World of Interiors

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The basement’s African, the living room’s Indian, the mosaics are from Lebanon, the stone floors from Egypt... and the house is in West London When it comes to clever financial management and accommodating cultural diversity, Ashit and Shital Shah could teach our politicians a thing or two. Three years ago, embarking on the transformation of a derelict, semi-detached four-storey Victorian house in West London, they formed the ultimate “kitchen cabinet” and devised a plan that gave them access to professional advice, but also the freedom to keep building costs within budget. The Shahs also outlined a decorative scheme to bring together their interest in Indian and African art, which comes from their mixed heritage, both being third-generation Kenyans of Indian descent. Key to their success was the appointment of a “special adviser”, Ian Hogarth of Hogarth Architects, who saw them through the design and planning process, but then stepped back to let the Shahs appoint their own builders and oversee the build themselves. Writer Vinny Lee - vinnylee@btinternet.com

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