It’s not just its location that makes this home special – the dazzling array of luxe finishes gives the place an ultra-glam look.
An extended six-storey Georgian terrace in Portobello Road in west London. The lower-ground floor has a kitchen, dining area, family room, WC and guest bedroom suite, with a cinema/playroom in the basement. The ground floor has a living room and TV room plus an anteroom that leads to a courtyard garden. On the first floor is the master suite and a study. The kids’ bedrooms and a utility room are on the second floor and a further bedroom, bathroom and WC are above.
A 19th-century advertisement on a now listed wall provides a historic backdrop for the sheltered raised terrace (pictured above). The challenge was to create a calm environment that doesn’t impinge on the presence of the wall. Simple, shady plants are kept to a minimum, so there’s space for all to roam and a glazed area allows light to flood the family room below.
Faux panelling with a contemporary finish and rich oak flooring lead to the courtyard garden, where a glass skylight looks down into the family room.
Silk, gold leaf, copper and oak form the warm base notes of this rich scheme. Layers of similar textures were then added.
This home positively glows with raw silk, gold leaf, plush velvet, copper, iridescent lighting, layers of teal and rich oak. But it’s done in the best possible taste – an exercise in elegance and burnished beauty – with not a hint of bling in sight.
Eleanora Cunietti of Carden Cunietti helped track down design gems and was behind creating the layered, eclectic look, while further finishing touches came from Hayley Newstead at Absolute Flowers & Home.
As a result, the living room is a jewel of a space, mellow, with the gleam of gold, copper and crystal set against intense teal. A hand-painted Fromental wall covering combines gold and teal while period pieces add glamour elsewhere.
This gilt-edged and richly layered home draws together artwork, lights and designs of understated elegance to weave a compelling story.
It’s fitting that the house overlooks Portobello Road, that mecca for seekers of the rare and esoteric. The roof terrace is a perfect spot for people watching, as shoppers wend their way to and from the market, while a glazed ceiling over the staircase to the family room provides a huge window on to the world. Every time you go downstairs, you get a snapshot of west London street life – a constant flux of interesting people and fashion, 365 days a year.
An open-plan kitchen-diner flowing into a family room now forms the hub of the house. Light floods down in a row of windows and glazed portions of ceiling. The fluid Shine light, formed of layers of slender steel chain, makes a statement above the dining table. With its diaphanous curtains of steel chains, it sort of casts a kind of spell over anyone who’s a sucker for tassels and fringing.
Two vast, atmospheric photographs by Marine Hugonnier add to the expansive feel. And, of course, they hold a hidden story. The seascapes (called Wednesday S and Thursday S) depict the point where 16th-century Portuguese navigators first spotted the Brazilian mainland at dusk (focusing on a tall, rounded mountain now named Monte Pascoal).
The original balustrade retains the home’s period character, but the mosaic tiles are a glam update. They redraw a classic black and white pattern, but with a gorgeously modern iridescence. The slim console table was sourced from Buenos Aires. It’s perfectly crafted and just the right fit for this space.
The sofa was picked for its sensible, washable cover – essential for busy family life with pets. The staircase has an entirely glazed sloping roof above it, letting light flood down to this basement space used for hanging out.
In the bedroom, a leather headboard has a subtle, floral cutout design that’s a great choice for this room as it doesn’t detract from the impact of the walls, but still adds detail.
Opposite, wardrobes are covered in the same shade for a cohesive look.
Tiny mother-of-pearl detailing on the drawer fronts and the oval Agape bath soften the masculine, bitter chocolate coloured Italian marble.
The scheme picks up on all things solar and lunar, but without being too obviously themed.
Contact Carden Cunietti at carden-cunietti.com. Learn more about Absolute Flowers & Home at absoluteflowersandhome.com.
Photography / Richard Powers