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Bankside Brilliance

Date published: May 05 2018


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The clients wanted their bankside penthouse apartment to incorporate a bold red colour, to convey their passion for the wild tiger and to have the odd surprise that would entertain their guests, and i

Designers Hill House Interiors set themselves a challenge when designing a 22nd floor Neo Bankside penthouse apartment. Given an empty space, the challenge came from outside, with the stunning views enjoyed from the four bedroom duplex home demanding an equally exceptional design scheme. Hill House took a lengthy brief to create worthy interiors.

The clients, a professional couple with global business interests, stressed how much they loved strong colours - especially red - and were also keen to convey their passion for the exotic wild tiger and the odd surprise.

Stepping into the entrance hall, an eclectic mood meets visitors. Full height mirrors reflect padded scarlet leather panels opposite. Porcelain hands peep out, which as well as creating a surprise have a practical use. The entire area is sparklingly lit by a dozen suspended Swarovski crystal pendant lights. Hill House Interiors co-founder Helen Bygraves says the inspiration came from an article. ‘The clients saw something similar in an interiors magazine and loved it, so we set about creating a version suited to the hall’s proportions. The hands are actually coat pegs!’

Further drama awaits in the vast open plan double height living room. Stretching across two walls are hand carved metal panels featuring a vibrant jungle scene, complete with the prowling tigers the clients adore. Soaring to the ceiling, a framed and lit bronze artwork creates the ultimate show-stopping backdrop to the living space below.

Such a huge room required a sizeable divider. Hill House designed an ebony lacquered full height cabinet to separate the space into two different zones. One side houses a Planicka gel fireplace and built-in widescreen TV. To fully appreciate the screen and flickering flames, viewers can relax on a tailored L-shaped ivory sofa, bordering a boldlycoloured splash-patterned rug.

On the other side are the essential entertainment features for luxury living. A cocktail bar has a sleek, cosmic black counter topping off a back lit dragonstone panel and from here the view of London is most impressive. But should guests tire of it, above the bar is a second widescreen TV, bordered by alcove shelving with spotlights. A temperature controlled humidor for the equally important Havanas, as well as wine chillers, are deftly hidden from view beneath.

Facing the bar under the soaring glass pitched roof sits a red lacquered baby grand piano, hand finished by the respected, family owned company Edelweiss. An adjacent space for lounging with an alabaster, low seated curved edge sofa and deep-buttoned cylindrical armchairs sit atop another astonishing rug, surrounded by handsome oak wood flooring.

Dining is also key for the clients, and they needed a space to show off. There is a super-sized one-off table crafted from recycled sugar wood, its open fissures inlaid with contemporary pewter toned resin with transparent glass inlay. The tableau is completed by a unique Sharon Marsden contemporary coral and silver chandelier. Jenny Weiss, another Hill House co-founder, explains the piece. ‘It was custom made, with each strand measured to line up with the ascending height of the overhead glass ceiling.’

Leading out through wide glass doors from either side are two substantial triangular roof terraces, lined with opaque white planters. These light up at dusk, illuminating the built-in barbeque and Italian white lacquered penthouse furniture.

But that stunning view of the capital remains key, and the work Hill House Interiors have carried out has managed to celebrate, but never outshine that. Perhaps more impressively, they have succeeded in capturing something of the exotic spirit of the clients too.

Photographer: Thierry Cardineau

Designer: Helen Bygraves

Author: Jake Kennedy

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