The Bespoke Pieces in House of Walpole

By Oliver Burns

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December 7, 2022|

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  • e worked with a number of British Designers on bespoke pieces for the House of Walpole project, a collaboration between ourselves, Northacre and Walpole. All designers worked within the brief of ‘a love letter to the Palace Gardens’, their work takes inspiration from nature which is woven throughout the apartment. Read our article below where we talk in more detail about these key pieces and how we worked with the iconic designers behind them.

Headboard designed by Oliver Burns, created by Helen Amy Murray

Hand- Sculpted feature wall by Helen Amy Murray

The standout feature in the Master Bedroom is the 3m tall headboard wall artwork:- a tribute to a pair of Plane trees named Victoria and Albert, after Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort. They were personally planted by the couple on Horse Chestnut Avenue, within the gardens, in the 1850s. The hand sculpted textile artwork features the trees statuesque, shadowing either side of the bed. The leaves create a delicately arched canopy and the trunk and branches reach out beyond the walls and ceiling, evoking the monumental proportion of the famous trees.

Soft faux suede in subtle grey green is combined with embroidered silk crepe satin appliqué, the colours appear the same, but the satin sheen contrasted with the napped suede reflects the light and creates new tones within the artwork. The marriage of light and shadow is the result of Helen’s exceptional artistry whereby the artwork emerges from the wall in varying degrees of relief, much like the appearance of a bas-relief but in textiles that merge together during the meticulous process.

Mulberry bench designed by Oliver Burns, created by Aiveen Daly

Mulberry Leaves Bench by Aiveen Daly

In 1608 James I planted Mulberry bushes in the Palace Gardens in the hope of rearing silkworms. The silkworms never came but the garden is now home to 45 different types of mulberry trees and hosts the National Collection of Mulberries. The Mulberry Leaves Bench is formed around the silhouette of intertwined Mulberry leaves and is upholstered in leather and of course, a touch of silk. Hand made in London by luxury textile art studio Aiveen Daly.

Wallpaper designed by Oliver Burns, created by Cole & Son

Menagerie wallpaper by Cole and Sons

 The Powder Room at House of Walpole is an homage to Queen Charlotte’s menagerie. The menagerie included an elephant, avaries filled with exotic birds, two monkey houses and most unsually of all, the first zebra ever seen in England, given to her as a wedding gift.  The zebra quickly became a curiosity for the public to marvel at, and famously became known as ‘The Queen’s Ass.’

The elegantly hand-painted scene by the artists at Cole and Son has been translated onto a faux silk base, inspired by the portrait that George Stubbs created to immortalise this special zebra, imbuing the interior with a whimsical yet understated elegance.

Edelweiss Piano. Marquetry designed by Oliver Burns, created by Aryma

Bespoke Piano by Edelweiss, Floral Motif by Aryma

The Edelweiss Flugel is a sublime hand-built piano made in Cambridge.  This bespoke statement piece reflects the grandeur of the setting whilst combining a whimsical contemporary twist that both surprises and delights.  The piano is self-playing, enabling the combination of live acoustic music with a unique art piece: Art and the Art of Music combine. This classic British design with ‘vintage’ turned legs has a completely colour contrasting interior in a blush tone, hidden out of sight until the wing lid is opened, finished in matt in contrast to the high gloss interior.

We worked with Aryma who exquisitely crafted a magnificent feature marquetry inlay design across both the main lid and music desk flap, combining centuries old traditional techniques with the latest technology in order to produce marquetry for this special piece.

Sofa designed by Oliver Burns, created by Ben Whistler

Curved sofa by Ben Whistler

The gorgeous 3.5 metre curved sofa has been made seamlessly in two sections with a detachable back. Behind its effortlessly simple form is a complex production process which was carried out by expert joiners and upholsters using traditional techniques. Classic heavy duty carpentry machines, alongside joiners, were used in the production of the frame to create both a smooth and comfortable finish.

A pocket sprung base in an upholstered fixed seat and back gives the feel and look of ultimate luxury. Finished by experienced upholsterers with both artistic and physical skill, the piece weighs 150kg and needed to be carefully positioned and rotated many times during the final stages of production.

Backgammon board designed by Oliver Burns, created by Alexandra Llewellyn

 Backgammon board by Alexandra Llwellyn

Alexandra Llwellyn is famed for her exquisite Backgammon boards and card boxes and has designed a bespoke version of her signature award winning Backgammon board for the apartment. Using materials of the highest quality and always sustainable in their origin, each piece is meticulously created and overseen by expert artisans at every stage. The fumed eucalyptus box is a piece of art in its own right, showcasing flawless joinery and Alexandra’s distinctive fastenings. On opening an array of butterflies symbolise grace, joy and transformation and take inspiration from the Royal Garden. The delicate patterns of their wings are beautifully created in shades of cobalt blue, which are contrasted by tapered arrows in a vivid yellow. Playing pieces in orange and cream finish the hand lacquered board, alongside signature black calf leather shakers and precision-cut dice.

Console table and mirror, designed by Oliver Burns, created by Anka Bespoke

Console and Mirror by Anka Bespoke 

The console table pays homage to the lake, capturing its ever-changing tones of colour and gentle movement of water. Hand poured resin, pigments and liquid metal, is completed in multiple stages to create depth and movement where layers filled with hues of grey and white capture the tones of the water. Lightly antiqued liquid metal is sanded and patinated by hand to resemble the lakes irregular shape, it’s unstructured form and organic edges are inspired by the natural contours of the lake.

The Mirror placed above the console plays with shadows, reflections, and light in the space to emulate the movement and changing shades of the water throughout the day. Darker bronze sections of the console are highlighted to compliment the striking smoked antique glass which reflects the opulent surroundings of the entrance hall.

Sidetable designed by Oliver Burns, created by Davidson London

Sideboard by Davidson London

A vision of jet-black sophistication, the Walpole Cabinet by Davidson London is designed in high gloss quilted maple in black graphite. The external marquetry recalls a sunburst imaginatively recast in contemporary black and silver sycamore pearl, sycamore slate, and sycamore silk. Whilst the internal faces in sycamore pearl create a cool pale grey space ideal for stashing entertaining essentials such as glasses, bottles, and crockery.

Mirror and desk designed by Oliver Burns, created by Shaw Stephens

Dressing table and mirror by Shaw Stephens

Dressing Table and Mirror Pedestal legs in a textured veined bronze, support the dark oak dressing table top. Three slim drawers opened with discreet finger pulls are lined with soft suede and have a carved reeded finish to their fronts. The smooth grain filled top surface in English oak is stained to a rich warm tone and complements the tactile textured finishes below.

A large contemporary circular mirror with a slim oak frame sits neatly behind the dressing table, positioned as you walk into the master bedroom to reflect the length of the hallway, as well as the striking feature wall.

Desk designed by Oliver Burns, created by Fabrili

Desk by Fabrili

One continuous piece of metal is effortlessly shaped into a sweeping curve, designed to seamlessly flow with the chair. Created by Fabrili and finished in a sprayed bronze metallic finish to compliment the metal framework of the chair. Viewing the desk from different angles in the space highlights its beautiful tones of bronze.

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