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Small Space Living: Keir Townsend Creates A Little Jewel

Living in large urban centers usually means compromising living space but, husband and wife interior design team, Irina Townsend and Alastair Keir, don’t believe that should mean giving up on luxury.  The duo, who run a successful boutique showroom of home decor and design, began their own interior design firm in 2010.  Since then, Keir Townsend has expanded to become six strong and take on commercial and residential projects.  Townsend and Keir met while working in separate corporate design firms.  The two started to collaborate on projects; first for family and friends, then eventually forming their own firm.

One of their latest projects is located in the Kensington area of London, a place known for its architecture.  Their client asked them to transform a modest 430-square foot, one-bedroom apartment with ensuite bathroom into a luxurious living space that is both contemporary and classic, a signature style of the firm.  By demolishing a dividing wall, the team was able to create an open plan that combined the living room and kitchen.  Most of the furnishings are custom created for the project, adjusting the scale to fit within the intimate space.  “A common misconception is that the fewer pieces of furniture and features you have in a space – the bigger it looks”, says Irina Townsend “In fact the more zones and features you have the more it creates different spaces within one room. It is all about the right size of furniture, the right fabrics and the right lighting.”

Balancing Irina international perspective and training as the child of a diplomat; her husband, Alastair can be counted on to provide technical expertise.  The two have an interest in texture and an unusual and sometimes off-beat materials.  They travel extensively, uncovering talented designers that supply their showroom business.

The Kensington apartment features polished Venetian plaster, which reflect light in the small space, a warm monotone neutral palette to help create a harmonious soothing calm, and furniture custom scaled for the space.  Other tricks for enlarging the space include mirrored backsplashes in the kitchen, extending the space, material choices that reflect nature—bringing the outdoor in and, lush accents like the leather floor in the bedroom which feels soft against the feet.

Keir Townsend is most known for their work at the Mayfair Restaurant Novikov which features a “gastronomic theatre” of open kitchens.  For showroom hours and interior design services, contact or visit their website:

About the author: Bill Indursky
Bill Indursky is an architect, trend expert, and digital entrepreneur. He is the former founder of V&M (Vintage & Modern (2006-2013)) and the current founder of Design Life Network (DLN). DLN is a MAGAZINE + DESIGN AGENCY + MARKETPLACE + TV CHANNEL promoting inspiring design of all eras online and on TV.

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