Charu Gandhi, founder and director of interior design and architecture studio Elicyon.
Single-storey apartment in one of three restored 19th-century townhouses in Knightsbridge, London. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, main en-suite bedroom with dressing room, plus two guest en-suite bedrooms.
The design brief presented to Charu Gandhi when asked to style a 19th-century townhouse gave her freedom to explore – and explore she did. ‘The developers had some cool must-haves they wanted but they also gave us leeway to carve out creative opportunities for ourselves.’ That took Charu on a journey of discovery that led to an unusual source of inspiration.
‘When taking on the design of a traditional property, we research the area and its history,’ she says. ‘In this case, we unearthed the fact that the location of the apartment in Knightsbridge was once simply a bridge over the “lost” Westbourne River – one of several ancient London watercourses that are now subterranean.’ Charu and her team at Elicyon design studio took that information and swam with it.
Before the design process could start, though, the layout was reconfigured by Parisian designer Pierre Yovanovitch to create rooms that lend themselves to modern living. Architecturally, the integrity of this Georgian interior was preserved, and it references sophisticated European residences where high ceilings, white stucco frontages and a sensibility of scale between rooms inform the design.
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