New Elegance #12

Luxe finishes, dramatic decorating ideas and striking artwork set the tone for this surreal yet surprisingly grounded apartment

Get the look: The coffee table and white chairs are by French sculptor Jean-François Buisson. The decorative wall mouldings, cornices and mirrored ceiling light were created in fibrous plaster by Fullbrooks of England. For similar radiators, try Castrads.


Two floors of a Victorian terrace house in south London. The ground floor has an open-plan living/dining/office area, plus a kitchen and cloakroom. The main suite and studio/guest suite are on the first floor.


Behind the ever-so-polite façade of a typical Victorian terrace house lives a home that both delights and contradicts. At once bohemian and baroque, classic and contemporary, it defies definition.

An obsession with Dulux’s Blue Poppy shade was the starting point for the entire house. The swathes of blue envelope you, like that blissful feeling of being submerged in water.

Get the look: The painting, left, is called The End of Summer by Georges Bassil. The print is by Alvin Booth from Hamiltons Gallery. The small bronze sculptures – one a portrait of Danielle – are by Nigerian artist Olu Amoda, whose work is available at Art Twenty One gallery in Lagos.

If the aquamarine expanses conjure up the joy of swimming in breakers, the white twists and turns of the mouldings that frame all doorways and ceilings are their frothy crowns. But the tour de force is undoubtedly the enormous staircase, whose rippling balustrade is a veritable wavescape in plaster. Like cascading water, a blue silk runner flows down the steps, denying the utilitarian purpose of the showpiece that consumes a good 20sq feet of internal space.

A trio of deep-buttoned sofas are all clad in velvet of the deepest aquamarine. Like giant amorphous sea creatures that have happily taken up residence in an elaborate conch shell, they fit to the space with a natural ease.

The original grey shades of these Forties wall lights were replaced with these poppy red drums as a contrast to the pervading blue.

Get the look: The plaster wall lights are antiques salvaged from a French bank and purchased in Beirut. The deep-buttoned sofa is bespoke, upholstered in Kentia velvet in 02 Aquamarine by Wemyss. The Serge Roche-inspired female figurine on the living room arch was designed bespoke together with Fullbrooks of England.


The home’s interior is all soft edges and sinuous curves thanks to the liberal application of plaster.


The enormous polished-plaster dining/work table is the most used piece of furniture in the house. It weighs over a tonne, but can be moved with ease as it’s fitted with aviation casters. The dentist’s chair by the window was sourced from an antiques dealer in Wiltshire.

Get the look:  The multipurpose table was designed bespoke and enlisted the help of Ciprian Zama, of Atelier Zama, for its creation. The pincushion boudoir chair is upholstered in a deep-dyed black silk dupion by Designers Guild. The large photographs were taken by the home owner in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico and converted into 2.8m lenticular prints by Jake Purches of Base 2 Studio. The Seventies American chinoiserie chests are from Paul Smith’s Mayfair furniture shop.


Simple Ikea carcasses were dressed up with marble worktops and bespoke brass handles. Amazingly, the entire kitchen budget came to under £5,000.

Get the look: For an alternative to this Azul Bahia granite from Brazil, try MKW Surfaces. The door handles are by The Beardmore Collection.

The home owner designed the leek and carrot (below) wall lights as a tribute to her favourite vegetables.


Sand was added to the plaster to give the impressive Gaudí-esque staircase a textured feel.

Get the look: The blue silk stair runner is by Colbourns.


A patinated foxed mirror beneath the staircase displays a beautiful reflection of the prints opposite it.

Get the look: The sketch is a portrait of Danielle by French fashion designer Stéphane Rolland. To create a similar wall, try Rough Old Glass.


The made-to-measure sofa bed was inspired by John Galliano’s love of the bias cut. The diagonal lines elongate its perfectly square two-metre dimensions.

Get the look: The velvet fabric for the sofa bed upholstery and curtains is by JAB Anstoetz.


Panelled walls open to reveal hidden storage and screen doors glide seamlessly into wall recesses to separate this sanctuary. Emerald painted skirting boards and matching blinds are the only concession to the overriding azure hue.

The entire wall behind the bed is actually a run of concealed cupboards with white mouldings.

Get the look: The floral fabric used for the bedcover is by Josef Frank, available at Svenskt Tenn.


The two en-suite bathrooms are covered in modest floor-to-ceiling metro tiles. Simple cupboard fronts were pimped up with bespoke handles and instead of making expensive covers for the radiators, they were embossed, so that they now function as sculptural pieces in their own right.

Get the look: For wall and floor tiles like these, try Tile Magic.


The muralist was tasked with creating a French jungle – wild but refined.

Get the look: The mural was painted by Romanian artist Beto Raba.

Available as a location through Contact Danielle at 

Photography ⁄ Rei Moon

More Modern Houses