London Pied d’Terra by Absolute Interior Decor
“This project involved the complete refurbishment of what was originally a two-bedroom apartment of approximately 900 square feet in a converted industrial building in Clerkenwell in the heart of London. The owner had a generous budget to upgrade the apartment from a basic and somewhat dated finish, which hadn’t been touched since the conversion in 1999.
The aim of the project was to create a luxurious and timeless pied-à-terre, using high quality fittings and furnishings, including bespoke carpentry and furniture, to provide the owner with a sanctuary from a demanding business and travel schedule during their time in London.
Firstly, we needed to improve the layout and fundamentals of the apartment. We began by removing one small bedroom to extend the living area, creating a wonderful open space with distinct kitchen, dining, living and study areas. All of the walls and flooring were removed and replaced with dark oak flooring laid on top of a newly constructed sub-floor, providing both a solid foundation and additional sound insulation. New windows were installed together with two sets of custom-made French doors leading to the balcony. New wiring, lighting and skirting were installed, the stepped design of the latter providing the first hint of a subtle art deco inspired theme that runs throughout the property.
In the hallway and throughout the property a lightly textured wall covering has been used, elements in the pattern are highlighted by the art deco inspired wall lighting. Running along the entire left wall are a series of flush-fitted, full-height, touch-to-open doors, which conceal bespoke hanging and storage spaces. These were custom built from walnut and give the impression of a complete wall, with the exterior door panels gloss-coated in cream, which reflects the light and enhances the fresh feel of the space. Walnut is used again in a bespoke console table and matching mirror, which were custom-made to the owner’s own design.
The hallway, with access to the guest bathroom and utility room, leads to the main living area through full-height wood-framed glass double doors, which allow the interior to be flooded with natural light. Art Deco inspired polished nickel door furniture from Samuel Heath was used both on this door and on all of the doors in the apartment. Upon entering the living area, you are first drawn to the study where the owner’s creative touch can again be seen in a bespoke walnut desk with leather inlay, bone handles and ebony line detailing. This has been made by an expert cabinetmaker to the owner’s design, influenced by art deco lines. An original Eames Lobby Chair, polished nickel desk lamp and select leather and glass desk accoutrements complement the desk. Further bespoke carpentry was used in the living and dining areas for a long bookcase and wine storage that runs the length of the wall at waist height and is topped with the same marble used in the kitchen and bathrooms. The dining area sits adjacent to the kitchen and the dining table for up to four people is a further unique piece of furniture made to the owners design from walnut with ebony inlay.
Aside from where the furniture was commissioned to the owner’s own designs, all of the furniture in the apartment was ordered from Ralph Lauren Home. A large cream wool rug with chocolate leather border was custom-made for the dimensions of the living room to perfectly balance the space and complement both the furniture and the dark oak flooring. For the living area a large sofa in chocolate cashmere with matching suede cushions sits perfectly with the rug, the square cocktail table made from walnut with steel inserts and parchment top, a single ‘Grant’ armchair upholstered in a supremely luxurious and comfortable camel velvet and silk fabric, and two matching light brown suede ottomans with walnut plinths. The sofa is flanked by a pair of circular walnut end tables each supporting a crystal and polished nickel ‘bolt’ table lamp, also from Ralph Lauren, and objet d’art from Lalique. Above the sofa a large elegant mirror framed with faux crocodile and stainless steel trim sits in symmetry with the furniture and between a pair of matching art deco inspired wall lights.
The kitchen area was hugely improved, both in style and function, with a new marble-topped island at its heart. The same marble was used to top the bespoke Italian cabinets, which were finished in a gloss cream. A flush fitting Miele gas hob with five cooking zones was installed in the marble top, together with a platinum finish water zone from Dornbracht. The kitchen design is intuitive with everything where it needs to be and follows a very clean and uncluttered profile.
From the living room and study area full-height double doors lead to the master bedroom suite. This room was carpeted with a deep wool and silk carpet in camel, which provides a luxurious feel underfoot. A beautiful Ralph Lauren ‘Modern Hollywood’ bed made from walnut with matching nightstands adds to the sense of luxury, enhanced by a pair of faux-crocodile table lamps and a large faux crocodile framed mirror. The harmony of the entire apartment is further enhanced with the symmetry of this room being directly balanced with that of the living room, and with shades of colour and materials consistent through the entire apartment. One wall of the bedroom includes the French doors leading to the balcony, whilst the opposite wall is entirely built from walnut and conceals not only large bespoke wardrobes and drawers, but also a ‘secret’ door to the en-suite bathroom which benefits from concealed LED lighting that highlights the marble and mosaic tiling, and finished with Dornbracht fittings.
No expense was spared in the quality of the craftsmanship employed in this project and the owner has been delighted with the finished product which worked to achieve a timeless luxury and satisfy the owners remit to combine the classic with contemporary, style with comfort, design with functionality, and modern technology without compromising aesthetics.”
Photos courtesy of Absolute Interior Decor