This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a feminine yet contemporary take on a fairytale-themed wedding dress boutique in Kunming, China. Designed to epitomise the culmination of every girl’s childhood fantasy, swathed in a beautiful gown at a magical wedding, dancing with a prince. To assist in a bride’s quest for the most dream-like wedding dress, the space evokes a romantic, dreamy atmosphere whilst incorporating the brand’s image with an inherent black and gold tonal theme, diamond detailed elements to create a feature motif and a stunning white marble flooring.
Company: F Space Design
Project Location: Kunming, China
What was the client’s brief?
First of all, the overall design needed to be consistent with the black and gold colour theme to compliment the company’s branding. Secondly, as the fifth shop of W. Dresses, the design needed to upgrade the brand presence and enhance the brand image, requiring more of a fashion focus and a higher level of synergy with the wedding dresses stocked in the shop.
What inspired the design of the project?
Every girl who grew up reading fairytales has fantasied about the idea of being a princess in a mythical world, dressed in beautifully feminine dresses and dancing with the prince. Envisioning a beautiful ending to their imaginary love story with a whimsical fairytale-inspired wedding, with a wedding dress that would realise the dream of every girl’s childhood. Therefore, within the interior design of this project, the designer incorporated black and gold as the main tone throughout; using delicate diamond details and glamorous elements as the design concept throughout the space to showcase this idea of a romantic, dream-like atmosphere.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
The main difficulty which arose throughout the project was the integral design process combining thoughtful interior design with the brand’s branding scheme. In the case of a very short time limit, the primary problem to be solved in the design was how to improve the brand image in limited space and solve the problem of product display to effectively display the wedding dresses.
Another painful fact was that the building process had not always ran smoothly or as perfectly as planned according to drawings and models. This can be due to the lacking of skilful people or inaccurate readings of the plans. And time is always short. Sometimes we have to accept some of the problems which have generated on-site during construction, whilst other times we need to respond quickly to change the design and subsequently reflect this on drawings to counteract further issues and take the opportunity to resolve them almost as soon as they arise.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
The shop comprised of three different styles of dressing rooms, not only to give the bride the different experience of testing, but also for each wedding dress to receive unique treatment, and increase the fun and excitement of the in-store experience. The ubiquity of the details allowed us to intuitively feel the designer’s pursuit of achieving noble quality and to therefore create the most comfortable testing environment for each couple.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
Entering the SBID International Design Awards was a fortuitous opportunity. One day, my PR company recommended this competition to me. I think it is a good platform for creative communication with excellent designers from all over the world, and also provides a valuable channel to promote my works overseas.
Questions answered by Fei Fang, Design Director and Xuewan Yang, Executive Designer at F Space Design
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a quirky holiday home set on the Mediterranean Sea, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
F Space Design | SBID International Design Awards 2018
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a 90 square metre apartment, set on the Mediterranean Sea, not far from Alicante. This quirky holiday home is located in an apartment block surrounded by lush greenery; the formidable foliage appropriately inspired the distinctive tropical-style interior design scheme used throughout the property. During the early design stages, the client was open to all creative and out-of-the-box ideas which lead them to using a bold and striking green as the apartment’s signature colour theme. The palette evolved to include a sunrise shade of pink, together with luxurious brass elements and earthy wood tones. This apartment truly comes to life with an eccentric blend of palm prints, tropical leaves and exotic birds on the wallpaper!
Company: INTRO by Chak
Project: Power of the Colour
Project Location: Altea, Spain
The apartment block is surrounded by lush greenery; prompting the designer to propose a daring tropical-style solution for the interior design. In the process of design planning, the client was open to all ideas and absolutely loved the suggestion of using green as the main feature colour. Initially the client wanted to refresh the walls and renovate the kitchen; in the end the project turned into a significant reconstruction.
The client did not want to change the doors. This set the start of the project. If we are not going to change them, let’s have them painted. A bright shade of green was suggested. It fascinated and inspired the client. From then on the project could not be limited to simple repainting of the walls. The green doors called out for more. And so a sunrise shade of pink appeared, together with the luxurious brass, tropical leaves and birds on the wallpaper.
It was our first project in Spain. Being a Russian design studio, it was difficult initially to start and build communication with the suppliers and local workers. We are familiar with working using mostly English and Russian languages, so to work in the Spanish language was a big challenge for us! That’s why at the beginning of the constitution, it was difficult to avoid misunderstanding so naturally, some errors arose because of it. Finally, we got through these communication issues and we couldn’t be happier with the result – and now we are fluent in all specific construction, architecture and design lexis in Spanish!
We did run into some technical / construction difficulty during the build; fixing the 6-sided tiles in the bathroom called for very careful work. Also, the owner of the flat only wanted to renovate the apartment, so in some instances we couldn’t touch or structurally change some aspects of the property (e.g heating in the floor and air-conditioning) which we could probably have moved to develop the design further.
Working on this project gave us a lot of pleasure and overall we didn’t meet too many difficulties. The owner of the apartment was participating with enthusiasm at every stage of the working process!
Our idea was to use the mirrors to create the feeling of more space. We can see the best example of this in one of the bedrooms, where the entire wall behind the bed is made of mirror. We were happy with the visual impact of this, and how effectively it seemed to generate the illusion of space. There is a portal in the living room which is also made of mirrors which is used to separate the living room area from the dinning room area. In the middle of this portal there is a painted green column; visually, this gives the impression that it levitates above the table! Additionally, this portal offers the opportunity to create geometrical proportions of the space in which is very pleasant and comfortable to spend time in.
It was an honour for us to take the chance and participate in the SBID Awards 2018. We are very happy to have been listed as a Finalist in these Awards!
Questions answered by Nadya Chak, the Founder and designer of the design studio, INTRO by Chak
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a fabulous family apartment merging luxury design with elegant simplicity by the River Nile, click here to see more.
INTRO by Chak | SBID International Design Awards 2018
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a fabulous family apartment situated by the River Nile, the lifeblood of Egypt. The young family of four desired a luxurious, yet simple and practical space. The property, around 290 square metres, is divided into a reception area with clear glass windows, drawing the sight line outside and capitalising on the expansive Nile views. A customised bar cabinet with brass sheets welcomes guests as they enter and is complemented by Nihal Zaki’s masterpiece; the Magnet Banquette which separates into four mini banquettes, only to regroup again using hidden magnets. The sofas, all the furniture and Asian fusion wall panels have been tailored to match the pièce de résistance of the house; the Golden Tibet Panel. The dining room adopts a subtle Art Deco concept in black and white, featuring paintings by contemporary Egyptian artists and a Murano-glass chandelier.
Company: Nihal Zaki Interiors
Project: Apartment by the Nile
Project Location: Cairo, Egypt
My clients were a young couple with two toddlers and they were very keen on an elegant contemporary house with elegant interiors, functional use and a safe environment for their children. They wanted cheerful colours but mostly, big glass windows in order to showcase the breathtaking view of the River Nile.
The River Nile, Cairo’s vein and pulse is one of the most beautiful features of this city and this lovely apartment was situated right on the banks of the river.. My clients wanted to capture the serenity of the lovely views and the Cairo sunlight shining throughout the day…
Another pièce de résistance was the vintage Tibet, gold leaf engraved paravan my client had inherited from her family. We were smitten by that piece and transformed it into a wall-hanging mounted on the wall of the main reception area right above the octane blue sofa.
My client was pregnant with her second child and couldn’t move out of the house! As a result we had to work strategically on a strict time schedule, ensuring we caused minimal noise, pollution and chemical hazards. Ensuring safety throughout the project being a top priority.
A collection of priceless paintings by some of the most prominent 1950’s Egyptian artists hung on the walls of the dining room hence our selection of subtle Art Deco black and white wallpaper.
The SBID have become the most lucrative and prestigious Design Awards in the region! Entering, let alone being nominated as a Finalist is quite an honour. The SBID Awards have become a hub for internationally renowned designers to meet and exchange ideas, business contacts and drive future innovations.
Questions answered by Nihal Zaki, CEO at Nihal Zaki Interiors
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring an urban resort that offers sweeping lake views located on the shore of Lake Chao, click here to see more.
Nihal Zaki Interiors | SBID International Design Awards 2018
Today’s post is dedicated to the second installment about the recently opened The Wellesley hotel in Mayfair.
A lot has happened since Part 1 when A-Gent of Style reviewed the ground floor public areas of the already prestigious hotel.
But first and foremost, congratulations are in order: The Wellesley and award-winning Interior Design company Fox Linton Associates have been shortlisted for three awards at the 2013 European Hotel Design Awards; The Jazz Lounge and Oval Restaurant, The Crystal Bar and also The Suites are now in competition.
What an impressive achievement. Highly deserved.
A-Gent of Style was granted access to all floors of this 5-star ‘new kid on the block’ (The Wellesley itself confirmed it is not a 6-star hotel despite the media hype before its opening) and is taking you today on a private tour of the guest rooms.
Above the public areas of the ground floor, The Wellesley is graced with 36 guest bedrooms spreading over seven floors, the last two culminating in the signature Wellesley Penthouse offering a private terrace with stunning views of Hyde Park.
Every room offers 24-hour-butler-service and is individually finished with sumptuous décor and amenities, equipped with the latest state-of-the art technology ( electric curtains, 52″ flat screen TVs, in-room laptops, Samsung control tablets and complimentary Wi-Fi), all cleverly integrated in the bespoke elements.
The rooms are sheathed in a palette of cream, ivory and off-white – mostly faux leather panels on the walls, luxurious wall-to-wall carpets and beautifully drapes of pleated fabric on the windows – with different accent colours (gold or burgundy in the Deluxe rooms), and some of the bespoke joinery designed by Fox Linton Associates is made of Art Deco-favoured ebony Macassar in a high gloss, veneer-finish. There are hints of brass and bronze in the custom-made lamps by Dernier & Hamlyn (who also created the chandeliers on the ground floor) and also the ribbed lever handles by Joseph Giles (but polished nickel on the bathroom side). The stepped, coffered ceilings provide soft and flattering glow that complement the colour schemes. Elegant black and white framed photographs from Vogue and Vanity Fair archives, probably shot by Blumenfeld, are scattered around the rooms (and the corridors). The headboards are upholstered in leather and the deluxe king-size beds are enveloped in customised luxurious bedding.
A perfect night, no doubt, to be had in the arms of Morpheus.
The Penthouse floors comprise the Churchill Suite, Wellesley I, Wellesley II and Penthouse Suite which are the jewels in the crown of The Wellesley. The latter is situated over the top two floors which are linked by a private leather-panelled staircase. This suite can boast its own private terrace, boardroom and personal humidor.
All the rooms are interconnected and give a great sense of rhythm, fluidity, privacy and exclusivity.
Here, the rooms are wrapped in a palette of champagne and pearl, the accent colours on the sensuous mohairs and velvets are rich, saturated midnight blues and browns, and there are hints of silver and gold to express the glitzy “Roaring Twenties”/Hollywood feel.
A-Gent of Style found the stepped, travertine Art Deco fireplace simply sublime.
A humidor and a wine cabinet, both in high gloss Macassar, are flanked on both sides of the dining table.
All the bathrooms at The Wellesley are equally stunning: the focal point is unquestionably the beautiful, deeply veined Italian Carrara Arabescato marble on the floor and on the walls which give the rooms great character, substance and grandeur. The shiny mirrored, silver-polished vanity units and shelves add a sense of elegance. Top-end bathroom fixtures and accessories by Dornbracht and Villeroy & Boch finish off the décor superbly well.
So, whatever takes your fancy – a top-notch cigar, Cognac, cocktail, intimate meal, celebratory Afternoon Tea or romantic stay in a suite (A-Gent of Style will happily settle for all of them. At the same time) – The Wellesley is the latest ultimate hideaway in London to ‘Chanel’ your inner Agatha Christie in stylish and tasteful surroundings.
A-Gent wishes Fox Linton Associates and The Wellesley good luck on November, 19 at the EHDA awards ceremony.
Situated opposite Hyde Park at Number 11 Knightsbridge where the famous jazz club Pizza on the Park used to be (oh the memories!) and tucked away between the equally opulent ‘grande dame’ hotels The Lanesborough and The Berkeley, the 1920s townhouse is the new contender amongst London’s luxury hotels.
Now owned by Arab Investments Ltd, the hotel was named after Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, a fine military leader who served as the Prime Minister of Great Britain twice between 1828 and 1834, and later as leader of the House of Lords
The beautifully restored and lavishly refurbished hotel is the result of the award-winning Fox Linton Associates who transformed and crafted the interiors of the 36 suites and bedrooms residence with a modern Art Deco feel and sumptuous finishes.
The six-floor hotel is comparatively smaller compared to the more imposing aforementioned hotels but still offers its residents traditional glamour, contemporary luxury and an uncompromising service. Where else do you get a complimentary 24-hour butler service and the courtesy of a Rolls-Royce drop off service within a 1.5mile radius!
The existing, historical aspects of the current building – above the infrastructure of the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground – were preserved. The orignal facade decorated with stone and faience was retained but a new one was added and constructed this time with brickwork and slate.
A-Gent of Style was given special access to the hotel especially the suites and penthouses but this first part will focus on the ground floor and its common areas.
As soon as you step in past the heavy bronze entrance doors, you know that you are dealing with opulence and excellence. A long, colonnaded, vaulted corridor bedecked in marble welcomes you and invite you to discover the interconnected rooms on either side. Everything here has been custom-made and the craftmanship and attention to detail are second to none: the glitzy crystal ceiling lights, the bespoke art work on the walls, the big stud-patterned desks with leather, marble and metals, and the etched, mirrored arcades above the walls.
But what is special about The Wellesley is that the common areas are relatively small and it hasn’t got the overwhelming grandeur some of its counterparts have. It is very much in a class of its own. For instance, there isn’t an imposing lobby and reception area as such with squads of staff milling about with suitcases or trays. It is contradictorily quite simple yet luxurious and feels very intimate and serene.
The first room on your right is the Crystal Bar which showcases a wall of the finest whiskies, armagnacs and cognacs where you can sip languorously at the wondrous 1920s-like, lit-up, glass and marble bar from the midnight-blue faux-crocodile stools. The floor is covered in Moonlight Grey and Noir St Laurent marble
The Wellesley attracts tobacco enthusiasts as it has one of the largest bespoke humidor in the UK.
On the left, you will find the dark and moody Humidor Lounge opposite the bar which proved to be the perfect spot for us to have an apéritif the evening I visited. The look of these two rooms is very masculine, sultry and moody a bit like Claridge’s The Fumoir and has the feel of a Gentlemen’s Club. Here the deep-buttoned, Chesterfield black leather sofas and chairs complement well the imposing painting of Winston Churchill and the modern sculptural lights (or is it light sculptures?). The imposing circular blue glass chandelier is undeniably the pièce de résistance. The light fittings in the public areas were made by Dernier & Hamlyn.
There are two outdoor, covered Cigar Terraces (with rugs and art on the walls!) which provide an intimate yet spacious environment to indulge in a fine cigar. The furniture is made of teak and the upholstered in dark blue leather.
Then, on the left-hand side at the end of the corridor, guests will find The Jazz Lounge where they can enjoy a selection of high teas while listening to daytime jazz or settle back with a cocktail during the evening in an intimate, Gatsby style and atmosphere. I liked the palette of soft pinks on the chairs (leather on the seats but silk on the back; great detail) and particularly the bronze screen – I do love a screen – adorned with festoon-shaped pearl strings, mixed with the deep blue on the Gunta Stölz-esque, square-patterned carpet.
Pic. Ivory faux ostrich wall panelling
The Oval Restaurant, on the right, is an intimate hideaway which can seat up to 28 customers offering refined Italian cuisine. Once again, the room is smoothly enveloped in sugar-almond pinks found on the hand-crafted mahogany chairs upholstered with leather on the front and horsehair on the back and deep-buttoned banquettes and is replete with glamourous references to Art Deco from the sunburst-shaped, 2-toned glossy marble on the floor to the cream, fan-shaped leather panels on the walls with brass detailing, the glitzy chandelier on the circular, coffered ceiling and the concertinaed mirrored wall that reminded me of the iconic staircase at the Paris Chanel store, Rue Cambon.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where A-Gent of Style will be taking you on a private tour of the suites and penthouses…
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