Mayfair | London W1

The Grade II listed seven storey townhouse has historic importance as part of London’s heritage. It was originally built in the 1730s as part of the early expansion of Mayfair. Oscar Wilde drew inspiration from this area of London, townhouses in Mayfair are mentioned in The Importance of Being Ernest.

The original properties lining this residential street leading down towards Piccadilly were comparatively modest tall, narrow, terraced houses of the Georgian period, with sash windows. The house has a slate roof, a cast iron balcony and original 18th century wrought iron railings. The brown brick building was given a new Italianate style façade in the c1850s, a white stucco front with exterior cornicing above the second floor. The house was internally remodelled in Regency style in the c1820s for use as a private hotel in the 19th century.

Purple Design were personally recommended to the client by the architects, Peter Taylor Architects, to design the interiors. Purple Design worked alongside the architects and the project managers, Arcadis, for the duration of the two-and-a-half-year project.

The architects undertook works at the lower ground floor level to resolve vibration and radiated noise from the underground. Architectural alterations to the property include planning and building extensions to the rear at the second and fifth floor levels and internal alterations to provide three lateral apartments consisting two duplex and one triplex all to be occupied by relatives of one family. Each storey of the building can be accessed by a passenger lift or by the staircase. All works were carried out in strict accordance with the City of Westminster Conservation Officer to preserve the heritage of the area.

Scope of Work

Purple Design was commissioned to design the interiors for; the hallway and corridors, four reception rooms, eight bedrooms and the design and specification for six marble bathrooms and four powder rooms, kitchens for each of the apartments, an outside living-dining space on the upper terrace, and staff quarters on the lower floor level.

Purple Design specified all the floor, wall and ceiling finishes, restoration of period wood panelling including the design for the new panelling the entrance and staircases and dining room, architraves and sculpted plinth blocks, ornate cornicing and specialist plasterwork, gilding including a dining room with a palladium-leaf gilded ceiling, and the leather-clad bar for entertaining on the ground floor, bespoke silk rugs and carpets, specification of fixtures and fittings for the kitchens and bathrooms, joinery and doors, handcrafted cabinetry and wardrobes incorporating misting and audio visual systems, and wardrobes lighting design and specification and all sockets, switches and ironmongery detailing.

Purple Design designed the furniture and commissioned hand painted wallcoverings, fabrics and had all the furniture made bespoke for the house.

Architectural Period Features

Stepping through the entrance, the house makes an impression. Archways frame the view along the hallway. Elegant marble is laid in a latticework pattern along the hallway floor with large mirrors hung above the bespoke console tables in polished stainless steel with shagreen leather inset tops part of Purple Designs Diva Collection. The hallway is lit by a series of glass lantern pendant lights and the hall tables are flanked by dramatic bronze wall sconces.

Ornate white plasterwork cornicing around the ceilings and fine wall panelling with gold leaf to highlight the mouldings, creates a sense of grandeur. The original cornices were restored, and new gilded panelling was created to run along the hallway at waist height, leading up the staircase. Panelled doors were made for the house, architraves with carved lions corner blocks were sympathetically restored, and where they were found to be beyond repair, the historic lion’s head details marking the doorways were painstakingly replaced.

The sense of arrival is continued in the first-floor corridor where the lion’s head corner bocks mark the entrance to the upstairs duplex apartment. This corridor features an art deco style Murano glass pendant that was hand made in Venice and a hand-burnished bronze framed mirror sits above a bronze and marble console table that takes up minimal space.

The Interiors

Leading off the entrance hall on the ground floor there are a series of reception rooms for entertaining, a reception room to the front of the house and dining room to the rear with a cosy bar room in the space linking them.

The Whiskey Bar gives the impression of a gentleman’s members club transported from a castle in the Highlands. The family tartan was spun to order into an upholstery fabric used to wrap around the walls of the bar room and to cover the seat of the high bar stools. The cocktail bar itself is encased in racing-car-green button-studded leather, with a finely detailed marble countertop.

Beyond the bar, in the dining room, designed for formal dinners and entertaining. Exquisite hand-painted silk chinoiserie lines the walls, above the timber panelling. The coffered ceiling was gilded by hand, with a silvery-gold finish that is an alchemy of gold leaf with precious palladium.

A cabinet taking up much of the length of one wall was designed bespoke for the dining room and handmade by one Purple Designs cabinet makers. It was given a specialist hand-painted frottage finish and adorned with gold and palladium leaf, with verre eglomisé moon gold glass panels in the doors that reflect the light. The cabinet interior was lined with a mix of exquisite silk moire fabric and Macassar ebony. The specially commissioned splendid art-deco style light feature over the polished Macassar ebony dining table is made of Murano glass and 24-carat gold, bouncing light off the gilded ceiling well.

A textured silk rug the colour of dawn sky is a soft backdrop for the dusky pink patterned silk upholstered tub chairs set around the ebony dining table with polished nickel details.

The ground floor reception room is decorated in tranquil dove grey and the walls are lined in fine silk fabric. Lacquered ribbed panelling frames the tall cabinets set into alcoves on either side of the fireplace, made to elegantly house the air-conditioning, audio visual and misting systems. An elegant, grey velvet ottoman made bespoke, with a houndstooth bolster settle, sits by the open fire. Occasional tables in polished nickel and shagreen and leather are in Purple Design’s furniture collection.

The attention given to the architectural mouldings and fine panelling in the entrance hall continues upstairs, a consistent decorative finish giving a sense of continuity to the townhouse. Echoes between each floor of the house creates continuity. Smart smoked oak herringbone flooring runs through the ground floor reception room, bar and dining room on the ground floor level, continuing the landing and in the kitchens in each of the duplex apartments.
The lattice pattern in the marble entrance hall is picked up in the diamond rhombus pattern of the rugs in each of the reception rooms and introduces a geometric note.

The decorative finish on the first floor landing has lacquered joinery along the corridor, with a geometric pattern highlighted in bronze, which sees a shift to the contemporary interior within this apartment.

The bedrooms in this apartment have a contemporary interior design. The walls feature a specialist marquetry wallcovering made from hand-woven sisal fibres, each hexagonal piece placed by hand. The beds in this apartment are designed with a minimalist line, covered in linen and leather.

The swivel wingback suede-backed Dr No armchairs in this apartment’s bedroom are a contemporary take on an iconic Arne Jacobsen design, and contemporary orb lighting.

The reception room on the 3rd floor duplex apartment is dressed in duck egg blue. A circular bronze and leather topped coffee table adds warmth to the cool blues, while backlit shelves in the cabinets either side of the chimney give a warm glow.

The kitchens in the two duplex apartments echo one another with a wall of ultra-modern, lacquer and brushed brass and appliances streamlined behind sleek lacquered panels. The round marble dining table and Gubi dining chairs evoke a cool ambience in the kitchen in both duplex apartments.

The triplex apartment on the upper floors has a sophisticated kitchen with gold veined blue- mare marble breakfast bar and countertop. This kitchen has lacquered wall cabinets and a fleet of top of the range Sub-Zero appliances, while the oak base cabinets pick up on the smoked oak herringbone flooring.

This kitchen opens onto the terrace with an outdoor dining room and lounging area with a retractable awning to provide shade. The terrace has a green wall with bronze textured panels and lush vegetation screens the terrace from neighbours’ view.

All the bedrooms are seamlessly comfortable restful spaces with silk carpets and bespoke furnishings. Armchairs by the fireplace in each of the bedrooms are chosen for the interior design of each bedroom.

On the second-floor level of this duplex apartment the amethyst bedroom has a four-poster bed with finely tapering mirrored obelisk spires. Bedside tables were made bespoke for this room, in high gloss pearl lacquer and polished stainless-steel. Crystal glass bedside table lamps have a transparent droplet base, which lends a lightness to the décor. Lacquered and distressed latticework wardrobes were built to hide the air-conditioning and mist systems.

Another bedroom has a full height panelled headboard as a feature wall, a royal blue satin wool fabric with nickel stud detailing and blue diamond graphic wallpaper. The bespoke bedside tables are a contemporary revision of mid-century style, crafted in Macassar ebony and polished steel. Bedside lamps on tall slim nickel stems echo the slender four-poster bed in the amethyst bedroom, linking themes within the apartment.

The interior design gives a grander, more traditional feel to the triplex apartment on the upper floors of the house. The master bedroom on the fourth floor makes a regal impression with a silk-lined four-poster bed that was made bespoke. Swivel wall lights with satin pleated silk shades were built into the bedposts. The king-size bed is flanked by a pair of stone obelisk lamps standing on the bedside tables.

The walls are lined with a watery silk paper and the silk bedding was made especially for the bed. An elegant slipper chair is upholstered with a patterned silk fabric on the back and turquoise velvet on the front.

The chest of drawers beside the bed was designed bespoke, handcrafted from bog oak with Mallory rays stripes; the drawer interiors are leather lined, with leather details to the drawer handles.

The bedroom in the attic floor has a midnight blue bed with graphic upholstery set in an ornate silk fretwork headboard. Bedside tables are finished in a pearl gloss lacquer with tactile velvet upholstery around the drawers.

The bathrooms are sumptuous whether for luxuriating or taking a shower. A palatial bathroom en-suite to the four-poster master bedroom on the fourth floor looks out over the tropical garden terrace. Twin marble basins are set into a gold veined marble top on the ornately carved table, a hand painted and gilded piece of furniture that gives the impression of a chateau. This bathroom is a lavish marble room with a Bianco Laso gold veined marble panelled bath. Book-matching marble slabs are laid on the floor, in the walk-in shower and behind the bath, with velvet grey polished plaster finish to the walls and ceiling. A Murano glass lotus petal lighting feature is the centrepiece. The art-deco style bathroom cabinet above the washstand is framed with bevelled grey slices of mirror glass, with silk lampshades on the polished nickel lights beside the mirror.

The midnight blue attic bedroom on the top floor was given a very spacious dove grey marble en suite bathroom. A mirror framed in antique silvered herringbone panels echoes the herringbone layout of the marble floor tiles. The dressing rooms are finished with herringbone veneered doors and leather-clad interiors, hiding the misting and air conditioning systems.

The powder rooms are tiny spaces that maximise luxury. Fine gilded wall panelling that features along the ground floor hall reappears as a glamorous touch in the marble powder room in the upper apartment. A rose gold vanity with slender tapered legs, that recalls the tapering polished four poster bed, is accented with an art-deco style bevelled mirror and Murano glass lighting.

The ground floor powder room has a floating single slab of semi-precious amazonite stone with the basin carved into it. The walls are decorated in an elephant textured polished plaster finish.

Two of the powder rooms are discreetly designed to double as shower rooms which feature wall mounted shower heads, a source of light and water, impeccable in design and versatile in function. In the black marble powder room on the contemporary first floor, the walls and floor are cocooned in black nero marquina marble, with the reverse on the second-floor features white and grey veined marble cladding to the floor and walls.

Purple Design designed the interiors with ultimate luxury in mind, sourcing ultra contemporary technology and innovation for the kitchens and bathrooms, while taking utmost care to preserve the historic importance of the architectural features and façade.

The renovation of this Mayfair townhouse was a very high specification to complement the high value in the property; no expense was spared on achieving the luxurious level of finish and detailing that the house deserved and the client would have insisted on.

This level of thought has gone into the impeccable form and function of every aspect of the décor, the innovative technology of every appliance. The same attention to detail was applied to the craftsmanship of the furniture, the decorative finishes, and to restoring the architectural features. This impeccable level of care has gone into every detail of the interior design and the furnishing of the house.

We appointed Purple Design to provide a complete turnkey interior design solution for a super prime residential home in Mayfair, London.

Through close engagement, Purple Design swiftly understood the client’s design aspirations and subsequently provided a bespoke interior scheme which was tailored to the client’s needs and commercial drivers.

As the construction contract was procured as a “white box”, it was a critical success factor for the base build construction packages and interior design elements to seamlessly dove tail with one another. Purple Design comprehensively and successfully fed into this design process, where their proactive and collaborative work ethic ensured the mechanical, electrical and audio/visual services fully coordinated with the interior elements of the fit out package.

Purple Design’s ability to provide a complete design, procurement and installation service through their diverse supply chain, puts them in a unique position to drive best value whilst securing certainty of cost and quality.

Purple Design’s personal commitment to go above and beyond were significant success factors to the delivery of this unique and bespoke development where both myself and the Client were incredibly satisfied on completion of the house.

Elliot Thiele-Smith MRICS