When Charlotte and Angus Buchanan purchased their Edwardian-era London townhouse, it came with inhabitants. The couple heard and even felt the breeze of pigeons flapping by that had taken roost in the attic, having flown in through the windows absent of panes of glass for many years. But no sooner had they rid the house of those pests than another longtime inhabitant made itself known.
As Angus recalls, speaking about the pouring of the floor in the new kitchen addition: “While the concrete was being pumped through the house and onto the ground, I suddenly heard a shout of horror, and upon coming down the stairs I saw a fox run across the wet concrete, leaving paw prints. The animal had likely been living under the house or somewhere in the overgrown backyard. I thought about keeping his marks as an early memory of the house, but, instead, we raked and polished over them.”
The prolific design couple—founders of Buchanan Studios and noted for their many residential and hospitality interiors projects throughout Europe, as well as their ever-growing line of furniture and fabrics—were living nearby with their two young children when they decided to move to a new-old house. The northwest London neighborhood they chose, Harlesden, is, as Angus says, “a bit like Brooklyn before Brooklyn became cool.” The rough-and-tumble streets of the neighborhood—known for its multicultural mix of immigrants from around the world—are lined with late-19th-century and turn-of-the-20th-century semi-detached houses, typical of the era. “We knew exactly the kind of house we wanted, in size and style,” says Charlotte, “and we found it there.”
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INTERIOR DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE AND ANGUS BUCHANAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICIA WAITE
WRITTEN BY DAVID MASELLO
This story appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of MILIEU.