Knightsbridge Contemporary Penthouse
This award winning contemporary design penthouse overlooks an elegant garden square in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge. The luxurious residence has been created to provide a restful haven within the city for its owner, as well as to serve as an impressive showplace where he can entertain with style. The striking sophisticated design has been completed with exceptional finishes and flawless quality throughout by the London based Staffan Tollgard Design Group. The emphasis here has been placed on subtle bespoke designs and exquisite detailing expressed in a decidedly understated and masculine manner. For our design inspiration for today, lets take a look at this home which won International Property Awards 2015 “Best London Apartment”, as well as “Best UK apartment”.
“…subtle bespoke designs and exquisite detailing expressed in a decidedly understated and masculine manner”.
From the outside, one sees a stately row of preservation preserved, classic design, ornate red-brick Queen Anne townhomes lining the prestigious garden square. This residence is not a narrow arrangement of rooms on several floors though. It is a spacious single floor, bilateral flat created from the fusion of two distinct properties spanning across the upper floors of two of these townhomes. The space has been reconfigured in a way that best meets the desired objectives while also respecting the heritage and grandeur of the original architecture, creating a plan that feels like it has just always been that way.
One enters into the homes generously proportioned hallway which has been designed to immediately convey the status of the residence and to set the tone for the rest of the journey. The grand light-filled entrance immediately evokes a luxurious tone using a calm color palette which runs throughout the property. The dramatic entry has been created with beautifully veined Fiore di Bosco marble floors with bronze inlay and dark slate borders, along with textured silk upholstered walls. The original cornice from one of the apartments was selected and paired with contemporary skirting and continued throughout the entire residence.
The existing classical proportions have been maintained by placing the entertaining spaces across the front where the two original apartment’s principal rooms were located. These front rooms with their repeated windows and views across the elegant gardens provided the perfect space for an open-plan cooking and dining area that could flow seamlessly through into a multi-tasking living/reception room. The owner is not only a good cook himself, but enjoys entertaining with a chef so a dramatic, commercial grade kitchen with dining area factored in as part of the main entertaining spaces. The point was to create the sense of being at the chef’s table in an exclusive restaurant.
The monolithic veined stone island acts as both a sculptural still life and a functional center-piece creating an opportunity for interaction between the chef and diner along the extended breakfast bar. The kitchen is from the German manufacturer Eggersmann, with appliances from Gagganau. The worktop, a natural quartzite sourced from Brazil selected and approved in Germany by Staffan, is kept clear of appliances, which are housed in concealed storage behind discreet sliding doors in place of a typical backsplash. The large capacity appliances and additional storage are also cleverly concealed. The kitchen’s sophisticated design allows it to both show well and function well. The induction hob even has retractable ventilation to maintain the clean aesthetic lines.
The home’s owner is also an avid wine collector, requiring a beautiful solution for wine storage and display. A large internally lighted and temperature controlled 280 bottle wine storage unit was custom created and placed on the dining side of the room. The common wall between the two apartments couldn’t be moved due to the existing chimney flues, but did allow for symmetrical openings to be created on either side for the key passages between the dining room and the large reception room which were kept as wide and as tall as possible. The symmetrical openings between these rooms in turn emphasizes the central feature of the space: the remaining chimney breast. This strong vertical plane was clad in Vals Stone on all sides and completed with a double sided contemporary design fireplace which adds a function and focus for both rooms. Continuity between reception, dining room and kitchen was further achieved by the seamless flow of chevron wooden flooring with black slate borders and a bronze inlay. The exceptional layering of textures, materials and decorative lighting create a compelling yet calm journey from one space to another.
A key feature in the light-filled living/reception room is the large wall of bespoke design cabinetry, paired with the Vals Stone chimney breast that mirrors the dining room and connects the two spaces. As a central feature, the large wall of custom cabinetry has been executed with exquisite detail. Horse hair panels are surrounded by a bronze frame and slide in front of warmly lit shelves with a textured polished plastered back panel. The sliding panels conceal and reveal the television and related equipment. The remaining walls have also been finished with the textured polished plaster. This room has been given a bit of color on a subtle neutral base. Using a selection of European and American suppliers, the design group selected the best of contemporary design for the furniture and lighting for the residence.
A calm and serene work space has been created in the study with silk upholstered walls and a solid wall of bespoke designed cabinetry, which is both functional and decorative. The dark woods with bronze border creates a warm masculine space which is carried into the master suite. I’m loving this space in particular. The very office I am sitting in is similar in layout and this inspiring interior design would be perfect in here. The chevron wood floors, with the black slate borders and bronze inlay are really pronounced in this smaller space and the bespoke design desk with the leather detailing is everything. You must be sure to check out the design group’s curated collection of contemporary home furnishings, lighting and accessories on their website. They have a large selection of items like those used here in this home and much more. Ill provide a link at the end of this post to their website.
The master bedroom is a sublime dream featuring clean lines and rich textures for a soft contemporary design finished in deep rich tones contrasting with light neutrals. The upholstered paneled wall behind the bed provides the entrance into the bath and dressing rooms on either side of the bed. The custom bedside tables and the cabinetry before it features dark woods with bronze detailing. Not shown in these photos, but before the bed, the television is concealed by a custom panel that slides away when the television is in use. Coffered ceilings have been created to provide indirect lighting into the space and to allow the drapery hardware to be recessed and out of site.
The bathrooms are another exercise in subtle drama: characterful stone contrasts against thoroughly modern ceramics from Armani/Roca with beautiful rose gold brassware accents. The sculptural tub is from Falpar.
The master bedroom closet/dressing area is fabulous and far larger than this photo shows. The design group had the space completed with back-lit glass panels and glass fronted doors on metal frames by Porro. Carefully planned lighting illuminates the functioning spaces. The stairs here actually provide access to the fire escape.
The guest bedroom is calm and luxurious, a tranquil and textural space embracing a subtle color palette. The walls are covered in silk moiré and the silk rug underfoot adds to the guest’s sensory appreciation of the luxurious yet understated values of the home’s owner. The guest en suite bathroom and dressing area repeats the elements used in the master bedroom creating a unified boutique hotel feel.
..and that, my friends.. concludes our design inspiration for today. I hope you all have enjoyed the contemporary design and understated luxury created within this Knightsbridge residence. To see another project completed by Staffan Tollgard Design Group, check out my post Contemporary Design in a Period Gem!!
Staffan Tollgard Design Group offers an award-winning architectural interior design service for an international clientele. The group works creatively and collaboratively to create bold, contemporary interiors that are eminently livable. The group has completed over 100 high-end residential projects, each an innovative, creative solution to a client’s brief, each different in scale and style, and have been published in a variety of magazines.
Interior Design: Staffan Tollgard Design Group
Architecture: PEEK Architecture and Design
Photography: Richard Gooding
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