id you know that the original meaning of a ‘mews’ was a birdhouse for birds of prey? Then, 500 years ago, the Royal Stables were built on a hawk mews, and the word came to refer to a row of stables or carriage houses. Since we swapped out horses for cars, most old mews have been converted for residential use, creating some of the capital's most coveted properties in the process. There, you learn something new every day.
Having been built for the horses, coachmen and stable-servants of prosperous residents, mews are usually located in desirable areas. Today, therefore, central London is littered with charming mews, which act as sequestered pockets of serenity in the city. It is one of these historic thoroughfares that fills our Property of the Month slot; however this home, despite its situation on Powis Mews in Notting Hill, is breathtakingly modern.
The first thing that strikes you about the Powis Mews property is its charcoal-black façade. Painting the outside of your house black is always a bold move, but we find it nearly always pays off. This inky exterior is eminently chic.
The next thing that you notice is the size: mews homes are usually rather dainty, but in Powis Mews you get three for the price of one (OK, not quite – take a look at the asking price and you'll see you get three for the price of three). In recent years, neighbouring properties have been incorporated to create 3,222 sq ft of stunningly-appointed space.
There’s a 12.5m reception room, an open-plan living/kitchen/dining area, and two en suite bedrooms, as well as the first-floor master suite. The standout feature is a dramatic void and mezzanine, which cuts through three floors, making the property feel cavernous.
The home's interior follows the traditional-meets-modern brief. On the ground floor, a walnut kitchen is fitted with chef-grade appliances and full-length wine storage, as well as an island-cum-breakfast bar and bronze oxidised surfaces. The dining area is characterised by low-hanging lighting and vivid artwork, and the bathroom, fitted with a dual vanity, freestanding bath and rainfall shower, is all marble surfaces and matte black finishes.
On the lower floor, a double reception room features parquet floors and sleek furnishings, but it’s the fireplace that takes pride of place: its dimensions are vast, creating a stately feel. Upstairs, the master suite ushers in natural light via skylights and doors that open onto Juliet balconies. A feature wall has been created with de Gournay wallpaper, and the en suite centres around a pink onyx vanity. On one side is an integrated step-down bath; on the other, a timber-clad sauna. It is from this floor that you access a sumptuous roof garden.
The property, which fuses quirk and taste, is perfectly at home in Notting Hill, London’s edgiest super-prime area. Powis Mews connects Talbot Road with Westbourne Park Road; residents will enjoy proximity to the neighbourhood's best eateries (the hotly-anticipated Ledbury), bars (local institution The Cow), and shops (the buzzy Portobello Road). If you feel that your personality is a match for this idiosyncratic home, a West London mews might be for you.
This property is on the market for £8,950,000. Visit domusnova.com for more information.