Sir Stirling Moss chooses Granite Transformations
PUBLISHED: 09:48 04 December 2013 | UPDATED: 09:48 04 December 2013
Sir Stirling Moss, renowned for constantly upgrading and modernising his home, has chosen Granite Transformations to refurbish his bathroom
Sir Stirling Moss OBE is often described as the greatest competitor never to win the F1 world title and is widely regarded as the greatest all-round racing driver of all time. His high tech house in London’s Mayfair is almost as celebrated, the bomb damaged plot having been acquired by Moss for just £5,000 in 1961 and transformed into a stylish 5-storey structure full of computerised and robotised gadgets, including a remote-operated bathtub, automated dumbwaiters and a one-of-a-kind carbon fibre lift made by the Williams F1 team. Now, Moss is 84 and still lives in the same townhouse, currently estimated to be worth at least £10 million.
So when Sir Stirling invited Granite Transformations to upgrade his 3rd-storey bathroom, as part of what Moss terms his extensive ‘Project 46’ refurbishment, the home makeover company leapt at the chance to showcase its elegant agglomerate interior finishes and Trend glass mosaic tiles, in such a futuristic setting.
The result is a spectacular transformation in clean, crisp, contemporary polar white and silver, a metallic tone that is so appropriate for a race driver who first drove the legendary Mercedes-Benz ‘Silver Arrows’ almost sixty years ago. Once the work was complete and Sir Stirling had expressed himself delighted with both the workmanship and finish, an unexpected connection was revealed between Moss and the place where his Granite Transformations materials were made.
When reviewing decorative materials for his Project 46, Moss had seen Trend’s Italian-made, handcrafted glass mosaic tiles and loved the impeccable finish. Since Granite Transformations is part of the Trend Group and its showrooms now retail and install its high grade mosaic products, the home makeover experts got involved in this interesting project, which centres on a flow-through bathroom and dressing area surrounding a central panelled-in spiral staircase. Taking in hard flooring, wallcoverings, surrounds, vanities, a large walk-in shower, panelled bath and curved feature wall, the installation required hardwearing, water-resistant, low maintenance, beautiful finishes that would set off the unusual layout to best effect.
Working in close consultation with Sir Stirling, Granite Transformations proposed its Polar Ice quartz agglomerate in tile and sheet formats for the main flooring, bath panels, shower liner and integrated seat, with Trend Vitreo 160 white 2cm square semi-transparent glass mosaic tiles chosen for the flat walls and shower flooring, where the textured surface and frequent grout lines provide extra slip resistance.
Around the room at window ledge height, there is a slim accent line, which is crafted from four runs of precious 1cm square Aureo 026 white gold tiles, made with 24 carat gold leaf sandwiched between thin layers of blown glass. This silver accent is taken up dramatically by Trend’s inimitable Liberty Diamond designer mosaic, its characteristic irregular hand-cut shapes, contrasting textures and shimmering diamond brilliance giving the room a distinctive contemporary look. Curved around the wall surrounding the central spiral staircase and gracing the rear of the shower enclosure, Liberty Diamond creates a magnificent visual highlight and reflects all the available natural and artificial light.
With no door frames interrupting the flow-through arrangement, the square agglomerate floor tiles run straight up to the dressing room carpet, with underfloor heating adding a pleasantly warm feel and a special grip finish providing extra slip-resistance. Other bathroom finishing touches include an electronic toilet seat, modern remote control bath and powered drapes, as well as hi-fi speakers and downlighters set into the ceiling.
Quartz agglomerate flooring in larger sheets was also extended to the outside living space, with a Sabbia D’Oro finish used for an adjoining window balcony and an upstairs roof terrace. The property’s relatively narrow spiral staircase and 2-person lift created something of a physical challenge, tiles having to come up on the elevator in small batches and the larger sheets being hoisted up on an outside winch, gusts of wind precluding the use of full-sized 3m long slabs.
Coincidentally, Granite Transformations’ tough, lightweight and flexible agglomerate slabs are produced in the Trend Group’s highly automated plant in Sebring, Florida, directly across from the celebrated Sebring International Raceway. This was the very track where Moss had one of his most celebrated giant-killing wins in the 1954 Sebring 12 Hours race, triumphing over an international field of drivers that included Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Peter Collins and American race stars Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby and Briggs Cunningham. Part of his prize, gained in an unfancied 1500cc OSCA MT4, was a small plot of land alongside the racetrack, which was then virtually scrubland!
Granite Transformations next plans to celebrate the Moss connection and demonstrate Trend’s computer-aided custom mosaic capability, by commissioning mosaic wall panels of Sir Stirling’s most famous race win, in the 1955 Mille Miglia. He will be depicted at the wheel of the legendary number 722 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR sports car, in silver of course.
Visit the Granite Transformations showroom at Unit 6a Centurian Way Business Park, Alfreton Road, Derby DE21 4AE (01332 912952). For other showrooms and full colour brochure, call 0800 044 5393 or visit the website at www.granitetransformations.co.uk