Labour of love
A Worthing property once in desperate need of a facelift reveals its new look to Charlotte Pearson.
When developer Adrian Marmont decided to take on Mayfair House, in Worthing, little did he know it would become a passion project.
“It was a labour of love and has taken over the past two years of my life at the expense of my family,” he smiles, “but to see it finished to the high quality it is and to know it is about to be a home has made it worth it.”
A popular hotel in the Roaring Twenties, Mayfair House had been left in a serious state of disrepair, having been boarded up for a number of years.
“The road had to be closed as parts of the building were literally falling on to the pavement,” he explains. “I just thought it was such a shame, I live in Worthing and drive past Mayfair House. I have always known it, so to have brought it back to life is something quite special.”
The building forms part of the Grade II listed Heene Terrace on the seafront and Adrian, owner of The Pure Group, a building and renovation company, has converted the property into apartments.
“As a developer, I saw the potential of the property and I instantly fell in love with it. This previously grand building was in a significant state of disrepair, which had deterred many people, but someone had to help to preserve this piece of history and I saw it as a challenge,” says Adrian.
“It’s certainly been a ‘passion’ project for me.”
All 11 apartments, set across six floors, have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The rooms are light and bright, with high ceilings and big open windows which flood the space with the view.
Adrian was very keen to make sure as many original features were used, but as there was so much damage inside the property, not much could be saved.
“We copied a lot of the details such as the cornicing and rails around the room,” he says. “All the fireplaces and doors are original though. We had to strip a lot of paint off the fireplaces, but we managed to get back to the marble eventually and they add something a bit special to each room.”
Adrian employed a specialist heritage adviser, Nicholas Antrim, and worked closely with Richard Small, design and conservation architect at Worthing Borough Council, to preserve the heritage and architectural integrity of the building.
There is an elegance and glamour to the apartments which recaptures the Roaring Twenties vibe of yesteryear.
Adrian threw himself in at the deep end, with the project being very hands-on.
“I designed the layout and in flat number three I made all the furniture in the bedroom, this one comes fully furnished if the people want it. I was a cabinet maker before and I would like to think the new owners will keep the furniture,” he smiles.
Flat three also has a balcony where you can enjoy your morning coffee with views of Worthing seafront.
As well as parking being provided, there is also a communal garden which has been landscaped and offers a great space for summer entertaining.
It also has great links to Brighton, Chichester and Arundel, with Worthing and West Worthing train stations close by.
The exterior of the building features Corinthian columns, tall sash windows and ornate balconies and canopies.
Inside there are exclusive-designed Farrow & Ball hand-painted kitchens, Neff integrated kitchen appliances and the opportunity to commission bespoke furniture.
“As we have practically rebuilt Mayfair House, it exceeds current building standards,” Adrian reveals, “which I hope means it will be here for a long time to come.”
Adrian’s passion for the property is evident, so was he tempted to keep one of the apartments for himself?
“A little yes,” he laughs. “I fell in love with the views, but all the apartments are for sale.”
Prices for the apartments start at £340,000.
For more information, contact Michael Jones Worthing Office, 8 Chapel Road, Worthing, BN11 1BJ, call 01903 213281 or visit www.michaeljones.co.uk
January 5, 2014 Interiors and Property