In this opulent apartment at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, London, Charu Gandhi of Elicyon recreated the look and feel of Mediterranean architecture

It’s located in one of the most prestigious addresses in London—yet in this 8,000 sq ft, five-bedroom, five-bathroom apartment at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, the proprietor wanted the space to evoke memories of the south of France, Ibiza and Mykonos.

“The owner is young and spent a lot of time travelling around Europe when growing up,” explains Charu Gandhi, founder and director of London-based design studio Elicyon, who spearheaded an 18-month renovation of the home. “He wanted the interiors to feel like a mix between some of his favourite European holiday destinations.” 

Architect Gandhi is no stranger to One Hyde Park. Prior to working on the renovation of this apartment, Elicyon had undertaken several private projects for clients residing there.

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“When the owners were purchasing the residence, they had heard our name as the design studio synonymous with recent projects [at One Hyde Park],” she says. “Word of mouth really is key in our industry.” 

The apartment came with a base build created by the developer, though was devoid of furniture, remembers Gandhi. Repurposing the existing materials to change the aesthetic of the home became one of the biggest changes she made: “it took several rounds of perfecting the technique to get the look and colour right.”

Before the renovation, yellow oak flooring and joinery were prominent throughout the space. “We felt this didn’t align with the client’s brief, but we were conscious of not ripping it out completely and therefore wasting quality materials,” Gandhi notes. Instead, she and her team bleached the wood in order to create a “whitewashed timber look”. 

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The cooling, light blonde shade that now dominates the living room is often associated with the Mediterranean destinations that the client found inspiration from.

Meanwhile, the use of a white, natural palette was also important—“without feeling pastiche and like it had been just planted in the space”, says Gandhi.

“Ultimately, it needed to feel appropriate for its central London setting.” 

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Over in the living room, Gandhi removed the solid walls. This created an expansive open-plan living space, she says. “It flowed more naturally through to the snug lounge on one side and dining room on the other.” Furniture include a curved sofa by Bray, a George Smith rug, a Tjep metal chaise and a Belvedere backgammon table.

The living room adjoins a balcony—one of the two outdoor terraces in the apartment—which offers views of the greenery at Hyde Park. Vero curtains in a bespoke custom border pattern are installed next to the floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows. 

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Plenty of thought went into creating the best layout possible for the owner’s desire to display his private art collection.

At the entrance of the home, the walls are painted a soothing matte-grey with a “suede-like” feel. “Our intention for this was that you would display a wall-mounted installation piece of art that would be back-lit or lit around the edges,” says Gandhi.

The walls on either side feature an abstract wall panel detailing, constructed in a way that allows the owner to “hang art in whichever direction desired.”

An “art bar” made of a thin metal strip and built into the top of the wall runs the length of the corridors from the lobby to the living room, meaning pieces can be hung throughout the home. Specially created art lighting hangs above it. “The walls are hand-painted with a plaster textured finish, which pose as the perfect backdrop for artwork in different forms.

This attention to detail extends to the other spaces: “In the study and kitchen we fixed metal trim frames to the walls to indicate clearly where art in the room should be placed,” adds Gandhi. A geometric framework in the kitchen, for example, can act as a feature wall on its own, or provide space for art placement. 

The guestroom has a marked contrast to the rest of the home. Decorated with tropical-inspired hand-painted wallpaper from De Gourney, the room has a whimsical feel—a departure from the monochrome feel throughout other parts of the apartment.

“The intention in this room was to create an ‘otherness’ to the rest of the spaces in the home,” explains Gandhi. “We were inspired to create a sense of travel without the need to leave the property—almost in response to life in 2020 and 2021.” Pieces in the room include rattan side tables by Nicky Haslam. “Typically, guests don’t stay for weeks on end—and so it was an opportunity to do something punchier and stronger with design.”

Reflecting on the project, Gandhi says her favourite moments are “made up of all the smaller moments along the way”. The client’s fascination with vintage items, for example, proved to be an inspiration during the design process: the Elicyon team repurposed vintage Chinese vases into lamps for the dining room.

“Then, of course, seeing it come together and the artwork being hung on completion was really special.”

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