To modernise a 1980’s penthouse flat with views over Southampton Water. The client wanted to incorporate a neutral base but with a warmer feel to the current ‘grey’ trend.
Inspiration and Design
Keeping the rooms neutral, my decision was to incorporate lots of different textures with simplistic patterns. The clients have always struggled to find a sofa that they found comfortable so it was incredibly important to locate this item first. Although the fabrics available for the seating were limited we opted for a warm mushroom linen and agreed we would add more sophisticated fabrics in soft furnishings to make the room feel elegant. The client had already made the decision to move the kitchen into the lounge / dining area to create a modern open plan living space. This also made space for one additional bedroom, a cloakroom and utility space. With the layout resolved, speed was now essential as the rip-out had already started. We decided to shop together for core items so that we could quickly order kitchen units, bathroom suites and tiles etc to avoid any delay for the building team.
To keep a modern look, we used one floor tile throughout the utility areas (i.e. hall, kitchen etc) with a complimenting carpet throughout other spaces (i.e. bedrooms, lounge) this gave the appearance of the rooms feeling larger. The client loved the idea of using wallpaper throughout rather than flat painted walls. I located various wallcoverings that added a different feel to each room but still continued a contemporary colour flow between spaces without being drastically different. These papers offered texture, self-pattern and a little glamour with reflective qualities. The windows were to remain so we had to work around dark brown frames and the lounge had a charcoal tiled wall. I didn’t want to rip out this feature as it was perfect to wall-mount the television to disguise the technology rather than making it a focal statement. We decided to replicate this with dark kitchen units and furniture. With marble being used on the kitchen worktop we duplicated this for the dining table but the chairs and bar stools were bespokely upholstered in 2 different tone / textured velvets for soft sumptuous seating. We repeated the marble effect in the bathroom for opulence. Adding various chandeliers for elegance in bedrooms, dining and kitchen, alongside seductive velvet and fur cushions, made this flat feel warm but not enclosed and the overall finish works well for both a masculine and feminine audience.