Hartmann Designs, London Duplex Penthouse

by Becky Hoh in Interior designed homes

The first thing you notice when viewing Hartmann Design’s luxurious scheme for this London duplex penthouse on the South Bank, is the way light moves through the space.

Marble, chrome, natural timber glass and mirror are the dominant materials and deflect light along in every room and an inspiring lighting scheme with John Cullen inserts strong lines of illumination into the ceiling which zip along over head.

The two bedroom, 15 month project was undertaken by Hartmann Designs (HD Ltd) for a property development company who, to be perfectly frank, had the simple and sole intention of a making a profit on the sale at completion. HD Ltd was brought in to put together a scheme that would be to an extremely high finish, please many, but keep a healthy dose of character and consideration. This being one of the most common but also most tricky asks that falls on an interior designers desk; how to create a speculative interior that appeals to a wide range of discerning, unknown customers, but also with that extra x factor that keeps it unique and eye catching.

‘I approached the Stafford Gallery, Print Shop London, a Columbian artist Mauricio Rozo and Andy Harding an incredible local artist who have kindly have loaned us their pieces for a period of three months while prospective buyers view the property.’

Managing director Roland Hartmann had a good idea of how to achieve what the client was after.

‘It was very much my intention that the entire apartment was to have a sophisticated and luxurious Scandinavian feel with the use of wood flooring throughout, contemporary but comfortable furniture and lots of natural light. The choice of furnishings, fabrics and accessories were all selected to keep the colour ways neutral but definitely not beige, so as not be too imposing but to maintain the individuality the client still wanted for the apartment.’

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But HD Ltd knew they needed to nail the concept at the presentation stages as this was a client with such a direct goal and very little time to oversee the project. So, as with all its projects HD Ltd spent a considerable time on the presentation phase preparing colour mood boards showing all FF&E, architectural finishes as well as CGI colour renderings. They even went so far as to get valuations with five different agents to ensure the value of the property would increase to the figures they were all hoping for. After presenting the scheme to the Client and receiving comments they made the necessary adjustments to allow them to begin.

To create the high standard of design and detailing the team chose to create the majority of the interior on a bespoke basis. ‘Simply all the fitted joinery is bespoke, designed and detailed to compliment the style and design of the apartment’ as well as consoles, night stands and dressing tables’, says Hartmann.

In this case the joinery is from Howard Brothers Joinery and other furniture pieces have been sourced from both local and Italian manufacturers.

To add the knock out factor the client wanted for prospective buyers as they enter the space, a spectacular staircase constructed in chrome and glass is the first feature you see. This is further reflected in a striking mirror wall.

‘There is a central core to the apartment which is both on the lower and upper level and I decided to clad this entirely in mirror, which is broken up into different panel sizes,’ describes Hartmann of this element of the scheme. ‘I was concerned initially that this might be quite overwhelming for the apartment but in actual fact it is what makes the apartment so unique. All of the lower level areas are reflected in this divided up mirror creating interest at every angle within the open plan space. In the stairwell the chrome and glass staircase’s reflection in the mirror is almost a piece of art.’

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Next there is a small cloakroom clad in beautiful glass mosaic. The living/kitchen/dining area is open plan and there is a wrap around terrace from which to enjoy far reaching views over London. On the upper floor there is a spacious landing which leads on to the two en-suite bedrooms. Both bedrooms and bathrooms have full height windows again maximizing light and the outstanding views. The marble and stone has been supplied and installed by London Marble, the porcelain tiles are from Capitol Tiles and all sanitary ware and brass ware are from CP Hart.

The control of the amazing lighting scheme is by a Lutron system which was designed and installed by Livewire.

The contemporary art work really sets the tone for the space, each room has a piece which both emphasises and coordinates with the key colours of that area of the apartment. Something which Hartmann felt to be essential.

‘A lot of time was invested in sourcing the art,’ he explains, ‘It was vitally important for me to source works which were to a high standard. I approached the Stafford Gallery, Print Shop London, a Columbian artist Mauricio Rozo and Andy Harding an incredible local artist who have kindly have loaned us their pieces for a period of three months while prospective buyers view the property.’

Of course behind the scenes of this exclusive penthouse, there is the close eye being kept on budget, especially with the definite end point of generating as large a profit as possible. To this end HD Ltd have saved where they can with little tricks like using porcelain tiles as well as marble or granite. And stress that it is also important to ‘shop around and negotiate with your suppliers and inevitably you will find the right product at the right price.’

Hartmann quite rightly describes his ‘pride’ when entering the completed apartment. It is a bright, light and luxurious space which has plenty of panache added by clever design elements that have been mindful of the budget throughout. Hartmann and the client called the same agents back to give a new valuation and each and every one gave a considerably higher value than first given. Job done and a job done well.

Hartmann Designs – www.hartmanndesigns.com

John Cullen – www.johncullenlighting.co.uk

Howard Brothers Joinery – www.howard-bros-joinery.com

London Marble – www.londonmarble.com

Capitol Tiles – www.capitol-tiles.com

C.P. Hart – www.cphart.co.uk

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