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Art Design Home Tour: See How A Gold Wallpaper Adds Instant Glamour To This London Apartment

Home Tour: See How A Gold Wallpaper Adds Instant Glamour To This London Apartment

Home Tour: See How A Gold Wallpaper Adds Instant Glamour To This London Apartment
The living room features the Alexander sofa and Aston lounge chair from Minotti
By Melissa Twigg
August 31, 2020
The clever use of wallcoverings, plush fabrics and jewel tones transforms this pied-à-terre into an exquisite gem

A staple in the grand old houses of England, wallpaper has made a triumphant return in recent years and is now one of the most fashionable—and deliciously pretty—ways to update a property. Nowhere is the result better illustrated than in this South Kensington apartment in London, crafted by interior designer Nebihe Cihan. Owned by a Kuwaiti couple needing a pied-à-terre in central London, this abode is part of a protected 19th-century building, leaving beautiful bones for the designer to play with. The home has been in the client’s family for decades, but it had not been renovated since 1972.

(Related: Home Tour: This Minimalist New York Apartment Is Simply Dreamy)

The entryway makes an indelible impression with the Namban wallpaper from De Gournay, which is paired with a Paonazzo marble console, tasselled velvet armchairs and Via Antica table lamps
The entryway makes an indelible impression with the Namban wallpaper from De Gournay, which is paired with a Paonazzo marble console, tasselled velvet armchairs and Via Antica table lamps

“I wanted to respect the history of the apartment and retain its charm,” says Cihan, who kept the crown mouldings and cornices as well as the original architraves around the doors intact. “When I first saw it, I fell in love with the original parts and wanted to keep them and merge the old with the new. My client told me she had happy memories in this apartment, which was one of the reasons behind preserving the old elements and thus preserving her memories.”

London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan
London-based interior designer Nebihe Cihan
The hallway features  a vintage armchair and Poliedri chandeliers  from Fabio Ltd
The hallway features a vintage armchair and Poliedri chandeliers from Fabio Ltd

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Creating what must be one of the most striking entrances in west London, Cihan has covered the hallway in the Namban wallcovering from British wallpaper brand De Gournay, which is textured and designed to entice visitors indoors.

“When I was growing up in Turkey, our home had a really long hallway, and as a child, I have always had an affinity for them,” says Cihan, who now lives in London. “The De Gournay Namban wallpaper was the ideal addition, as it has a three-dimensional texture which adds depth to the space.”A custom console in Italian Paonazzo marble also takes pride of place here. “The idea was to keep the design feminine, therefore I used curvy lines and rounded edges for the furniture,” she explains. “My biggest passion is to go marble shopping in Italy; I always hand pick every slab.”

( Related : Home Tour: How A Designer Convinced Her Client To Use Colourful Accents In This Cosy London Apartment

The living room features the Alexander sofa  and Aston lounge chair from Minotti
The living room features the Alexander sofa and Aston lounge chair from Minotti

Although the client has homes all over the globe, she retains a real affinity for Paris. In the sitting room, she wanted a reminder of the city—a desire realised through the use of French doors, wrought iron balconies, and the view of the leafy streets. “My interpretation of Parisian chic is sophisticated, intimate and elegant; an aesthetic that is rich in both texture and colour,” says Cihan. “The Parisian influence comes into play with the upholstery fabrics, in particular, as I used French brands Nobilis and Pierre Frey throughout.”

Italian influences also permeate the flat. The majority of the furniture was purchased from Italian brands Minotti and Baxter, and the woodwork and marble flooring were crafted in a factory in Bergamo, Italy. In terms of the colour palette, Cihan wanted to bring warmth into the living room to counteract the ubiquitous grey skies of London—hence the use of gold on the walls and a green velvet sofa.

The sinuous veins of the custom- made marble coffee table draw cues from the wall-hung Alabaster SR11-52 painting by Sterling Ruby in the living room; London- based interior designer Nebihe Cihan
The sinuous veins of the custom- made marble coffee table draw cues from the wall-hung Alabaster SR11-52 painting by Sterling Ruby in the living room; London- based interior designer Nebihe Cihan
The dining area is decorated with the Aston chairs and sofa from Minotti
and a custom- made table in Nero Marquina marble, and the Poliedri chandelier from Fabio Ltd
The dining area is decorated with the Aston chairs and sofa from Minotti and a custom- made table in Nero Marquina marble, and the Poliedri chandelier from Fabio Ltd

The art collection in this home also adds depth; it was selected by London-based curator Lawrence Van Hagen of LVH Art. “The U-shaped sculpture, Big U by Claudia Comte, broke the norm,” says the designer. “Every space needs a sculpture, especially spaces with high ceilings, to add elevation.”The dining room is incorporated into the living space, with the table designed by Cihan’s studio and chairs from Minotti. “I like the modern look of Minotti furniture, because it has a timeless elegance and is functional in terms of comfort, which is always pivotal for me,” she explains. “There is no point designing beautiful interiors if they aren’t functional.”

( Related : Home Tour: A London Townhouse With A Colourful Mix of Art And Vintage Pieces ) 
 

The dreamy Wisteria
wallpaper from
De Gournay adds
an enchanting
touch to the
master bedroom
The dreamy Wisteria wallpaper from De Gournay adds an enchanting touch to the master bedroom
The lounge area in the master bedroom is furnished with the Leslie sofa and Rays coffee table from Minotti, a vintage mirror from Valerie Wade Furniture  and a Via Antica table lamp
The lounge area in the master bedroom is furnished with the Leslie sofa and Rays coffee table from Minotti, a vintage mirror from Valerie Wade Furniture and a Via Antica table lamp

This flat is being used by the family as a holiday home in London, so Cihan didn’t want to personalise the bedrooms too much, although she still needed to make them pretty. That was achieved with the De Gournay wallpaper in the wisteria print in the master bedroom. The colour is gently picked up by a Murano glass table lamp from Via Antica.

The guest room
features headboards
upholstered in
Dedar Milano fabric,
as well as a custommade night stand,
a chandelier and
wall lights from
Valerie Wad
The guest room features headboards upholstered in Dedar Milano fabric, as well as a custommade night stand, a chandelier and wall lights from Valerie Wad
The minimalist bathroom is luxuriously clad in Bianco Carrara marble
The minimalist bathroom is luxuriously clad in Bianco Carrara marble

“We wanted to adopt a more muted colour scheme in the bedrooms,” says Cihan. “Grey and taupe dominate with a touch of colour in the form of the cheerful wallpaper, as well as the purple vintage table lamps I collected from a vintage store in Brussels.”And the client’s reaction? Struck silent, in the happiest way possible—it took her a while to take in this painted jewel of an apartment, the very same flat that had been in her family for years.

This article first appeared in the August-September 2020 issue of Tatler Homes Singapore; read it online at Magzter.

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Art & Design Tatler Homes Home Tours Interior London design decor wallpaper de gournay nebihe cihan

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