Riverside Penthouse

Spacious, light filled and oozing personality, this riverside penthouse is the perfect blend of Retro elements with current interior design elements. 

Here, the large print by photographer Slim Aarons acts not only as a focal point, but also as inspiration for the room’s interior design. The feel of the picture, one of relaxed glamour, sets the scene for the mood, while the saturated colours of 1960s and 1970s life are the inspiration for the scheme’s colour palette. 

The majority of the colours chosen are warm browns and greys as seen in some of the furnishings and particularly the joinery. The glow from the recessed lighting in each alcove of the shelving gives the unit a beautiful feeling of warmth, but also acts as a practical way of displaying books and personal items.

Some of the units are covered by panels in deep grey fabric, which are not only a fabulous way of hiding away less attractive items they also have another function: by being the same hue as the soft furnishings, they help coordinate the palette of the overall scheme and also add a bit of visual relief. 

To illuminate the room, ceiling downlighters have been incorporated to enhance the overall feeling of uncluttered space. Then, to add a unique touch, contemporary decorative pendant drop lighting hangs delicately in front of the window. This arrangement features a collection of slim wires ending in solid brass buds each holding glass droplets, and for continuity, is cleverly repeated in the dining room. As well as providing a lovely feature in its own right, this feature also offers directional light exactly where it’s needed, next to the sofa.  

This corner unit, with sumptuously wide cushions and a low back, adds an extra element of comfort and luxury. Meanwhile the rest of the furnishings boast Retro design with curved edges and simple supports, allowing a maximum sense of air and space. The surfaces of the occasional tables are rounded to complement the curves of the swivel chair and its accompanying stool.

To enhance the feeling of space further, none of the furnishings line the walls of the room; they sit just away in a comfortable gathering, which is perfect for guests. This space also allows the furnishings to breathe as well provides easy access to other areas of the room, for a more convivial and sociable mood. 

Coordinating with the rest of the colours from the main focal point, the rest of the scheme is punctuated with touches of plum, turquoise and aqua.  These can be seen in the abstract floral prints of the scatter cushions, the swivel chair and accessories, while elsewhere there are smatterings of shine through the use of reflective surfaces, such as the studs along the trim on the footstool. 

Similarly, the golden pineapples not only echo the glow of the lights in the recesses, they add a touch of glamour and precious metal sheen to the feel of the room. But nowhere is metal used more effectively than in the back recesses of the shelving unit and the shelving supports, where copper exudes a sense of warmth and luxury.  

Finally, floor to ceiling sheer curtains allow maximum natural light as well as privacy. These also add an element of softness to the scheme, neutralising the hard structures of the joinery. But they also evoke a sense of warm, languid times as captured in the photograph – of curtains in a pool house, moving gently in a warm breeze.
This spacious apartment sitting room is the perfect venue for such a stunning multi-layered 1930s and 1970s design. Fabric prints and colours that would ordinarily clash cleverly coordinate because they are all under the umbrella of a glamorous Retro look, but more importantly, because they are in the hands of a top luxury interior designer.