August 13, 2018|Architecture
The Real Value of Roof Terraces
When a super-prime buyer is spending up to £7,000 per sq.ft on a property in London, they get the very best; an iconic address, world-class interiors, private spa facilities and underground parking. But there is one highly sought-after feature that doesn’t come as standard with a multi-million pound London home and that’s a roof terrace.
June 11, 2018|Architecture
Bottled Sunshine: Decorating With Yellow
From the softness of dappled sunshine to zingy lemons on tabletops, via the paleness of soft butter and burnt saffron tones of market spices, yellow hues burst with hope and warmth. NYFW18 catwalks were awash with yellows and WGSN’s Interiors Trend Report for 2018/19 highlights that blondes continue to have more fun – yellow is the fastest rising colour behind orange...
June 5, 2018|Architecture
Project Focus: Mayfair Residence
Situated in one of the most exclusive and secure private enclaves in Mayfair, overlooking picturesque private gardens, we designed this beautiful Georgian townhouse for a lovely family that we have worked with for many years. A technically challenging listed building in a state of disrepair, we were responsible for the architecture, architectural interior design and...
May 22, 2018|Architecture
A Week in The Life of Alex Holden
Ever wondered what it takes to run a luxury architectural interior design studio? From journalists to site meetings and everything in between, read the diary of Alex Holden and discover a week in the life of Oliver Burns’ Managing Director.
March 13, 2018|Architecture
Project Focus: The Lakehouse
Situated on the tranquil shores of the Italian lakes, with a stunning backdrop of mountains and cypress-fringed water, we created this stunning villa as a family holiday home for a dear long-standing client. A derelict property that had fallen into great disrepair through the generations, our client purchased the home four years ago and commissioned Oliver Burns to lead...
November 14, 2017|Architecture
One of the biggest purchasing factors that influence the ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI’s) with whom we work is space. For many, it is a must-have luxury. But with a lack of space in London’s highly sought after golden postcodes, this proves to be an on-going issue. The majority of London’s super-prime homes are listed, which imposes strict planning limitations...
January 18, 2017|Architecture
Interior Design Predictions for Trump's White House
Throughout the course of its long and illustrious history, the interior of the White House may have undergone multiple changes, but it’s timeless façade remains as impressive as it was over 200 years ago. Completed in 1800, the White House was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban. An elegant marriage of Palladian and Neoclassical architecture, this iconic and stately...
October 28, 2016|Architecture
The Hearth of The Home
Fireplaces are still and always have been a central household feature, drawing people together in conversation, comfort and relaxation. Traditionally used as a source of heat and for cooking, today a fireplace is considered more of an aesthetic feature and whether traditional, oversized, or modern-inspired, it adds visual interest to a room and creates a real focal point. When...
September 14, 2016|Architecture
Regent's Park Residences
Regent’s Park, an elegant area of London celebrated for its graceful sweep of white stucco terraced homes, boasts a combination of unique benefits which has made this exclusive neighbourhood a highly-sought after place to live. Bordered by the affluent areas of Marylebone, Primrose Hill and St. John’s Wood, properties located in Regent’s Park enjoy both the amenities of...
September 12, 2016|Architecture
John Nash's Iconic Architecture
The legacy of the esteemed regency architect, John Nash, can still be observed in the architectural fabric of our capital. From the sweeping grandeur of Regent’s Street to the elegant stuccoed façades of The Park Crescent, Nash left an indelible mark on London. A master of diverse architectural styles, Nash’s repertoire spanned everything from neo-Classical Gothicism to...
August 25, 2016|Architecture
Sublime Surroundings: Luxury Interiors With A View
From a dramatic cliffside location to an eco-home nestled amongst woodland, exceptional surroundings can inform and shape the fabric of a home. Architects and designers have long since looked to nature for cues, drawing on organic patterns, shapes and colours to create a continuity between the inside and out. With advances in digital technology, and more recently 3D printing,...
August 18, 2016|Architecture
Colour Evolution: White Interiors
From palest ivory to opalescent champagne, the spectrum of white hues offers infinite possibility and versatility. At once whimsical and ethereal or contemporary and fresh, this colour has enduring appeal for its ability to dramatically transform a space. Evoking a sense of serenity, white has been extensively used in interior design for its soothing yet sophisticated qualities...
July 27, 2016|Architecture
Thoughtful Detail: Glass
The iconic French designer, René Lalique, described his chosen medium of glass as a ‘marvellous material’. Lalique’s mastery of glass, in particular crystal, into exquisite works of decorative art showcased not only the splendour of this material, but its diversity. Crafting everything from perfume flacons to graceful fountains, Lalique was a true visionary of his time...
July 14, 2016|Architecture
Views From The Top: London Penthouse Terraces
Perched high above the city and exquisitely framed by spectacular vistas of London’s skyline, a penthouse in the capital is the definitive status symbol. Sought after for their generous proportions, luxurious interiors and show stopping locations, the penthouse is truly the jewel in the super-prime crown. However, the most valuable and unique feature of these exclusive...
May 27, 2016|Architecture
Building Blocks: How art is shaping interiors
Art work has been traditionally viewed as the finishing touch to a home, providing the proverbial cherry on top. However, recently we have observed a reverse trend where art is forming the building blocks of a home. From reinforced floors, to freight elevators to bear the weight of heavy paintings, the architectural fabric of the building is now carefully considered to best...
April 22, 2016|Architecture
An Introduction to Elizabethan Style
This week we pay homage to 400 years of illustrious playwright and national treasure, William Shakespeare. Coinciding with St. George’s Day, April 23rd will truly be a quintessentially British celebration. This coupled with Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday this week means there is no better time to celebrate the enduring elegance of British design through the ages. In...
April 19, 2016|Architecture
Billionaire Holiday Home Hotspots of 2016
Almost 80% of ultra-high net worth individuals own on average a minimum of two homes, and most own at least three*. In fact, the typical billionaire owns four properties scattered across the globe**. These discerning clients are becoming increasingly impulsive and adventurous in the selection of the locations for their holiday homes. As a result, the luxury property market has...
March 2, 2016|Architecture
The Top 5 Features of Super-Prime Property
Super-prime property is all about the superlative; from the very finest materials to world-class luxury amenities, the standard is nothing short of exceptional. The crème de la crème of real estate, super-prime is typically defined as the top 5% of the market with a price tag of £10m plus. There are a number of elements which classify whether a property falls within this...
February 8, 2016|Architecture
The Chinese Calendar Presents a Week of Golden Opportunity
Chinese New Year takes place on the 8th February with 2016 being the year of the monkey. Kicking off the Spring Festival and an entire week of celebrations, these national public holidays (also known as Golden Week) are times when businesses close; its residents visit family, return home to the countryside and travel abroad. Whilst the majority of celebrations take place across...
January 14, 2016|Architecture
A Blue Plaque: The Sign of A Legacy
London has been long been a hub of talent and success with famous residents ranging from actors and politicians to scientists, poets and authors. With many of history’s greatest personalities such as Shakespeare and Beau Brummell having lived in our capital, it seems only fitting that London should pay homage to these and similar residents who have elevated London’s...
December 6, 2015|Architecture
The Historical Relationship Between Design & Architecture
When we look at the history of architecture, the partnership between architect and interior designer was not as we know it today. Historically, architects held the responsibility for both a building’s exterior and interior. This can be seen in the grand designs by the great Georgian architect, John Nash (1752 – 1835), who designed and built many of the state rooms at...
November 27, 2015|Architecture
Popping the Cork on the Wine Cellar
Wine collecting is becoming an increasingly popular and profitable pastime for the super wealthy. For our UHNWI clientele, wine collecting is seen as much of a hobby as it is an investment strategy. Throughout history wine cellars were seen as dark, cool, windowless spaces in basements, which allowed wine collections to be stored. These spaces served a more functional...
August 17, 2015|Architecture
Technology in Traditional Homes
Historic or period properties make up a lot of the super-prime property in London which is part of the attraction for the UHNWI. However when they purchase these properties, often they are not fully equipped for 21st century living. It is our job to integrate state-of-the-art systems and technical solutions whilst balancing them with the heritage features that attracted the...
August 3, 2015|Architecture
YSL Couture meets Architecture
The world of luxury design comes in many guises, but all present the same set of principles; attention to detail, beauty and elegance. Many of the world’s most luxury brands are housed in some of the world’s most beautiful buildings, using the outstanding design and architecture to complement the product. Last week Hedi Slimane announced that Yves Saint Laurent will be...
July 20, 2015|Architecture
Gold Standard Gilding in Interiors
The intricate architectural period details within many of the super-prime properties in London is part of the appeal for the wealthy, particularly for the international audience. Various decorative techniques such as gilding, were and still are used today in order to create the opulent interiors that the ultra high net worth desire. Throughout history gilding has been...
July 16, 2015|Architecture
Serpentine Pavilion 2015
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion marks the 15th anniversary of the Pavilion Commission. First established in 2000 with a structure designed by Zaha Hadid, the annual architectural commission has since grown widely popular with the British public. The commission is based on a six-month conception to completion challenge and this original concept has not wavered since its...
May 28, 2015|Architecture
Space Planning for Super-Prime
With square footage at an extraordinary premium in the golden postcodes of London right now, efficient space planning has become a vital component of the value mix. Developing super-prime property with luxury finishes and detailing is not enough on its own to maximise the price per square foot, it also requires the perfect space plan. Space planning is a key part of interior...
May 12, 2015|Architecture
London Living: St James's
Known as London’s grandest quarter, St James’s is currently seeing a resurgence, sparked by a £500m investment from The Crown Estate into further refining this elegant area. This month has also seen the Royal Academy of Arts unveil their new redevelopment plans for their 250th anniversary in 2018, which will bring yet more renewed interest to the area. It is an...
April 13, 2015|Architecture
British Country Style Property
While the London property market remains buoyant and provides ultra-high net worth individuals with a central base with access to all the amenities they could need on their doorstep, the British countryside offers an idyllic escape from the chaotic nature of the city with a wealth of heritage properties situated in a rolling green landscape. Whether it’s a thatched cottage...
August 29, 2014|Architecture
Secret spaces and hidden rooms are not just the preserve of Hollywood movies; the need for added security and the element of surprise are driving more homeowners to install secret spaces to fulfil various functions. Take the Spiral Cellar, for instance. A natural wine cellar, which stores up to around 150 cases of wine in the optimum conditions and is installed into the...
July 7, 2014|Architecture
Beautiful Barn Conversions
In a society embracing sustainability and modern technologies, what better way to encourage this than bringing aged abandoned barns that have turned to ruin into revived beautiful architectural masterpieces. Neglected architecture is often pushed aside to make way for brand new high-rise modern structures, and it sometimes feels like we only hold onto some hidden gems...
July 2, 2014|Architecture
Light and Bright Basement Design
Basement living spaces are on the increase in number, size and even depth. With restrictions to heights and limited site area, we are now considering digging down one, two and sometimes three storeys to accumulate more space to suit our modern demands. There’s no real art in the process of digging, underpinning and pouring concrete but a well-designed basement space however,...
June 16, 2014|Architecture
Living, socialising and entertaining at home have increased over the years and as such traditional layouts have been shunned for a shared open space where living, cooking and dining come together. Open-plan living promotes light and space, however this large open area should still feel cosy and welcoming; therefore there are certain things to bear in mind to create a successful open-plan space.
June 8, 2014|Architecture
Designing From the Inside Out
Architects, designers and visionaries the world over aspire to create exceptional and unique spaces that will be admired for years to come, ultimately producing iconic landmarks. The aesthetics of a building are a fundamental aspect for developers and designers to consider, especially when creating architecture that impacts the cityscape. However, whilst the exterior qualities...
April 28, 2014|Architecture
Minimalist Design: Less is More
Minimalist design conjures up impressions of sparse, cold, white rooms with just few items such as a table and chairs bringing functionality to the space. However, whilst many of us would be put off at the thought of living in a space so free from objects and layers of visual interest, I think there is something fascinating about the approach to minimalist design and creating a...
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February 19, 2014|Architecture
Outstanding Spiral Staircases
Spiral staircases were historically used in medieval castles and towers, where space was restricted; however today they are often introduced to reflect elegance and sophistication. This is evident at the south eastern gallery at Tate Britain. Designed by Caruso St John Architects, a slick marble spiral staircase beneath the dramatic domed rotunda acts as the centre-piece of the...
February 12, 2014|Architecture
Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined
As interior designers and architects we are exposed to creativity and design on a daily basis, yet sometimes we forget how architecture envelops our lives whether a designer or not. The homes we live in, the buildings we pass every day, the bridges we take; every tiny architectural detail we encounter has its own history, story and purpose. Caught up in the ever evolving world...
January 10, 2014|Architecture
Make an Entrance
A house should not only look good on the inside, but on the outside too. From the paint colour of your window frames, to the gleam of your front door, taking time to perfect the entrance to your house can help make it feel warm, inviting and cosy and will create the right first impression.
November 25, 2013|Architecture
Luxury Loft Living
Today, a loft apartment is probably best described as open plan habitation. Forget your quaint country cottage, generous barn, or grand mansion; the loft apartment is now one of the most sought after types of properties of the wealthy homeowner. The amount of space and grandeur that the high ceilings offer with the added benefit of being at the highest point of a building,...