As high-end painters and decorators, we have the privilege of seeing some interesting living spaces across London. But the location of our latest project really was unbeatable; the iconic Battersea Power Station.
Battersea Power Station – a brief history
Battersea Power Station was built in 1929 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect behind the iconic red telephone boxes. One of his plans were for the 50-metre chimneys to be square, not circular as they are today. The iconic power station was built in two phases – Battersea A and B, completed in 1935 and 1944 respectively. It has been said that Battersea Power Station survived World War II because the plumes from the chimneys had navigational purpose for the RAF and Luftwaffe, thus avoided aerial bombardment. Battersea Power Station did not have its fourth chimney until 1955.
In its 54-year history, Battersea Power Station supplied as much as 20 percent of London’s electricity until it was decommissioned in 1983 and sat derelict for many decades. Londoners often wondered whether the power station would be demolished; in line with the demising fate of many power stations around the country to make way for cleaner energy. Battersea Power Station was awarded Grade-II listed status in 1980 – just three years before being decommissioned. But the future of this historic Grade-II listed building was uncertain until many locals successfully campaigned for it to be spared demolition.
Interior decoration of industrial past
When painting and decorating a former industrial building, not just any colour will complement industrial design. Many industrial spaces will have an array of textures, heights, size etc. that you can utilise to your advantage. For example, at Battersea Power Station many surface textures were preserved including original exposed brickwork and concrete, iron girders and large windows bringing in much needed natural light.
Here are some industrial interior painting ideas. With large windows and high ceilings, you could go industrial and deep in colour, without fear of losing natural light. And with original red brickwork and black iron girders it makes good décor sense to use a vintage deep paint colour to complement these original industrial textures.
In this large living room and open plan kitchen (approximately 42 square metres in floor size) of a two-bedroom luxury apartment at Switch House West, within Battersea Power Station itself, we painted one wall in a deep green to represent the natural environment of the building. The paint we used also gave a ‘chalky’ look and feel to complement exposed industrial textures. We could not have been any more green than The Botanist, 574, Architect’s Matt from Paint and Paper Library – a British premium quality paint endorsed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). To draw in and reflect natural light from the two large door windows and Juliet balconies opposite, the remaining plaster walls were painted in Wattle V, 565, also from the Paint and Paper Library collection.
In the bedrooms, a slightly different approach was taken to enhance natural light and size of the room. We kept the chalky look and feel in the bedrooms to blend with the industrial decor. The master bedroom was painted in Desert Rose, 243, Architect’s Matt which we think complement the exposed red brickwork remarkably well. In the second bedroom, we continued the theme from the living room to enhance the original brick and iron. To achieve this, we applied Wattle III, 563, a soft light grey, relates to the original exposed black iron girders while enhancing natural light and making the room feel a little larger in size and minimise any shadow areas, that can make rooms look and feel smaller.
Professional interior industrial decoration
Not all Battersea painters and decorators are the same. Many have diverse levels of training, experience and even attention to detail. Our specialist decorator is Level 3 qualified and has over 29 years experience of painting and decorating residential and commercial period and historic buildings with paint, wallpaper and wood. Therefore it is important that your Battersea painter and decorator is properly trained and appreciates historic buildings, understands the need to preserve original features as much as possible, and importantly, is fully aware of various regulations concerning conservation and the environment.