A Stone And Sea Inspired Rough-Luxe London Penthouse

by Becky Hoh in Interior designed homes

Hartmann Designs’ London penthouse project, inspired by colours and textures drawn from shells, stones, sea washed glass and pieces of driftwood found on the beach.

The apartment, located on the South Bank, situated on the 12th floor with views over the river Thames, the Shard and Canary Wharf, is actually a little like a sea shell in itself; warm, worn, sandy and striated bone colours, underpinned by a central spiralling staircase running through it like a spine.

‘I always wanted this home to have a cool loft style appeal, rough-luxe,’ says Hartmann Designs managing director Roland Hartmann, ‘and this has been achieved by the design of the spaces, the selection of finishes, furnishings and fixtures, strongly influenced by the aesthetic of the seashore.’

‘Even though this is a small penthouse it feels big as it has a large personality and has real cool factor!’ 

Hartmann took on the two bedroom, two levelled project with a client with whom they have a long standing relationship, which meant that actually the client’s involvement was very minimal, as there was a good deal of trust and confidence in the design teams understanding of the required result. Almost all of the decisions were made and cleared in the initial conceptual stages, alongside the client’s wishes. From them on Hartmann and his team stayed on target creatively and financially and for the most part independently.

This is a relatively small two bedroom penthouse with the bedrooms and en-suites on the entrance level/upper level and the open plan living, kitchen and dining area on the lower level.

The flooring at the entrance and throughout the apartment is a walnut from Silvan Flooring, which leads you to the striking circular coffer (decorative sunken panel) in the ceiling at the top of the spiral staircase, with a wall mounted circular light by Le Deun Luminaires. The staircase itself is bespoke design, built with a glass balustrade, without a handrail and steel and glass treads, manufactured by Custom Made.

In the living space on the lower floor, the lounge has a bespoke sofa in a deep tan leather and the chairs are from Giulio Marelli. Interesting and vibrant fabrics supplied by Jab Anstoetz also play a large part in bringing the palette of the space to life, adding a feeling of depth and layering to the home. There are pleasantly unexpected choices and motifs, almost tribal and ethnic prints in some places, including the Bee design Timorous Beasties mustard yellow cushions.

‘It was my intention when designing the lower level that everything should be available and on hand,’ says Hartmann, of his plan to make this area as relaxing and functional as possible, ‘so it includes the kitchen, cloak room, separate utility room, dining area, comfortable living area and a study to work. It was equally important that all of the utilitarian areas do not look like working spaces. Therefore the study area is behind sliding doors, the kitchen equipment and the utility and cloakroom are also concealed.’

The kitchen has an island counter in a unique marble Capolavoro Brown with a flush mounted hob and telescopic extractor. The timber panelling on the back wall is a man made veneer with horizontal detailing and metallic mosaic was used in the wet areas of the kitchen.

The dining area has a table from Cassina and dining chairs are from one of Hartmann’s favourite designers, Benjamin Hubert by De La Espada.

Hartmann also explains that a considerable amount of time was invested in selecting the art in the project, including works from the Stafford Gallery and the striking piece above the sofa from Drew Whitmore of Drillworks, made with thousands of backlit drilled holes.

Inside the concealed study, the entire desk area is bespoke with a leather back wall and functional drawers, by Howard Brothers Joinery. The chair is from Nest and the lamp is vintage. Sourcing vintage elements for the project is also something the team spent a lot of time on, to achieve an eclectic mix of old and modern to complement the rough luxe edge.

Moving upstairs, sandy tones take over in the first bedroom with a white leather bed, from Bontempi Italy and vintage makes an appearance again with the bedside tables, complemented with lamps from Rocket St George. The dressing table and stool are custom designed and the use of a textured wall covering from Sekers creates warmth and an element of luxury in these more private areas of the apartment.

This luxurious feel is taken up a gear in the bronze hued en-suite. Rust finished tiles from Capitol Tiles clad the walls, providing a dramatic backdrop for the copper and nickel free standing bath. The vanity unit and mirror are both custom designs and an opening skylight has been included to allow natural light and fresh air when required.

The second bedroom has a slightly darker palette than the first with a black leather bed, also from Bontempi and a moody landscape painting by Mauricio Rozo. However the en-suite lifts the tone again, with an almost Japanese minimal, natural spa feel with neutral wall tiles, plenty of natural wood finishes and a large walk in waterfall shower. All of the sanitary ware in the project is from C.P. Hart. The colourful and intricate artwork in the bathroom is from Andy Harding, an artist Hartmann particularly wanted to champion who has been homeless for four years.

‘I am very pleased with this project,’ says Hartmann. ‘Even though this is a small penthouse it feels big as it has a large personality and has real cool factor!’

We certainly agree, this is definitely a great example of using non-obvious, characterful layering and use of colours and pattern alongside what is basically a neutral colour palette. A clever point of reference, the seashore, helped to set the tone but allowed for a wonderfully warm, lived in feel given to it by more interesting and weathered textures.

Hartmann Designs – www.hartmanndesigns.com

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