Cambridge-based interior designer Lorna Higgins helped transform this penthouse apartment into a stylish living space that fits in perfectly with its impressive urban surroundings
A three-floor penthouse in London should be a dream to live in, but when lawyer Patrick bought this impressive property in Islington, the decor and furnishings didn't quite live up to the apartment's potential. "It was a real wasted opportunity," says Lorna Higgins, the Cambridge-based interior designer who was given the task of transforming the property into a practical and stylish living space for its new owner. Using texture, chrome and wood, as well as some splashes of bold colours in certain areas, Lorna was able to update the apartment which had previously been decorated in monochrome white.
The apartment in question comprises a large open-plan living area, master bedroom, guest bedroom, two bathrooms and one cloakroom. The third floor is a roof garden, which is the ideal place to enjoy the amazing views that the penthouse offers over London . Owner Patrick is single and enjoys entertaining, music, books, art and sculptures - all things that Lorna took into consideration when designing the apartment's new look.
"The guest bedroom has been transformed into a guest bedroom/home study/library to accommodate Patrick's many books," says Lorna. The new study provides a great environment in which to work and enjoy the views from one of the stunning floor to ceiling windows, and the raspberry leather from Andrew Muirhead creates a bold and striking look.
Throughout the apartment, Lorna proves that white needn't be dull and that there is no need to clutter with colour and furniture. "The main colour scheme is still white but we have used lighting to change the feel of the apartment," says Lorna. Some of the lighting and fixtures were also inspired by the client's own art collection.
Lorna has been careful not to detract from the modern horizontal lines running through the apartment, which the client very much liked, by using recessed lighting. This clean, minimalist look has made the perfect showcase for the owner's outstanding sculptural pieces of artwork which help to bring together the apartment, the furniture and the building as one.
One of the most important projects in the house was the bathroom. "The previous owner had a bath that had great visual impact but was completely impractical," Lorna explains. "We decided to rip it all out, bar the wet room". The new green tiles compliment not only the marble floor of the bathroom but also the raspberry leather in the guest bedroom. In keeping with the rest of the apartment, the shower now has high quality, modern fixtures.
The new bath is on a tiled plinth, creating a floating effect which Lorna has tried to maintain throughout the apartment. It is also her favourite feature. As well as having a sharp design, the new bath is very practical, cleverly covering a gap in the floor where the old bath was situated. The basin sits on a Wenge laminate base unit with the taps attached to the wall thus adding a futuristic touch and in keeping with the floating theme.
The bespoke furniture in the living room is another key part of the floating theme including chairs with front legs that sweep underneath them to remove the need for back legs and leave the seat balancing. The dining table is made from oak and stained in dark walnut, and the chairs are made from steel and white leather.
Other themes and inspirations for the apartment include architectural symmetry in order to incorporate the London landscape surrounds the apartment. "We wanted to incorporate the feeling of bringing the outside, inside," says Lorna.
The new look apartment reflects the way in which most of us would like to live: uncluttered, luxuriously and with style. The result is the perfect home in which to work, entertain and enjoy city life.