball court.

Playfulness was the watchword, with the client referencing fantastical spaces from his travels, such as the neon extravaganza of Burning Man and Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant. His only request was for a gym and sauna to be included for himself.

The interior required a complete strip out and refurbishment. Bedrooms were removed in favour of gaming and chill out rooms. The kitchen minimised to the essentials and the rear facade, originally a messy mix of dated extensions, unified with Crittall style glazing. The basketball hoop was honoured with a multipurpose court – with lines that both light up and change colour to allow different ballgames to be played.

From the outside, you have no idea what lies within. We worked with a blacksmith to create a door knocker, designed as a hand slam dunking a basketball. An Alice in Wonderland door within a door is the only suggestion of something unusual. A white ante-room with hints of colour and sports memorabilia leads onto two gaming rooms bursting with kaleidoscopic craziness. We commissioned a graffiti artist to transform one of the rooms into a space invader themed den, melding intergalactic battles with family motifs. We also designed a wet room with mosaic tiles to reference the client’s beloved PacMan.

Next door, the neon room includes a bespoke sofa which can be transformed for sleepovers and we commissioned a neon artist to design a three tiered chandelier with multi coloured spokes of light and a pelmet emblazoned with the slogan GAME OVER. Beyond these playrooms, the contrast begins, with the hallway harking back to the traditional with the introduction of panelling and tile and lattice oak flooring. Sophistication continues into the Gym and Lounge with antiqued mirror glass and a classic wallpaper to create a more cultured setting.

Projects don’t often come along like this, but we sure enjoy them when they do. LET PLAY COMMENCE!