Home Tour: A Stylish Home that Showcases London’s Craft Heritage
London has a storied history of craftsmanship, with skilled tradesmen shaping the way the city has developed over the ages. Back in the eighteenth century, skilled artisans from France and Spain set up shop in the capital, working alongside acclaimed British makers such as Thomas Chippendale; particularly in neighbourhoods such as Fitzrovia.
Today, the area continues to be a flourishing creative hub and houses various advertising and media agencies as well as a bevy of chic restaurants and bars. When tasked to transform a three-bedroom show apartment in this illustrious district, London-based studio Bergman & Mar decided to draw inspiration from its rich heritage.
Located within a boutique residential development, 101 on Cleveland, this 1,147sqft abode marries historical relevance with contemporary accents effortlessly. The result was so impactful that its present owner did not hesitate to acquire the unit as a home this year, with all its enthralling details intact.
“The style is a nod to gentlemen’s clubs, but with a contemporary approach and feminine touches,” explains Petra Arko, founder and creative director of Bergman & Mar. “Fitzrovia was known for its bohemian lifestyle; today, it remains a space for creatively inclined residents who love the best of what London has to offer.”
The style is a nod to gentlemen’s clubs, but with a contemporary approach and feminine touches— Petra Arko, founder and creative director of Bergman & Mar
Echoing the design of 101 on Cleveland, which was inspired by Fitzrovia’s artistic history and Cleveland Street’s Georgian origins, the apartment exudes a sense of timelessness. The three-bedroom home encapsulates past craftsmen such as Thomas Chippendale’s appreciation of eclecticism with a curated selection of bespoke pieces from over 40 brands, artisans and manufacturers from the UK and around the world.
To steer clear of a dated look, Bergman & Mar balanced the old and the new by playing with a variety of finishes and textures. The firm added soulful touches via well-made objects that featured their own unique story, while celebrating the rich history of the neighbourhood.
To achieve the desired eclectic result, the team sourced for products from new makers weekly. “The best way to keep the design from looking tired or dated is to avoid following design trends,” says Arko. “An interior that looks ‘collected’, rather than purchased all in one year and from the same shop, will better stand the test of time.”
The team designed the open-plan living room to foster interaction between the owner and his guests. The focal point of the living room is a sinuous sofa from Tacchini on a custom Coral & Hive rug. The designers also paired the curved form of the sofa with an angular Dal Vera armchair.
Perfect for enabling interactivity, the contemporary kitchen and the adjoining dining area serve as another gathering point. With its anthracite grey stone worktop, statement marble splashback and reeded glass cupboard doors, the kitchen is a statement space meant to be showcased rather than hidden—a nexus of entertainment in the home.
The study is both a calming and an inspiring place. The designers adore this room for its chalky wall finish, which gives it a softness against the industrial-style shelves that showcase a collection of books, vases and other decorative objects.
“My favourite space is the study,” gushes Arko. “I think it’s such a perfect blend of gentle shapes with really strong ones; it’s a mix of iconic pieces with new furniture.” Here, the firm paired vintage furnishings with a handmade desk from Fred Rigby Studio and a floor lamp designed by Bergman & Mar. The Magis Traffic leather chaise longue by Konstantin Grcic offers a perfect reading nook.
The rich veining of the red marble console adds a dash of drama to the master bedroom
An artwork by Morag Caister brings visual interest to a corner of this bedroom
As this beautiful home illustrates, Arko and her team have a knack for striking a delicate balance between the past and the present. “It’s vital to get the balance right and to make sure the design is fresh, with well-chosen nods to the past,” she says. “We looked to create a harmonious space referencing both the old and new, with a contemporary take on the historical values of furniture making.”
- PhotographyTaran Wilkhu