Design Project: A Masculine Penthouse Apartment In East London’s Atlas Building

Inspired by the New York-style character of the building it sits in, this Atlas Building penthouse apartment oozes mid-20s Manhattan glamour with Great Gatsby-inspired pieces and a deep, rich yet natural colour palette.

PROPERTY

A three-bedroom penthouse apartment inside East London’s Atlas Building. It has impressive London views from the wrap-around terrace, and interiors designed by design studio Angel O’Donnell.

ENTRANCE HALL

Taking inspiration from the building’s prominence on the London skyline, together with the client’s love of art deco, the designers at Angel O’Donnell sought to bring a sense of glamour to East London’s newest skyscraper whilst embracing the essence and character of the neighbourhood.

The duo felt the building had a New York-style character, so they took a lot of inspiration from the glamour and decadence of mid-20s Manhattan. This is reflected in their choice of Great Gatsby-influenced pieces and a deep, rich yet natural colour palette throughout.

‘We wanted to bring warmth and vibrance to the building, which is dominated by glass and metal. We’ve accentuated this with touches of brass, bronze and marble in subtle details like chair and table legs. We also felt it was important to add a contemporary twist to bring it up to date so we contrasted the art deco aesthetic with rougher, urban textures like steel and accessorising with pieces that are inspired by East London.’

Accessed by private lift, the doors open to a large entrance hall complemented by two large armchairs in deep blue velvet. A long-yet-spacious corridor runs the full length of the apartment, leading from the bedrooms and private study on one side to the large open-plan kitchen and living room on the other.

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LIVING AREA

The ultimate aim for Ed O’Donnell and Richard Angel, co-founders of Soho-based interior design business Angel O’Donnell, is to ensure that their projects ooze personality.

‘We try to introduce individuality into our interiors,’ says O’Donnell, who, with Angel, plumped for high-octane glamour when designing this penthouse in the new Atlas building in Shoreditch.

‘Clients are increasingly design-savvy, so we designers have to work harder to create appealing spaces. But a big part of that is not being afraid to stamp your personal style on them.’

Today, O’Donnell and Angel favour a maximalist yet relatively clean-lined look. They love layering contrasting textures, such as velvet and leather, with rich blues, greens and browns for walls and upholstery, counterbalanced by straight-lined geometric furniture and swathes of wall in neutral white.

The designers have experimented with texture, introducing a Christopher Farr rug that features a Terry Frost print, demonstrating how textiles can be transformed into art as well.

The living area has been ‘zoned’ into distinctly different areas, despite being an open-plan layout.

A large oak-panelled cabinet – which features a stunning fireplace – adds warmth to the space and acts to split the main part of the living room into two.

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One side offers a more relaxed family-style seating area with a large L-shaped sofa and dark brown leather recliner, while the other provides more sumptuous bar-style seating ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks in the evening.

Art and sculpture play a large role in the design, with pieces from British artists including Sandra Blow, Brenda Casey and Fenella Elm.

Angel O’Donnell have curated an eclectic mix of sculptural pieces from around the world, imagining that the resident will likely be a seasoned traveller and may well have pieces of their own that will complement the selection.

Key items have been sourced from Alfie’s Antiques, while a Giacometti-inspired ‘warrior’ in bronze sits in the bar area.

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DINING AREA

The dining area features a large wooden table complemented by a striking bronze base and is surrounded by blue velvet dining chairs. The modern lighting is by Ian K. Fowler.

Get the look: Dining chairs upholstered in blue velvet from HBF Textiles. Dining pendant is by Ian K. Fowler.

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KITCHEN

Next to the dining area is a large open-plan kitchen which draws inspiration from New York and Shoreditch.

A marble modern kitchen island provides breakfast bar seating with elegant velvet bar stools.

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MASTER BEDROOM

The master-bedroom is perhaps the most sumptuous space of all, with a large floor to ceiling art-deco inspired headboard taking centre stage.

The headboard features a series of leather arches in bold bronze tones, accented by gold trim and complemented by hanging pendant globe bedside lights from Lee Broom on either side.

Get the look: Pendant lights by Lee Broom

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GUEST BEDROOMS

The guest bedrooms are also textural, with statement headboards and eye-catching pendant lighting.

The design duo play with contrasting colours and textures; blue silks with mustard coloured wool in the bedroom above, while burgundy velvet punctuates the blue colour scheme in the bedroom below.

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STUDY

The private study is similarly rich in palette, featuring a brown leather recliner and a striking matt blue lacquer split-level table with Carrara marble base.

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The glamour of the spaces is contrasted by subtle reminders of the East London location.

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TERRACE

A wrap-around terrace offers stunning panoramic views over London.

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Angel O’Donnell also created a shuffleboard area, perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Photos by Taran Wilkhu

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