Words: Kate Thompson
Photos: Portico Marketing
Having seen so many of the beautiful Southsea homes that he has enhanced with his keen eye for design, when the opportunity came forward to visit Joe Moser’s home, the response was always going to be: YES PLEASE…
Not surprisingly, the genius behind Southsea’s Design Team Studios admitted to being a little cautious when it came to opening the doors to his own home. In theory you can understand his anxiety — it is his personal space after all…
But the reality is that his home is the ultimate expression of his craft. Most recently a grubby student let on the back of a large historic property in the Owens Conservation area, Joe’s home now enjoys garden space on two sides along with a secluded inner courtyard. He explained the idea behind the design. It wasn’t to be sold so it was not about fitting in the maximum number of bedrooms and baths to suit the market. Instead, it was designed for my husband Simon and I with flexibility in mind.”
“We wanted to create a space that would suit several requirements and be easily adaptable for visiting guests, working from home, and most importantly, a beautiful place to call home,” he said.
When it came to use of colour, attention to detail, mastery of texture, and the ability to create a welcoming and comfortable ambiance — there is a giant tick in every box. Years of experience working as an architect has been channelled into the design of a space that is both practical and adventurous.
The main accommodation is a sweeping, open plan lounge with a cosy log burner, dining, and garden room with Crittall doors that lead to a traditional kitchen with French influences, loads of light, and bold colours. The principal bedroom, dressing room, and ensuite are hidden behind a pocket door set within a bookcase.
Confidence with the space meant Joe was happy to knock bits down here, while adding walls elsewhere. Load bearing industrial looking beams are celebrated rather than covered and quirky, joyful additions make his home a feast for the eyes.
A separate accommodation is found through a big movable wall panel which reveals a boathouse-inspired retreat complete with its own kitchen, hidden sleeping loft, and massive sunken bath and shower room formed in stone and marble.
The sort of advice you can imagine him giving his clients when it comes to being daring, he has clearly followed to the tee. The living space flows around a central courtyard area. This was the starting point for the whole project and contains plants discovered on their travels and others that evoke childhood memories.
“I always say to clients that they should trust their own instincts about what they want their home to be and what it needs to do for them. Don’t be guided by the real estate market or what you think you should do. Experiment and try new things — even if you end up not liking the finished result, it won’t be so tragic. You can always paint over it or start again,” he said.
Sitting chatting over a mug of tea, you are immediately aware that every direction in which you glance is captivating. The home he shares with Simon offers the perfect backdrop for a wealth of antiques and collectables that illustrate a life well lived and a love of art and curiosities. Small and perfectly formed, the property’s layout is intriguing. Every inch is accounted for, and Joe has clearly relished the opportunity to make his mark in the most stylish way possible.
When Joe and I started talking about lighting, I must admit I was quietly pleased with myself when he agreed that it is probably the most important element when it comes to making a comfortable space — and sadly, all too often overlooked.
“Lighting is so important. It makes a real difference to how you feel within a space and whether the experience is enjoyable or not. I use a lot of LED lighting and like to ensure you see the effect of the light but not necessarily the light itself,” he explained.
The house is full of clever hidden details that make the most of every bit of space and exploit the carefully chosen materials which include natural stone, marble, polished concrete, timber cladding, and mirror. One detail that positively delights is the addition of mirror panels around the windows to accentuate the light and create an eye-catching diversion. Having taken many years to complete his home, Joe is finally content that the work is now done and quick to thank those that have made his dream a reality.
“First off for the major extension and groundworks was Nick Dorrington and his crew from Pompey Homes. Later came Tom Fricker and TWF Building Services and the final finishing work was done by JBT Renovations. The heart and soul of this project has been the materials and the craftsmanship,“ he said.
Design Team Studios
The Clock Tower
Great Southsea Street, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 3BY
T: 02392 837 149