Homeowner and landlady Maria Tamander on her passion for property / Architecture , Design
Homeowner and landlady Maria Tamander on her passion for property

How a background in film helped this former producer create a cinematic short-stay setting.

How a background in film helped this former producer create a cinematic short-stay setting.

Maria Tamander’s CV makes for interesting reading. A publican, producer and property developer, she started out working at her grandparents’ hotels and restaurants, before running an advertising production company in her native Sweden. On moving to the UK her passion for property was ignited when she took on 28 Chilworth Street – the site of beloved Bayswater pub The Cleveland Arms, with three levels of apartments above.


“As a producer, you have a picture of something you like and you have to find someone who can make it,” Maria explains. Clearly, her background provided valuable skills for managing a largescale renovation. “We found a Swedish company that produces furniture and they crafted all the armchairs, banquette seating and sofas.” True to her hospitality roots, she tested out every apartment, sleeping for a night in each to ensure they’re as comfortable as they look.

Driven by a mission to restore the building in its entirety to its former glory, reclaimed materials and furniture inject old-world charm to both the pub and the living quarters, where a pared-back look references period details.

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On the first floor, Chilworth Street I features two comfortable bedrooms. In the grand reception room, a Bryan Ferry poster adorns the wall. As with much of the building and its contents, it has a story to tell. Having toured with both Prince and Ferry, Maria’s partner is a videographer with around 500 music videos as well as feature films under his belt. “When we moved to London and had our first daughter, he was filming Gladiator,” Maria explains. “Now he’s working on the sequel.”

The choice of artwork epitomises the contrast between old and new which plays out across the apartment. Bookended by period fireplaces, the room is crowned with ornate cornicing and illuminated by a bank of oversized sash windows. Yet contemporary accents, such as the minimalistic kitchen and framed posters, add a modern sensibility to the space.


“Upstairs, there weren’t many original features left,” Maria explains. “But we had a company come in and take moulds of the remaining cornices.” As a repeating pattern, the cornicing for the whole room could then be accurately recreated from just a stump. To offset the intricate details, parquet floors and a palette of aubergine and grey inject a modern, Scandi feel.

The building’s other apartments, Chilworth Street II & V and Chilworth Street III & IV share the same understated design. Popular with people working in the arts, the spaces are walking distance from both Notting Hill and the West End. “It’s so diverse here,” Maria explains. “From bagel shops to Lebanese restaurants, you have food from all different countries and cultures in one neighbourhood.” Paddington Station is also just five minutes’ walk away.

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When it came to design inspiration, however, Maria cast her eye further afield. A visit to New Orleans produced the Victorian lamps that now illuminate the exterior of the building. In the same city, she also discovered the faithfully recreated gas wall lights that are now in the pub’s downstairs dining room. The cinematic feel of this space was produced thanks to the help of a set designer.

More than just a case of restoring bricks and mortar, Maria has strived to build back a sense of community with the renovation. “You have a social responsibility in a sense,” Maria says of being a landlady. “You also see how the local community works and how people support and look out for each other. It’s a great experience We have some great, loyal customers – which is part of the inventory.”

Chilworth Street I, Chilworth Street II & V and Chilworth Street III & IV are available for short stays

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