At Home with: Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns


At Home with: Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns

Bold designs meet functional spaces in Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns’ playfully reimagined Victorian home

Words by Ali Howard

Photography by Jon Aaron Green

Bold designs meet functional spaces in this playfully reimagined Victorian home

Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns

Marsha and Glen’s vibrant home is a place where bold hues meet thoughtfully curated spaces, reflecting a life full of zest and creativity. Built in 1896, the house proved an exceptional London find: a detached period property boasting two lounges and a wealth of space that immediately captivated the pair when they were house hunting back in 2010. It had already undergone some renovations but ultimately, these adaptations couldn’t accommodate Marsha and Glen’s growing family – the couple now share their home with their ten-year-old twin daughters. “The property was renovated by a developer beforehand where he did two small extensions,” Marsha tells me. “Generally, it was done to a poor standard, and we really wanted to make it our own.”

Motivated by a desire to infuse the space with their personal touch, Marsha and Glen embarked on further renovations to enhance its functionality and to better suit their dynamic family life. “The renovations we’ve done to date have included extending the kids’ bedroom and adding an en suite which, when we had the twins, meant they had loads of space,” Marsha says. “We also extended the kitchen to allow for a dining table closer to it, and in doing so, were able to use the old dining area as a playroom-come- office. Having an extra space away from the kids’ bedroom for toys and storage and playing on the ground floor has transformed our home, and being able to dine in the kitchen area overlooking the garden is perfect in the summer when we can open the bi-folds and enjoy indoor/outdoor living. We’ve also added a dressing room to the principal bedroom, which adds that extra luxury.”

Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns

And when it comes to aesthetics? “Our style is very much, ‘punch you in the face’ with colour and pieces that will always make you smile!” Says Marsha. “I’m from the Caribbean, so colour really speaks to me, and I love clashing unexpected colours. No matter how much I sometimes want to love classic styles, I’m always drawn back to bold colours and interesting artwork.” I ask whether the pair always agree on décor choices. “As a couple we generally agree, but sometimes I have to override my husband’s need for muted colours. Over the years his taste in art has grown to match mine, choosing pieces with bold prints and colours – and sometimes his taste and style is bolder than mine.”

I’m keen to know how the pair found it working with Nathan Kingsbury Design on their latest home projects, in particular their open-concept kitchen/dining room, because Marsha and Glen strike me as dream clients, both playful and fearless in their design choices. “Nathan first did a mirror for our dressing room and a sideboard for the dining room, and since then, working with him has been like a drug,” Marsha laughs. “What was key to us continuing to collaborate with him was the chemistry – like dating! He really understood our style. He respected and admired it and was able to offer designs and décor that matched our style, but I hope he agrees that he also had a certain amount of freedom to create, as both of us are quite open and not too constrictive in our briefs.”

The kitchen/diner features sleek white cabinetry, boldly outlined in a contemporary neon stripe; a chunky, utilitarian dining table complete with playfully mis-matched seating, all centred within those light-loving bi-folds; and the pièce de résistance: a statement island crafted with mixed metallics including patinated brass and raw oxidised metal for a bright turquoise colour pop that you wouldn’t typically find anywhere near neon yellow – and yet it works beautifully. “The island was the one thing we stipulated to Nathan,” says Marsha. “We wanted the rust metal effect. Nathan then ran with that and came up with the stunning lines and shapes and floating effect you see today. We have so much trust in Nathan, which he continues to earn time and time again, because his design offerings always enhance our brief. And we literally can’t say no when he suggests something.” Dream clients indeed.

Marsha Ramlogan and Glen Burns Kitchen

That the kitchen island is sculptural and angular and wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery is entirely in fitting with the property’s overarching aesthetic, where artwork plays a significant role, from bold, colour splashed canvasses to safari-inspired sculptures that can be seen incongruously roaming the garden of this London home. “I must give credit to my husband for the artwork”, says Marsha. “The colour came from me, and he ran with the sculptures. The giraffe, elephants and teacup are all his. Again, I think interest and the unexpected is what draws us to certain pieces. They’re things you don’t usually see.”

Look up and you’ll see spectacular bespoke lighting throughout the house, again, a Kingsbury addition, and again, as much veritable works of art as the pictures on the walls. “The lighting designs are Nathan’s genius,” Marsha says. “For ages, we were looking for something that would be a statement, and not what you’d see in everyone else’s houses. We mentioned this to Nathan and he suggested he could design something that would pick up the architecture of the kitchen lights as well as cast gorgeous and interesting shapes and shadows through the days and seasons. He drew up and presented the designs, and we talked about how it would work, how they would be fitted, how they would fall, if there would be enough light to be practical – and away he went.”

I wonder which room or space has become a favourite – where do the family spend most of their time? “I love the small lounge and kitchen,” says Marsha. “It makes me happy to see both rooms in harmony, and sitting at that island chatting with friends and family really is the heart of our home. We’ve never seen one like it and Nathan spent a lot of time making sure the patination on each piece was exact – which only a true perfectionist would do.”