This new project from the award winning London Interior Design team at René Dekker Design has been an exciting and fresh venture not only for our clients, but also for our studio. The clients approached us with a very clear vision for their riverside penthouse interior scheme and expressed from the very first meetings their passion for vibrant colours, traveling, the Seventies, music, theatre and art. The interior décor developed by our top designers left behind the greige tones so often central to contemporary developments and looked to make a big statement. Bright colours, unlikely juxtapositions, clashing prints and bespoke finishes were all brought into the mix to create a youthful and provocative scheme in line with our client’s lifestyle.
This riverside penthouse is in the heart of Nine Elms development, the central London neighbourhood whose revitalisation has been described by the Mayor of London as “possibly the most important regeneration story in London and in the UK over the next twenty years”. Its nine buildings are arranged around courtyards, providing private amenity space for residents and maximising the views over the city. Located directly across the river from Pimlico, in close proximity to the Battersea Power Station, the property also benefits from a distinctive architectural style. The brick masonry and use of glazing show clear references to the architectural style of New York’s Meatpacking district buildings of the 1930s.
The top floor penthouse features tall ceilings, walnut parquet flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, marbled bathrooms and a sleek, white lacquer kitchen design. Our clients looked at the penthouse and its distinctive characteristics and recognised that the scheme provided by the developers although aesthetically pleasing, lacked personality and that “je ne sais quoi” characteristic that would turn it into their London home. They approached various top London interior designers with the assignment of adding new and exciting layers to the interior scheme. The clients seized on our studio’s creativity and unique approach to design and decided the team at René Dekker Design would be able to successfully provide the service they were looking for.
During the first stages of the design process our studio worked alongside the developer’s team to create and install a lighting scheme, which added extra dimension to the space. Decorative pendants, joinery lighting and extra directional lights were added to the existing lighting design to create a more dynamic environment, adaptable to the time of day, mood and activities that would take place in this stunning riverside penthouse. René Dekker and his team worked closely with the client throughout the design development and this close collaboration manifested itself in an exciting, worldly, well-cultivated aesthetic that fully reflects our client’s personality and our studio’s design approach.
The first space we looked at during our design process was the living room, which plays an important part in the every day family life dynamic. We created a scheme that is not only beautiful and elegant, but also comfortable. The large Baxter sofa, the bespoke high and low occasional tables and lounge armchair contribute to the inviting, happy and multi-layered design scheme we envisioned. The seating area was completed with the addition of the two blue Mongolian hair armchairs, which brought textured depth and a playful element to the space. A key challenge for the living room area was creating a concept and original design for a joinery unit that would address our client’s practical requirements, but also bring in the elegance of high-end interiors our studio is known for. Using as inspiration the architecture and design from the 1930s and 1970s, our team designed a joinery unit that is minimalist in its use of shapes and proportions, but also extremely seductive in its use of materials. Textured wall-coverings, bespoke artistic finishes developed with the incredibly talented team at DKT artworks, copper elements, and the warm grey toned oak frame create a brilliant setting for our client’s Slim Aarons art print and compliment the seating arrangement design. The layered cushions with abstract floral prints, the dark navy shades and the fuchsia and chartreuse accents used on the soft furnishings and furniture elements make the space feel remarkably fresh. The pendant lights featuring solid cast bronze buds, each housing glass drops illuminated by LED, together with the joinery LED lighting enhance our mix of silhouettes, materials, colours and patterns.
Moving from the living room into the dining area and entertainment space, our design team chose a sleek dining table with a marble top in Bardiglio Grey and a satin metal finish frame. This modernist table is complemented by eight unique dining chairs in various finishes, colour and shapes, which added the cool and graphic edge that our client was looking for. The final touch to this area was adding the solid cast bronze and glass drops chandelier, which brought and element of cohesion and an elegant ease to the scheme.
Our client wanted to create in the immediate proximity of the kitchen and dining areas, an informal space where the family could gather to relax and play board games, while enjoying the stunning riverside views. Our studio came up with a playful furniture scheme, which includes four bespoke low back, comfortable armchairs and a chic low table with classic silhouette, but a bold and vibrant chartreuse leather top. For the design of the armchairs our top interior décor team played with a blue colour palette, introducing a mix of prints in various shades and scales, which work incredibly well with the room’s striking backdrop.
When discussing the look and feel of the three bedrooms, our client emphasised the importance of comfort, as well as style. The largest bedroom feels feminine, soft and very personal. The scheme doesn’t shy away from vibrant colours and prints, but it is also calm and inviting. The textured glass Rothschild & Bickers pendant lights frame a bespoke headboard featuring a print designed by the impressionist painter Jessica Zoob. The fabric scheme incorporates colourful prints and saturated colours and complements the furniture choices. The client chose classical furniture silhouettes with an old glamour feel, which added an elegant simplicity to the space.
The interior design scheme for the second bedroom feels cool and masculine, evoking a very different personality to the first bedroom. The bronze leather-look wall covering brings that urban serenity feel to the room, while the bold Timorous Beasties print and deep blue tactile velvet curtains make the bedroom space feel very current and fashionable. The classic leather trunk used as a bedside table balances the urban feel of the fabrics and contributes to this complex yet friendly interior.
For the interior design scheme of the master bedroom our studio wanted to create a space that felt entirely personal to our clients. Once inside this space, it’s hard to decide where to look first. From the hot pink bespoke neon sign quoting the famous French line “La vie est belle”, to the bespoke bedside tables and choice of soft furnishings, the space manifests itself as a carefully considered mishmash of personal finds and global influences. The bedroom feels classically glamorous and decadent through the use of tactile velvets and glinting metallic accents, but also urban and chic. This carefully considered, less-constrained approach to design, when saturated colours and contemporary prints are combined with more classical pieces create unique, imaginative, yet practical spaces, which is the ultimate goal for us as interior designers.
Finally, the interior scheme wouldn’t have been complete without our client’s extensive art collection. Hallways are often disregarded areas during the design process, but our studio looked at this circulation space as a perfect opportunity to display our client’s art. A large-scale art print by Slim Aaron, an American photographer who became famous for "photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places", is located by the entrance door. Moving towards the bedroom area one is presented with an entire wall decorated with black-framed Playboy magazine covers from the Seventies, bringing humour and the sense of that decade into the space. The art display ends with a black and white photograph by the French photographer Jean-Philippe Piter, well known for his fine art nudes.
This high-end interior design scheme created by René Dekker and his team successfully responded to the client’s brief and pushed it beyond the initial requirements. By playing with elements from different decades and not sticking to a singular décor aesthetic, we created an eclectic, urban and very chic environment that feels incredibly comfortable and friendly.