In 2021, it doesn’t matter where you live. Space is increasingly sacred.
So how do sartorial city dwellers make the most of their urban lot? The truth is quite simple. They plan. Some of them by themselves. Others with the help of architects and interior experts who know how to transform even the tightest corner into a generous storage space.
In search of such serene living quarters, we took a trip to three of Europe’s most sought-after cities: London, Milan and Monaco — to find out how today’s aesthetes are making every inch of domestic space count.
The Makers, Shoreditch
Shoreditch is many things. The birthplace of English theatre. And the only place in London where you’ll find a 24/7 bagel bar. As such, it’s long been a beacon for creative types, and is easily one of the most coveted postcodes in the UK. Imagine our delight then, to learn of the Makers residence — a new 128 apartment complex complete with a home cinema, library and some of the lushest rooftop gardens in London.
For all the luxurious amenities, it’s the interiors that take the biscuit. Each of the petite pads are underwritten by fine Italian styling and offer a masterclass in spatial planning.
In the bedroom, the architects have filled unusually shaped alcoves with a mix of floor-to-ceiling Selecta shelving and flush Flango wardrobes. Both of which use the full height of the room to squeeze out the maximum number of possible storage opportunities.
Tiptoe into the living area, and you’ll be struck by clean, concise lines. Each of which helps trace out new areas to congregate. The Snap Sofa is compact yet cosy. So too are the Bai Lu dining chairs, with their soft Italian leather seat and rich wood frame.
Drama, we learn, is created not through overly showy decor but by enlisting moody colour palettes and premium finishes. A clever technique that can be used to convey a sense of splendour no matter how large your space.
Torre Milan is a new high point in the city of style. Designed for those who love living in the sky. And making everyday life extraordinary. As you might expect, it features a kaleidoscope of beautiful Italian designs — proof, if ever it was needed, that you don’t need to own a Palazzo to live la dolce vita.
In these homes, everything has it’s proper place. There are floating LT40 storage units in the dining area, designed to keep crockery up up and away. The master bedroom is equally nimble. Opposite the generous double beds are bespoke fitted Nur wardrobes, which act as a frame for an alcove in which aesthetes can position additional chest of drawers or even a vanity desk. Meanwhile, in the smaller bedrooms an extra workspace is created thanks to the use of a pull-down chest. A home for family, work and play, we can imagine all sorts of high-flying types making their life here.
The Balfron Tower is a brutalist beauty in the heart of Poplar. Tasked with the renovation of this iconic high-rise, architectural firm, Londonnewcastle, knew they wanted to invite personality and warmth into its concrete shell.
Inside each apartment are a selection of sculptural finishings (original architect Ernö Goldfinger would have allowed nothing else) although designers have been given creative licence to grant them a rebellious twist. The swivelling dining chairs are hewn from up cycled terrazzo. And the tubular headboards upholstered in velvet. Piquant and fun, they work to instil a sense of vibrancy into an otherwise industrial space.
The bedrooms and kitchen are equally full of surprises. The central islands conceal a plethora of shelves, drawers and cabinets. And there are also full height fitted closets in every bedroom — a real rarity for an apartment of this size. Then again, these aren’t just any standard studio flats. A utopian landmark of the London skyline, Balfron Tower prefers to maintain its reputation as a totem of avant-garde living, serving up habitable works of art, designed with the very real needs of its inhabitants in mind.
One Monte-Carlo, Monaco
In Monaco’s Monte Carlo, the cars are flashy. And the yachts even more so. Nestled just off the harbour is the One Building. Its curvy architecture shapes every facet of life in building, from the wraparound balconies to the unusually shaped interiors.
One of the more brilliant ideas of the architects was to transform a central corridor into open plan walk-in wardrobes. This can be done in any space with non-structural pillars, and is the perfect way to transform everyday routines into beloved rituals. Pictured here are Lema’s Open Wardrobes, an infinite modular system that allows aesthetes to organise their collections down to the last button or belt.
Novel House, London
The final stop on our European tour was Novel House, a new development in leafy Hampstead. It’s classic brick exterior conceals a generous collection of 16 apartments, each a little kookier than the last. Glossy lacquers and lush prints reign supreme, conspiring to create a picture of old English eccentricity.
The storage solutions represent some of the more understated decor decisions — a mix of barely-there bookcases, tucked away vanity desks and fitted wardrobes. Keen eyes will notice the Flago Wardrobes once more as well as the Text closet in soft celadon green.
While they vary dramatically in size, styling and taste, each of these of apartments work hard to elevate our individual experience of space. It’s an idea we’re pretty keen on at Chaplins. And not just because it makes for a more beautiful home. But because we know the power that a well-organised space can have on mood, productivity and relationships.
If you could use some help planning your home, then we really recommend getting in touch with our interior planning service. Suitable for homes of all sizes, our team of friendly design experts will help you find the right solutions for your space, building a system that’s bespoke to your lifestyle and needs. Plus, you’ll get to see all of the finest storage solutions up close, thanks to our generous fitted furniture showroom department. So what are you waiting for? Book your appointment and take the first steps to a more streamlined, joyful home.
GET THE LOOK FROM THESE 5 LUXURY URBAN PADS
Sign Coffee TableCompact yet stylish, the Sign collection was designed primarily for the bedroom – helping you to keep everything you love most, close. However, its elegant metal structure and colourful lacquered finishes ensure that it works well in any room of the house, adding glamour to contemporary interiors.
Sign Coffee Table With DrawerCompact yet stylish, the Sign collection was designed primarily for the bedroom – helping you to keep everything you love most, close. However, its elegant metal structure and colourful lacquered finishes ensure that it works well in any room of the house, adding glamour and storage to contemporary interiors.
Bai Lu Dining ChairWith typical minimalist flair, superstar designers Neri & Hu present their latest dining chair, Bai Lu. Despite its petite stature, it strikes a powerful figure, thanks to its acrobatic lines and ingenious mix of textures. The structure is crafted from solid wood, and sits as the perfect complement for the taut, sculpted seat.
Hati Dining ChairThe bold style of Piero Lissoni gives life to a chair with a simple design and a warm, intriguing spirit. Its shape evokes that of the classic chairs while offering a contemporary makeover which emphasises the structure and celebrates its delicate proportions and construction details.
Ortis Coffee TablesThe Ortis coffee tables are a playful version of a classic concept. With its curvy, meandering lines, it writes new symmetries, inviting idiosyncrasy into the heart of the living room. Beautiful alone or in stylish archipelagos, they promise to help keep everything you love, close.
LT40 Shelving SystemLT40 synthesises the design philosophy of the Madrid architect David López Quincoces. Known for his pureness of lines and timeless style, his latest project, the LT40, brings forth a modular family of cabinets and wall elements, each designed to infuse colour and life to contemporary interiors.
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Novelist Writing DeskThey say that good things come in small packages. And the Novelist is no exception. All light lines and plush finishes, it reveals the plushness of fine Italian styling in a wonderfully reduced format. Hidden inside the desktop are two side drawers and a stationary compartment — perfect for rooms that are short on space but could use a visually light workstation in which to get down to business.
Open WardrobesOpen is a visually light walk-in wardrobe from the luxury Italian brand, Lema. Its sense of airiness is indebted to the lack of doors, which allow you to easily identify clothes and accessories. Customisable in terms of height and depth, with corner versions also available, the wardrobe can be adapted to fit personal tastes with a large array of internal features from the Armadio al Centimetro range.
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Kyn WardrobesKyn is a bespoke storage collection for those who love Italian design and are looking to cultivate a more seamless relationship with their space. Each wardrobe is meticulously made to measure, custom built with drawers, racks, organisers and LED lighting to create a bespoke space for your belongings. This particular model features hinged doors with a high-impact architectural presence. Suitable for any domestic space, the wardrobe is centred around the dialogue between the panels of the doors and the bronze painted metal of the profile, which draws the eye to the stylised, integrated handles.
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Text WardrobesText is a bespoke storage collection for those who love Italian design and are looking to cultivate a more seamless relationship with their space. Each wardrobe is meticulously made to measure, custom built with drawers, racks, organisers and LED lighting to create a bespoke space for your belongings. This particular model comes is available with hinged, sliding or coplanar doors. The sophisticated compass opening system means the coplanar doors can be installed in a single line, delivering the aesthetic benefit of a perfectly continuous surface with no protrusions or recesses.
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Nur WardrobesNur is a storage collection for those who love Italian design and are looking to cultivate a more seamless relationship with their space. Each wardrobe is meticulously made to measure, custom built with drawers, racks, organisers and LED lighting to create a bespoke space for your belongings. This particular model comes with hinged doors which can be finished in lacquered glass, a striking space-enhancing mirror finish or with sophisticated soft coverings in fabric or eco-leather.
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Noctambule Pendant Light - BowlNoctambule means the night owl or reveller in French. A fitting name for this mysterious collection, Noctambule is mostly invisible during the day, coming to light and life as glamorous totum poles only once daylight has faded. The carefully calibrated LED technology which powers the lamps is discretely integrated into the junctions between the glass modules — a true triumph of contemporary design.
Noctambule Cylinder Pendant LightNoctambule means the night owl or reveller in French. A fitting name for this mysterious collection, Noctambule is mostly invisible during the day, coming to light and life as glamorous totum poles only once daylight has faded. The carefully calibrated LED technology which powers the lamps is discretely integrated into the junctions between the glass modules — a true triumph of contemporary design.
Toio Floor LampToio gained its name from a humorous translation of the word toy by design legends Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Meanwhile its design language speaks to the industrial aesthetic championed by the brothers, masters who believed that there was no object too small or insignificant that couldn’t be made beautiful.
Taccia Small Table LampTaccia is a classic table lamp from the archives of two of the great masters of Italian design, Achille & Pier Castiglioni. It pioneered the interest in what is today known as industrial design — an aesthetic which sees no object or material as beyond beauty. A statement piece even when switched off, it provides a soft gush of illumination that interacts with every surface it touches.
Aberdeen SofaAberdeen is the sofa you reach for when nothing less than unfussy Italian comfort will do. Designed in-house by the creative minds at Lema, it deals in oversized cushions and soft upholsteries to provide a supremely cosy lounging experience. It's defining feature are the recessed armrests, which encourage the user to snuggle, roll or lie down as desired. The shape of the armrest is further emphasised by the folds in the fabric, while the soft volumes of the sofa are profiled with rat-tail stitching - two sartorial details that add character and personality to the piece.