Arlington House is a large purpose-built residential block of 120 apartments in Arlington Street, Mayfair. Designed by Modernist architect Michael Rosenauer and hailed upon completion in 1936 as the most modern block of flats in Europe, Arlington House sits on the edge of Green Park next to The Ritz.
Quoted in 1936, Rosenauer declared that:
I have tried to make a building that does its job without any fuss. No pomposity, no airs.
In the 1950s, Rosenauer designed the Inn on the Park, the Carlton Tower and The Westbury as well as the Time and Life building.
At the upper end of the luxury market, Arlington House enjoys a high all year-round occupancy rate, which makes the task of refurbishment a military operation. Initially we were asked to refurbish 20 two-bed apartments in four phases and worked with interior designer Gail Race. Due to the nature of the building where guests, often families with children, can stay for just two nights or 30 years as one guest did, comfort, practicality and durability were utmost with comfort. Returning guests often request the same apartment over and over so it must feel like a home from home.
In terms of style, it was agreed that a Modern Deco Luxe look would be appropriate, mixing modern and contemporary pieces of furniture and art, with soft furnishings in bold, jewel-like colours and geometric patterns. The project to date has included 27 two-bed and 4 four-bed apartments, and is ongoing.
The two bed apartments were broken down into four colour schemes: teal, lapis blue, amethyst and graphite. The principal room had to work as both a drawing room and dining room. Feature walls were created using dark blues and purples using Mylands paint. For a touch of glamour, specialist-finish company Decorum Est decorated niches with Deco fish scale tiles in rich metallic colours.
Sofas and arm chairs were chosen from Minotti, Robert Langford and Linley, and upholstered in rich colours from Pierre Frey’s Gaspard velvet range; chairs were also covered in contrasting fabrics by Pierre Frey, Romo and Linwood; cushions and pouffes were made using Pierre Frey, Romo, and Osborne & Little fabrics with repeat geometric motifs, in keeping with the Deco Luxe theme. Side and coffee tables were supplied by Robert Langford and Eichholtz, mostly with metal frames and glass tops; circular wenge dining tables were made bespoke by our workshop, and dining chairs were supplied by Pierre Frey, Robert Langford and Poltrona Frau. Lamps in coloured glass, chrome and wood were sourced from Eichholtz, Ralph Lauren and Le Deun. Large geometric feature mirrors were used to reflect light and as a nod to the building’s history.
Hallways were papered with bold metallic vinyls from Casamanca, Osborne & Little and Romo, consoles and mirrors were by Robert Langford. Series of hand coloured photographs of yachts by Kos Evans were used to decorate the common parts and drawing rooms.
The schemes were carried through into the bedrooms, for which we made deep buttoned, upholstered headboards, pouffes and cushions in softer tones. A feature wall was created in each bedroom with Osborne and Little wallpapers. Robert Langford supplied bedside tables, chests of drawers and mirrors.
The four-bed apartments were on a much larger scale, each having a drawing room, separate dining room, kitchen, four bedrooms, bathrooms and long hallways with entrance lobby. For these premium apartments, our brief was essentially the same in terms of practicality, but the emphasis was much more on luxury, with key pieces by well-known designers.
Apartment 28 opens onto a large entrance hall, we created two distinct areas, one with a bespoke console from our own Art Deco style macassar range and another with a Robert Langford slipper chair. The hall and corridors do not benefit from natural light, so we used a reflective geometric vinyl by Casamanca. A large abstract canvas by artist Victoria van Holthe was given prime position, and the corridors were lined with Kos Evan’s photographs. A statement light pendant by Sciolari from the 1970s was used.
The connecting drawing room, dining room and study all overlook St James’ park, with big windows and plenty of light. We decided to create feature walls in strong petrol blue shades from Mylands. As up to 8 guests could be staying in these apartments, there had to be plenty of seating. We chose Linley’s angular Maxi sofas upholstered in Pierre Frey velvets, which were off-set with Linley’s rounded Deco tub chairs and accessorized with accent cushions by Casa Botelho. Bespoke brass side tables with acid etched glass tops were created for the project. In the centre of the room was a large B & B Italia granite table sitting on a handmade North Indian rug in muted tones by Rugs of Petworth. Between the windows hung a second Victoria van Holthe canvas. Hand-blown amber glass floor lamps of dark wood tripod bases were sourced to provide extra lighting.
The dining room is spacious and bright. We chose a Christian Liaigre Misaine table and Pierre Frey dining chairs. One wall was lined with Decorum Est verre eglomise panels and metallic photographs by Kos Evans shimmered in recesses. For lighting we decided to use further Sciolari pieces, a large ceiling pendant and wall sconces, to add drama and glamour. The table, positioned on another Indian rug with a soft abstract design, was accessorized with William Yeoward’s decorative palm tree candlesticks and a L’Objet dinner service.
Bedroom schemes were in teal, soft greens and petrol blue. Robert Langford made bespoke chests of drawers for storage to go match their bedside tables, and also supplied luxury beds, mirrors and chairs. We made similar style buttoned headboards and pouffes in-keeping with the two bed flats. Lamps were sourced from Oka and Ralph Lauren.
The Arlington House project continues and we are currently working on two large four bedroom apartments for completion in June 2018.