Swedish interior architect Amelie von Celsing took a compact space and utilised every inch to turn it into a contemporary home for one young couple
A penthouse duplex in west London. It comprises an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, two bedrooms, a bathroom and an en suite on the first level. On the upper level, a family room opens out on to a terrace.
Originally from Sweden, Amelie naturally veers towards the Scandi look – but she insists her heritage doesn’t define her design ethos. Although she was approached to design the interior by the owners because they wanted that clean, monochrome style that is so typical of her roots, she knew there was a chance to be more daring.
On first sighting of the property, Amelie was confronted with dark, boxy rooms, which had not been touched in decades by the previous owners. She remembers wallpaper hanging from the walls, threadbare carpets and lots of brown. Amelie admits ‘there were puzzles to work out’ and the first thing she did was get rid of the walls dividing the kitchen and living room to open everything up.
After nine months of planning and renovations, Amelie finally arrived at the fun part – sitting down with the owners and working out the interiors mix.
In the kitchen, Amelie knew she wanted the space to have character, but it had to skilfully blend in as it sits alongside the dining and living areas.
The kitchen units are her own design. She’d seen similar kitchen units with a washed wood finish in a photo and wanted to try her own version. It wasn’t easy, she went through 15 samples before deciding on the right one. The finish is put together with layer after layer of different patinas and then rubbed down to create a textured appearance.
To avoid a ‘matchy-matchy’ look, she paired these units with a completely different style that has amazing hammered metal paint sprayed doors.
Smart budgeting was a high priority with this apartment, so Amelie had to decide where it was worth spending more and where she needed to be creative. She is full of ideas for bespoke accessories and knows how to utilise her connections. She often goes to the marble warehouse to buy slabs of stone and marble and turn them into tables, at half the price of some of the store versions.
A skilful fusion of contemporary design makes this space feel intimate and relaxing.
The owners wanted it to feel open, but still connected to the dining area and kitchen.
Adding the open staircase was a good way to link the two floors, but still extend the views of the rooms.
Amelie used marble-effect porcelain as it looks so indulgent, but it’s practical and hard wearing too.
Amelie wanted the bed to be the main feature in this compact space. A bespoke headboard with specially chosen fabric creates a distinct focal point.
Light floods into this space on the apartment’s upper level, which leads to the terrace.
During the summer months, the owners and their guests spill on to the terrace to take in the view of iconic Portobello Road below.