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HAMPSTEAD HEATH APARTMENT

After spending several years travelling the globe to far flung and exotic destinations, this young married couple came back to their hometown, London, looking for a place to nest and finally settle down. They had very personal expectations about what they were looking for in terms of location, style and size and after much searching, finally settled on this 187 square metre apartment, overlooking Hampstead Heath. The property formed part of a gated, new build community comprising of just eleven apartments and included underground parking, a gym and swimming pool.

The clients were keen to have not only a home that they could grow into, but also one that would showcase their diverse collection of ethnic accessories and objets. This meant at least 3 bedrooms; one master, one guest and one for a future child (all en-suite), a large informal living space combining the dining area and the Living room, a Guest WC, family bathroom and a large outdoor terrace requiring low maintenance.

As this was a new build, there was no requirement to revise any of the layouts or update any of the services so this was purely an FF&E project. With that in mind, they called in one of London’s Top interior designers, René Dekker to help them transform their dream into reality.

The overall palette had to comprise of natural tones, using warm African shades as opposed to the neutral greys and taupes so favoured by the London set, in order to compliment and offset the dry grassy hues within the artworks. With this in mind, the Interior Designer set about putting unique schemes together for each room, carefully choosing textures and patterns that would complement but not overwhelm. The furniture had to be comfortable and relaxed without looking too informal and again had to include elements which complimented the overall focus of this family home.

The tone is immediately set as you enter the apartment as one is greeted by a collection of tall intricately carved African totems. In the centre of this assemblage sits a very distressed, antique vessel, expertly arranged with fresh orchids and vibrant green moss, at once exotic yet welcoming and familiar. To the left along the short wall leading to the rest of the apartment, there is a selection of round mirrors with hooks, hung at varying heights which act both as a sculptural artwork as well as a modern coat cupboard.

The Living room, being the largest of the rooms, required the most work in terms of the residential apartment design. Already making use of a dark, oiled timber floor, the interior decor has incorporated a wheat coloured, leather feature wall covering, as well as a full length almost ceiling height, ivory wall unit which was designed to display some of the accessories and art. The remaining walls have been painted in a light Savannah in contrast to the dark ebony skirtings. In front of the full height sliding doors and overlooking the large terrace is a contemporary, Italian style leather upholstered sofa with a contrast fabric seat cushion in zebra tones. Also within this ensemble are two African style chairs with ebony frames, upholstered in cognac suede as well as a sleek glass and chrome coffee table all sitting comfortably on a lichen shaded silky shag pile rug. Behind this and right next to the semi-open plan kitchen sits the dining area. The, clients were really keen to entertain and have family around, so went with an extendable glass dining table and eight fully upholstered chairs. These chairs have been given an ethnic chic look by using a contemporary indigenous patterned fabric in camouflage tones. A feature wall has been skilfully hung with a variety of African baskets complimenting the large round mirror and echoing the earlier mirror grouping. Finally the Interior Design is completed with the inclusion of a carefully curated mixture of artworks, family shots as well as some of the clients own photography and books.

In the master suite, the interior Decor makes use of a golden palette with the introduction of strong accents such as the bespoke Zebrano bedside tables and distressed leather trunks. Here the walls are hung in textured linen with the large, well dressed leather bed dominating the room. The bed is dressed in crisp cool white bedding, layered with an embossed, light sage coloured bedcover with a sand silk lining, presenting a friendly ambience. The floral curtains, although traditional in their pattern, bring a warmth and familiarity to the scheme and these are further highlighted by the artworks in the same shades. The second bedroom has been simply curated, using white ribbed wall covering and white dress curtains, complementing the white leather chair and the dressed bed, again in the crisp white linen. Here however, the Interior Designer has accented the scheme in cinnamon, giving the room a slightly colonial appeal. This was chosen to fall in with the Kuba Cloth artworks which have been framed using broad coffee stained frames.

In the third and last bedroom, the luxury Interior Designers have shifted the arrangement toward a more contemporary idiom. While the colour spectrum remains within the expected, the pattern and style is surprisingly fresh and modern. What is immediately noticeable when entering the room is the incredible wall covering, a dapple effect pattern, as if the sun is shining through the leaves of a majestic tree. This design is further enhanced by a voile curtain effect which has been printed over the dappling giving the room the feeling that one is inside a tent. As you enter, you are met with a bespoke mahogany coloured desk, crocodile embossed leather mirror, rattan style arm chair and leather upholstered ottoman ensemble. The window is beautifully framed in dark coffee coloured crushed silk. To the left we see again the crisply dressed bed with the bark coloured, embossed headboard and the contrasting chartreuse scatter cushions and the scheme is completed with the use of white ethnic shaped bedside lamps and linen shades.

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