A Stylish Apartment Near Selfridges

by theartofbespoke in Interior designed homes

Who said pied-a-terres had to be small? This vast, luxury apartment has a prime spot, right in the middle of town.

Forget the big house in the suburbs – what would you say to a 4,000 square-foot apartment just a hop from Selfridges? As pied-a-terres go, Orchard Court is possibly one of the most fabulous. As well as boasting acres of space, this chic apartment, in a portered Art Deco building, enjoys one-of-a-kind views over Portman Square Gardens.

The owners are a Kazakh family with homes in Paris, Dubai and Moscow (among others). But this is their first London home and they were keen for it to have a sense of place. ‘It had to feel of its location,’ says Deborah Bass, owner of Base Interior, who oversaw the refurbishment.

In any case, the biggest problem wasn’t the original décor – although it was dilapidated – but the ‘very unusual, maze-y’ floorplan. Although all on one level, this was a flat you could get lost in. As such, Bass set about creating one large, central hallway, which other rooms could then stem from.

‘Deco style means geometric patterning; lots of metal – bronze, polished stainless steel; bevelling on mirrors – that kind of thing. It was quite a glamorous era.’

When it came to deciding on colours and fabrics, she started by showing the family strong concept images and seeing which ones they responded to. Second-guessing what people will like is, after all, a key part of her job. ‘You’ve got to be able to read your client,’ she says.

The family’s tastes erred towards the traditional and so Bass drew inspiration from the building, opting for a Deco-inspired theme. ‘Deco style means geometric patterning; lots of metal – bronze, polished stainless steel; bevelling on mirrors – that kind of thing. It was quite a glamorous era,’ she says. And with its luxe fabrics, marble bathrooms and bespoke furnishings, the apartment certainly captures that essence.

When it came to furnishing the property, rather than looking to Italy or Paris, Bass kept her sights closer to home. ‘We tried to bring in as many local artisans and craftsmen as we could to enhance the UK feel of it,’ says Bass. So there’s rugs from The Rug Company, while furniture was sourced at Ochre in Clerkenwell. Based Upon – a Deptford-based team of artists and sculptors – created bespoke artwork. It may sound grand, but the apartment does a good job of feeling comfortable and homely. It’s very much a family house, rather than a gallery. Perhaps for exactly this reason, Base Interior’s work on the flat has been short-listed for two awards.

Though this was a fairly straightforward project, there were challenges nonetheless. These largely came from the restrictions of the building. It’s a 1920s property with a history – MI5 used it as a base during the Second World War – and not the type of place where you can go around moving the bathrooms at will. So getting the floorplan just right was tricky.

Bass did it, though, and now this is a four-bed, four-bath home with two maid’s bedrooms and a staff bathroom. Not only that, but it’s a long way from the suburbs.

Base Interior – www.baseinterior.com

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