A Multi-Faceted Home for a Transatlantic Lifestyle

The San Francisco based owner of this apartment bought the property as a London bolthole for himself and his family when they periodically return home to the UK. 

As a tech enthusiast, he has an eye for detail and functionality, and was eager to combine slick design with art and technological details that enhanced personal downtime as well as entertainment opportunities with family and friends. 

The result is a property that’s chic, sophisticated, seamless, and full of intrigue.

A sophisticated use of materials

The design was based around three different tones of grey, using the darkest on the details such as feature shelving, a medium grey on the ceiling, pillars and beams as well as to define a niche in the kitchen, and a lighter grey in rest of the space. By painting the ceiling in a darker colour than the walls, it sets that dramatic mood.

As part of this colour palette, we used three different wood finishes – graphite oak, cottage oak and black oak – pushing the boundaries of traditional design rules. The kitchen is a good example of this, as all horizontal surfaces are almost black (the floor, concrete, shelves and countertops), and the backdrop is lighter (cottage oak). We also used strategic lighting to highlight certain areas, and we made it possible to change the colour of the lighting to adjust the mood.

The dramatic colours are brought to life with the sophisticated use of different materials and textures, adding depth and warmth to the space. The apartment sits within a former jam factory, so the decision to keep exposed brick walls in areas was a nod to that heritage and set the tone for a sense of urban industrial style. In addition, we added a red sofa made from alpaca, and a sliding door made from reclaimed timber, which added texture but also allowed for a better use of space.

Technology to enhance lifestyle

Much like the owner, we have a reverence for technology when it’s used to enhance your experience in the home. His personal interest in this allowed us to use tech both to have fun and elevate the use of the space.

This begins from the moment you walk in the door, which unlocks using fingerprint technology. All appliances are from Miele, which has championed the use of handleless fixtures and fittings. As a result, all drawers and even the oven are handleless and open with a touch.

The oven is also linked to the Miele@mobile app on your smartphone, which allows you to download recipes and control the device, even when you’re not at home. 

The lighting also raises the bar with the ability to change its colour from the owner’s phone.  On St. Patrick’s Day for example, he opted to bathe the apartment in green light.

Intelligent use of space

Space is always at a premium in cities, and so using it wisely is paramount. We opted for a few select details that optimised the use of space and enhanced the way you move around the property.

For example, the kitchen includes a pull-out larder and the appliances are touch-to-open to keep lines clean in the kitchen. We also created a dedicated bar area to optimise the use of vertical space and added a sliding door separating the bedroom from the living room, taking up less space than a traditional door.

Designer details

This apartment is all about a sense of luxury, and the finishing touches make it stand out. We have spoken before about the use of art to enhance a space and the owner of this apartment has both an appreciation for exceptional art and design as well as a playful humour around it. 

On one wall is a metal bowl painted in such a deep black that it holds no reflections or shadows, creating the visual illusion of a hole in the wall as you walk around it. The dining table was imported from Brazil and the chairs from Portugal.

The owner was interested in the narrative behind each item, the result of which is that it’s filled with interesting stories, as well as personal meaning. Bottles on the side were custom made in Canada, bespoke brackets were created, and the Cire Trudon candles (from the world’s oldest candlemaker, founded in 1643), were selected for their heritage and luxe appeal.

The result is a space that truly reflects the owner’s character but also the lifestyle he and his family want to live whilst here. They love entertaining, but they also want to be able to relax and escape from the outside world. The apartment adapts to suit those different sides of their personality, and all the while to be unique as well.

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