The world is awash with words that are overused and habitually misused. This is particularly true in the worlds of Design & Property. The very word design has spawned the lazily ubiquitous description “Designer”. As in “Designer” Handbag. It’s become so meaningless, and makes me raise an eyebrow over my “Designer” specs every time I hear it. Or take “Luxury”; once it meant “indulgence in costly pleasures”, suggestive of a life lived in palatial grandeur, but these days even the shoddiest new development of apartments overlooking a flyover in an undesirable postcode, is described as “Luxury”. Another is “Penthouse”. Just by virtue of being the top floor of an apartment block, doesn’t automatically make it worthy of that title.
However, the following examples definitely qualify in my opinion. Both are in good locations, have elegant interiors finished to a very high standard, and have a sizable chunk of exterior rooftop space. The first, designed by Alan McVitty, overlooks one of West London’s garden squares. The elegant open plan living floor, while not huge, is well proportioned and cleverly segmented for its different uses. The dropped ceiling over the dining area provides an interesting change of scale and mood, while also providing the base for the roof terrace above. Clerestrory glazing either side, also allows each space to be lit from both sides. use of materials and detailing are particularly good, and the silk panelled wall in the master bedroom surely qualifies as luxury.
The second penthouse, and also my second shoot for Adrienne Chinn, enjoys wraparound views of Belgravia, but looks particularly impressive with the intense blue light of dusk as a backdrop. Its generous living spaces have a cool urban vibe, and are kitted out in a punchy scheme of black, white and red, topped off with well chosen works of art and accessories. Scale is the real luxury here, and with the well stocked bar, it’s the perfect party venue. The vibe is definitely softer downstairs in the bedrooms and bathrooms. The perfect calm retreat after the party upstairs.