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Boldly painted chairs in contrasting colours. Each member of this family has its own colour.
| Designbest editorial staff

A

n apartment refurb in Holborn, a central London borough next to the City of Westminster and a few blocks away from the British Museum, to be exact. This maisonette occupies the last three floors of an office building and is home to an art collector and his wife. After early retirement, this home owner, has been lucky enough to enjoy London life in an enviable central location. This home is large enough to welcome the couple's children, relatives and many friends. However, the owner's vast collection of paintings, furniture and artefacts was too large to be displayed even in the big open space and as a consequence, it has been captured in extremely beautiful mural. 

The artefacts, which belong to the owner's collection are painted on the walls and on the window panes. The real collection is housed in his holiday home.

This property owner was lucky enough to retire early and to devote most of his spare time to his great passion: international travel. During the years spent travelling around the world, he has collected many unique artefacts in various shapes and materials, which he enjoys being surrounded by. At the start of this project, our owner thought the open-plan space for the living room, dining room and kitchen would be big enough to house his entire collection. However, he quickly had to change plan, when it became clear that his large collection would have turned this space into a sort of warehouse. And it was at this stage that Steve Coombe, the interior designer responsible for the entire refurb, decided to transform the collection into a mural. In fact, the varied grouping of objects inspired a black-and-white painting; this makes for a harmonious backdrop. 

Mural by the British artist Charlotte Mann. It was painted with a marker pen directly on the wall and on part of the window panes.
Mural by the British artist Charlotte Mann. It was painted with a marker pen directly on the wall and on part of the window panes.

Known for her murals, Charlotte Mann started her career first as a fashion designer (one of her creations is displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London). This art-work was painted in a week. Here, Charlotte worked in close partnership with both home owners, who wanted an illustration of their collection as well as all their likes and loves. This is a real work in progress; new images were added each day.

 

A geometric curtain / screen / acoustic panel by Abstracta Airflake.
A geometric curtain / screen / acoustic panel by Abstracta Airflake.
Part see through, part partition; this screen separates the telephone corner from the staircase without enclosing the space.
Part see through, part partition; this screen separates the telephone corner from the staircase without enclosing the space.

The open-plan space has several secluded corners, designed with a specific function in mind; just like the one next to the staircase where you can drink a coffee while dealing with day-to-day trivialities. The design was inspired by corporate environments and a curtain made from several pieces of felt becomes a backdrop.  

 

The beloved roof terrace, a rarity in Central London; a space where you can share your adventures with friends and family. The main specification: zero upkeep, with no plants to water as the owner is often away from home. This space is decorated with cityscapes (the picture hung over the long bench) and floral patterns sandblasted in the parapet.  

In the corridor, a mirror creates the illusion of a much bigger space. A console table marks the end of the false passage.
In the corridor, a mirror creates the illusion of a much bigger space. A console table marks the end of the false passage.
Small but cozy; this home office has a bespoke graphic wallpaper, designed to reflect the busy street scene below.
Small but cozy; this home office has a bespoke graphic wallpaper, designed to reflect the busy street scene below.
In the bedroom; neutral tones and a relaxing feel. For a splash of colour: Union Jack scatter cushions.
In the bedroom; neutral tones and a relaxing feel. For a splash of colour: Union Jack scatter cushions.
A console table with a glass top, to display small objects. To the right, Ghost chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell.
A console table with a glass top, to display small objects. To the right, Ghost chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell.

The joy of life, glee, a love for beauty, coupled with a healthy mix of irreverence, open-mindedness and an ability no to take oneself too seriously; this is the winning recipe of this home. In this home, our lucky pensioners enjoy everything life has to offer. And we curiously wait to know what will happen to the next pieces found around the world

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Design project

Refurb of an apartment in the city

Location: Holborn, London, Regno Unito
Client: Private
Floors: 3 top floors of an office building

Interior design: Steve Coombe, 3idog Interior Design, Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom
www.3idog.com

Furnishing: Momentum, Cardiff, United Kingdom
www.momentumcardiff.com

Photos: Courtesy Momentum and 3idog

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