This central London penthouse apartment honours its modernist origins

Explore the styling decisions that make this London apartment a modernist masterpiece

Grafton Way
(Image credit: The Modern House)

This apartment in central London's Grafton Way is a testament to approaching refurbishments sensitively. Perched on the rooftop of a hulking, impressive 1970s building, it has been meticulously decorated by its current owner in a way that celebrates its twentieth-century history. 

Not all modern homes are neat standalone houses – some are part of sprawling concrete creations like the spectacular eight-storey building in Grafton Way, designed by modernist architect Richard Seifert in 1976. Rather than fighting this 1970s identity, the apartment embraces and enhances it. 

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

Nikolaus Pevsner described the Grafton Way building as 'an austere granite and mosaic-faced complex', but inside, its softer, sunnier potential is revealed. The slanting windows allow the apartment to be bathed in natural light, and the intense yellow accents throughout the open-plan main space amplify this bright-lit effect. 

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

We like the restraint with which yellow is used here, while the warm-toned wooden flooring reflects light in a grounding, reassuring way. The space alongside the long living and dining area has been cleverly partitioned to create discreet areas for working and relaxing. Plenty of privacy despite the open layout. 

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

The apartment also is a treasure trove of Mid-century modern ideas – from iconic teak sideboards to authentic modernist lighting choices, every decorating detail has been thought through. Even the wall art and decorative ceramics dotted throughout the space blend in impeccably with the era-appropriate decor.

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

Painted wall ideas in the apartment favour strong, deep-coloured accent walls in shades of blue. Blue is a particularly smart choice as it is both timeless and contemporary, and plays very well with all the yellows and oranges. 

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

In a sense, however, this apartment's most spectacular space is the roof terrace. Offering breathtaking views of central London, including University College London and the BT Tower, the terrace also has been given a romantic touch with climbing jasmine trained alongside the main window gallery. 

This is a space that's both intimate and open to the city below it. As far as roof garden ideas go, it's the perfect balance of the natural and the man-made. 

Grafton Way

(Image credit: The Modern House)

The Grafton Way penthouse is on sale for £1,275,000 by The Modern House. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future home titles; she has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s; she has written about literature, architecture, and photography, and has a special interest in high-end interior design.