When a new 22nd-floor Bankside penthouse was introduced to Hill House Interiors as a blank canvas, it felt duty bound to deliver a scheme as stunning as the 360-degree views enjoyed from this exceptional four bedroom duplex home. Relishing the challenge, the Hill House team took a detailed brief from the clients and created interiors worthy of this iconic landmark building, famous for its dramatic glass pitched roofs.
The clients, a professional couple with global business interests, gave Hill House a detailed brief, underlining their love of strong colour, particularly red, their passion for the exotic wild tiger, and their need of a few quirky surprises to entertain guests as they explore the main reception areas of the new London home.
From stepping out from the glass-walled lift directly into the apartment entrance hall, their fondness for the eclectic is immediately apparent – giant full-height mirrors to the right reflect the deep-padded scarlet leather panels on the opposite wall. Incongruously, porcelain hands peep out from the padding, which as well as creating the requested surprise element, are also practical, and the entire area is lit by a dozen suspended Swarovski crystal pendant lights.
A laquered ebony cabinet delineates the seating area and cocktail bar from the TV-watching space
Helen Bygraves, co-founder of Hill House Interiors, says: ‘The couple saw something similar in an interiors magazine and loved it, so we set about creating a version especially suited to the hall’s proportions. The hands are actually coat pegs for the use of visiting guests.’
In the vast open-plan double-height living room, across two walls are hand-carved metal panels featuring a vibrant jungle scene, complete with prowling tigers. Reaching to the ceiling of the upper internal gallery, the framed and lit bronze artwork creates a striking backdrop to the living space.
Dividing this large room into comfortable sitting areas started with the placement of a large Hill House-designed, full-height cabinet in lacquered ebony, which separates two distinctly different zones. One side houses a Planicka gel fireplace, with a built-in wide-screen TV overhead.
Red and flame orange are used in the dining and entertainment areas
Relaxed viewing of both screen and flickering flames is enjoyed from a tailored L-shaped ivory sofa, bordering a boldly coloured splash-patterned rug. A circular lighting installation with Olympian overtones throws a soft overhead glow on this scene-stealing room setting.
The reverse side of the cabinet incorporates some essential entertainment features and also provides dramatic focal points. In prime position is the cocktail bar, where a sleek, cosmic-black granite counter tops a back-lit dragon-stone panel. Above the bar is a second widescreen TV, bordered by spotlit alcove shelving. A temperature controlled humidor for cigars and two wine chillers are deftly tucked out of view beneath the bar.
Facing the bar under the soaring pitched glass roof is a red lacquered baby grand piano, adjacent to a lounging space with an alabaster-coloured, low-seated, curved-edge sofa and pair of deeply buttoned cylindrical armchairs sit atop another show stopping rug, featuring the clients’ favourite big cat, securely inset and surrounded by oak wood flooring.
Fine dining is definitely on the clients’ agenda in this property, with their super-sized one-off table, crafted out of a rare piece of recycled sugar wood, the open fissures inlaid with a contemporary pewter-toned resin and glass and accompanied by dining chairs upholstered in red velvet. The scene is completed with a unique Sharon Marston contemporary coral and silver chandelier.
A quirky red padded leather panel set with porcelain hands greet arriving guests
Jenny Weiss, co-founder of Hill House Interiors, says: ‘The chandelier was custom made, each strand measured to a specific length to line up with the ascending height of the overhead lofty glass ceiling. Each strand was hung separately to ensure a sleek and perfectly level finish above the table.’
Leading off through wide glass doors from either side of the living space are two substantial triangular roof terraces, lined with opaque white planters. These are softly lit as dusk falls, throwing a gentle glow on the built-in barbecue and Italian white lacquered penthouse furniture, with upholstery in the clients’ favoured flame hues.