THE PERSONAL TOUCH
St James's Gardens, W11
Too often, pieds-á-terre are a bit sad. Nothing more than an urban dormitory, most have some cast-off furniture and aged décor. Many owners view them as just a place to sleep, but surely that’s a bit depressing, is it not?
Fortunately this beautiful flat in St James’s Gardens was the perfect antidote. Overlooking one of Notting Hill’s most beautiful garden squares, the interior was every bit as inspiring as the view. Floor-to-ceiling bay windows opened onto a Juliette balcony and the garden square, while the owner’s penchant for modern 20th-century design was evident throughout. An Eames rocking chair and a Le Corbusier chaise longue were juxtaposed against an eclectic collection of modern art and objets d’art. A marble-topped kitchen table was surrounded by original 1950s dining chairs made from a single sheet of laminate beech and designed by Carl Jacobs. The double bedroom was generously sized, too, meaning that this apartment could easily have doubled as a starter home for an urban professional. At its centre was a bespoke Andrew Stafford bed with a rounded single fixed headboard made from solid maple with a perforated surface.
The former owner clearly put a lot of work into the flat. He said, “It [originally] had a 70s décor throughout, with an avocado green bathroom and a separate kitchen that looked so dated and made me feel like I was inside a box. As soon as I walked in, though, it felt right. One of the main things that swayed me to buy was the sense of space and light in the front room. It is also south-facing and, being on the first floor with fantastic ceiling heights, overlooking this beautiful private square topped it all off. Immediately I saw the potential to make it my own. It ticked all the boxes!”
If every pied-a-terre looked like this one, perhaps we would have a healthier workforce. Until then, we just have to use this as inspiration.