Tucked away behind grander houses, mews properties offer a wealth of opportunity to create beautiful, contemporary and bespoke homes. Their fortunes and status has not always been plain sailing but has been a meandering path which is now firmly on an upward trajectory. Their compact form can create opportunities for unique and interesting interiors whilst making their exterior full of tasteful character, bespoke to their owners. They are, however, from humble beginnings.
Mews dwellings became a ‘thing’ in the 18th and 19th century, named after the Royal Mews which housed the stables, stable hands and servants for the Royal Family.
Mews properties typically have no windows at the rear as historically the servants were unable to spy on the gentry from the larger house taking their garden strolls. This means that often they don’t have gardens.
The early 20th century saw a change of fortune for the Mews. Following World War II there was a decline of wealthy people living in grand houses and the use of servants had decreased. Mews as a consequence became seedy back streets. Times where changing and often these properties were sold off from their established link to the grander houses and became scruffy taxi companies, back street garages and print shops.
However, the swinging 60’s again changed all that and influenced the fortune and popularity of the mews property once again. People, particularly in London realised they could live above their pride and joy, their cars and also get a great property at a reduced price compared to other central location properties. One man who helped to change the way Mews were viewed was the former racing driver James Hunt. Design of the mews shifted in order for people to be able to live, work and perform their affairs all in the same place.
Mews lend themselves to modernisation very well and are often unlisted which gives the owners scope and freedom to design their living spaces to suit them. Many are extended sideways and up. They are often tucked away in quiet, safe locations. These rows of unique houses of character also enjoy the benefits of the best central locations within towns and cities and within walking distance to beautiful parks, independent shops and quality restaurants. Very much lending themselves to lifestyle living.
Today mews enjoy the best of all worlds within close proximity to the best urban areas whilst wrapped up in a close knit community and genuine neighbourhood helping us feel the nostalgia of their history.
My aim here is to capture moments or thoughts around design. I am constantly inspired by the London design exhibitions, photography and design publications. In fact I get my inspiration from so many places.. By sharing these experiences and thoughts with you I hope to both educate and inform.