Vintage Starck, Burl Wood Veneer, and Collectible Furniture From the Current London Scene Define This Modern Cottage in Rural England

Youre probably most familiar with the work of designer and gallerist Max Radford through his Instagram. Mostly, the account acts as an archive of design research, where he posts projects he comes across in vintage books, as well as the work of the contemporary designers he shows with The Radford Gallery, the roving exhibition platform that pops up in London locales and European design fairs a few times a year. (Radford’s most recent show, a dual exhibition by Amelia Stevens and Matthew Verdon, featured stainless-steel furniture from the former and lamps in hemp and translucent fabric from the latter). But behind the scenes, Radford is also an interior designer and architect, and his first project — a contemporary cottage in rural England — ties together all of the threads hes amassed such a following for online.

“I first met him as one of my friends’ scary dads,” Radford describes of the client, an angel investor who settled in rural England for its cycling paths and access to nature. Set on the fringes of the South Downs in the county of Sussex, Radford describes the homes location as tucked down a private lane and behind a village pub.” Previously, it was a somewhat utilitarian post-war brick bungalow with a small footprint and a series of very small rooms. However, other than some charming mid-century windows, he says, it had become rather tired.” In resuscitating the structure, Radford extended the original buildings footprint, adding a second floor in the loft, and building an L-shaped structure intended to act as a party room — complete with pool table — that sits adjacent to the homes pool.

As for the interiors, Radford says he wanted to remain loyal to the mid-century beginnings of the structures —through details such as the critall-style windows, the fireplace island and some of the architectural spaces” — but to then contemporize it with details such as concrete-resin flooring and stainless-steel integrated worktops. The latter is obviously found in the kitchen, where Radford also clad the island and cabinet fronts with Alpi burl wood veneer. “The kitchen was the first area where I wanted to use the Alpi Veneer that now runs through the project, changing with the mood of each room as it runs through,” he explains of the cloudy wooden-grain finish, also found on closet fronts in the bedroom and a dresser in the primary bathroom. With such large pieces of integrated joinery throughout the project, I wanted to make sure there were some good details without it being some fiddly handle or framing.”

For the resin flooring, he went for a Mediterranean-ish shade of blue. Its in the primary bathroom for both the party room and the outdoor pool so we decided to wrap the floor up around the whole room,” he says. It’s a simple use of color, but with the skylight above and Amelia Stevens’ beautiful table matching in with the other stainless fixings in the room, it creates a special moment in the project.”

Like the Amelia Stevens side table, much of the homes furniture comes from designers Radford reps in his gallery, an addition he admittedly had to sell the client on. He had a look at my Instagram and suggested that some of the more extreme decoration techniques might not suit him and the house,” he says. But this was something that I was already aware of.” What they agreed upon were several chairs by Jaclyn Pappalardo and Carsten in der Elst in the living room as well as one of EJR Barnes textile Sail Lamps in the bedroom. Many of the vintage pieces, however, were sourced from London-based gallery Béton Brut, including a Nefer 3 lamp by Kazuhide Takahama in the party room, Gerard Van Den Berg dining chairs, and Philippe Starck Sarapis stools from the 1980s.

Going forward, Radford has several new projects planned, including an upcoming show during the London Design Festival featuring the work by Andrew Pierce Scott, Natalia Triantafylli, Tom Bull, and Grace Prince, as well as several new interior projects — which were sure youll find going viral on Instagram within the next few months!