a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Friday 10 May 2013
A truly exceptional residence in the heart of Chelsea, which revives the glamorous spirit of art deco, thanks to the extraordinary quality of finishes created by a roll call of the very finest global craftspeople and manufacturers. The brief (set by an international businessman client and family) was to create a unique interior that was striking and bold, but never ostentatious.
The 600 sq m apartment is spread over three floors and was initially taken on in shell form, with careful space-planning needed to make the best use of space. Although the floor plan was generous, there were major challenges to work around, including the lack of natural light. SHH took the unusual decision to locate the master bedroom on the upper entrance storey to ensure that the main living quarters on the central storey below benefited from the apartment’s major light source - the garden. To maintain a dramatic sense of arrival, however, the designers made the doors to the bedroom suite ‘disappear’, so that the focus instead is on the new central stair: a free-floating, triple-height staircase with an extraordinary 12-m high olive tree bas relief behind it: one of the dominant design features of the scheme.
Across from the main entrance doors on the upper floor is a further pair of doors that lead directly into a large and handsome dressing room. This space forms a lobby which connects the two ‘hidden’ master bedrooms.
The social hub of the house is undoubtedly the expansive, 120 sq m living space on the middle floor, designed both for relaxation and for entertaining. The allocation of space in the living area is emphasised by the design of the ceiling lighting, which forms pools of light above the four areas of the room.
Additional illumination is created by a selection of striking lamps, including the bespoke-designed scones on either side of the fireplace, whose design is based on eucalyptus leaves. Many of the design ideas throughout stem from plant and organic forms.
The middle floor also houses the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms. More fun is to be had – for the whole family – on the lower floor, where movies are screened in the cosily luxurious cinema, with walls lined in soft grey cashmere.