Design Project: Art-Filled London Penthouse

THE PROPERTY

An art-filled, 4,860 square foot contemporary penthouse in Floral Court on Floral Street in London’s Covent Garden, designed by Studio Ashby.

HALLWAY

For the design of this London apartment, Studio Ashby took inspiration from nearby Covent Garden, with colours inspired by the vibrant surrounding area and floral palettes from the Covent Garden flower market. Furniture and fabrics are influenced by local architecture, landmarks and abstract art that can be found in the local galleries.

The design team imagined the buyer of the apartment to be someone who is interested in the arts, a collector of beautiful things with a strong interest in travel, art and antiques. This was their starting point for this project.

The result is a space that is full of character and personality, with careful layering of objects, furniture, lighting, and – of course – art.

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The design studio use art as a starting point for each room they design, letting the artwork influence the colour palette and choice of materials.

RECEPTION ROOM

The furniture is an eclectic mix of modern antiques, bespoke one-off commissions and contemporary designs. The strong colours of the artwork, the terraces and the rich bespoke reception rug form the spine of the apartment’s character.

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The bespoke rug pictured above was derived from a succession of painterly, abstract brush strokes. Studio Ashby created a series of watercolours to develop the design working with the contours of the furniture which sits atop it, which were then translated into the bespoke rug. Three hand coiled sculptural vessels by Abigail Ozara Simpson, behind the curved sofa, add playful form.

Studio Ashby commissioned London based, mixed media artist, Christabel Forbes to create a bespoke piece to adorn one of the walls of the main reception room. The yellow painting ‘Lunch Break’ takes inspiration from local gardens and greenhouses, such as Petersham Nurseries and the Sky Gardens, depicting a garden scene in an urban setting.

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The yellow painting sits opposite a blue piece by John Bartlett, pictured above, called Inner Sanctum. Composed in Yves Klein blue, the piece ties in with the colourful palette of the reception room.

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For this apartment, Studio Ashby have curated a dynamic collection of artworks, from paintings and photography, to sculpture and ceramics. The space features a blend of emerging London based artists and graduates as well as pieces from more established galleries and dealers.

Studio Ashby also commissioned some special feature pieces. For this the artists were asked to immerse themselves in the local environment, taking reference from the neighbourhood and gardens within the urban setting.

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DINING SPACE

Referencing the location of the penthouse in Floral Court, Studio Ashby worked with Ruby Barber, the founder of Berlin based Flower Styling Consultancy ‘Mary Lennox’ to create a bespoke installation within the dining table. Dried flowers have been meticulously arranged beneath a glass surface, tying in with the overall green, rust, red and golden palette of the room. An artwork in itself and a talking point for any dinner party.

A blooming light canopy floats above the dried flowers. Studio Ashby commissioned lighting designers Cox London to develop a bespoke display of twisted metal flowers and foliage in autumnal colours.

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DINING ROOM COCKTAIL LOUNGE

At the far end of the dining room, a cocktail corner makes the most of the views from the full height windows.

Fringed seating invites guests for after-dinner cocktails.

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STUDY

Studio Ashby also created a smart home office space.

Aside from the display case, the room also displays the Lema Booken ‘bookcase’, offering a playful way to style books.

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In the study there’s also a small meeting space, filled with more sculptural shapes. Wine coloured velvet contrasts against the palette of blues and creams.

The space is another perfect example of designer Sophie Ashby’s signature eclectic, colourful and layered style, mixing the old with the new.

BEDROOMS

Each of the bedrooms has it’s own distinct look and palette. Pops of brass, orange and walnut wood add warmth to this cool, green room.

While in another room, a scalloped red velvet headboard stands out against a calmer palette.

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TERRACE

The terrace combines traditionalism and modernism, and was designed and created by Hay Joung Hwang.

Featuring lush evergreens, meaning that the space is green all year round, the plants have been arranged in such a way as to appear wild and spontaneous.

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Bespoke timber screening with climbing plants creates privacy for the bedroom terrace and roof terrace, whilst still maintaining striking views of the London skyline.

Photography by Phillip Durrant

Styling by Olivia Gregory

Architecture by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

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