Our brief was to furnish and re-decorate a London townhouse as an easy-to-manage, quiet, relaxing weekday space, in traditional style – and for this modestly sized bedroom, a framework of delicate, soft colours.
By upholstering the walls in a natural raw silk over thick cotton padding we immediately changed the essential environment of the room to one of stillness and calm. When sound is stopped and held at the walls, the spaces within become inward-looking and intimate.
My client and I allowed ourselves one day to find the furnishing pieces and in a single shopping trip along the Kings Road found the sofa, the gilt pelmet and the chest of drawers, as well as tables, chairs, rugs etc. for the rest of the house.
* A tall boy is a chest of drawers, here a decorative yet utilitarian piece that exactly fitted both the space and budget, to serve its purpose. It sits neatly into the recess, the colour looks good in the room ( rather better than it’s come out in the photo) the style of it works well with the pelmet and the sofa and it has perfectly adequate storage space for a weekday pad.
*An early 20 CFrench sofa was the perfect size, also very smart and very comfortable. We found it newly upholstered in a fine calico, the perfect lining for this delicious melt-in-your-mouth chocolate silk taffeta. Deep buttoning is always chic and sumptuous, showing plain fabric at it’s best – with this many buttons light is given every opportunity to reflect, bounce off, form shadow and create depth.
*Silk is the perfect fabric for the delicate curtains we wanted – these we joined and painted and just for fun, were inspired by the dimensions of the golden section. Carefully sized strips of three pastel coloured silks were joined, then over-painted with similarly toned soft pinks and creams, highlighted with reflective bronze and gold that would reflect lamp light. The design of curves and spirals as found in the natural world has been paired with the idea of the hand of man – here as painted as script, and in form rather than meaning or legibility.
*Sheer under curtains are essential to urban living, they trap the general street grime, filter light and generally provide privacy – although here that wasn’t a major issue, it often is.
*The cushions made from the offcuts of all of the silks and are also painted and beaded.
* Solid carved pelmets form a neat finish at the top of windows and curtains – here the size, the level of detail, definition and decoration was just right, and the gilding brings warmth, reflection and a touch of glamour to the room.
*The beautiful ceiling light was made to order by an Italian company to the design ideals of Mariano Fortuny, who spent his life surrounded by beauty – the architecture, landscape and general artistic endeavour of Granada, Paris and Venice. Every piece is hand-painted to designs influenced by Spanish, Persian, Islamic, classical Greek, Italian Renaissance and Venetian cultures. When the light within diffuses softly and beautifully through the delicately patterned opaline silk, they become magical.
All of these elements work in harmony to create the beautiful, soft, elegant and luxurious sleeping room that we were asked to make, and brings delight to our clients.
Here are some of the textures and textiles…