From a Mondrian-inspired fireplace wall to a room set of bespoke furniture in a range of specialist finishes, Rupert Bevan’s exquisite work has transformed the luxury interior of this London home
What was the brief for this project?
To provide bespoke furniture and specialist finishes that enhanced a complete redesign of the ground floor, which included an open-plan living room/dining room and entrance hall.
Essential elements of the brief included:
1.Designing a replacement for the partition wall separating the living space from the hallway, which would impact on the space less severely and allow light through.
2. Designing a visually pleasing but fully functional fireplace wall with concealed TV and cabinetry for the living room.
3. Creating an entire room set of bespoke furniture for the dining room in a range of interesting finishes in complementary colour tones.
What was the biggest challenge?
The fireplace wall (above) was the most challenging aspect of this project. From a technical perspective any design process is much more complex when you have to allow for exposure to intense heat or electrics or hidden cabinetry – this involved all three. Heat can cause many materials for both substrates and surface finishes to warp or distort, so functionality and longevity were of paramount importance in this design. It was both challenging and exciting to find a design solution which is so visually interesting and compelling but also fully functional and effective.
What are you most pleased with?
The fireplace wall! The final design is reminiscent of Mondrian in its panel layout, which is both geometric and asymmetric, and we used a textured polished plaster finish for the panels themselves.
I am also very happy with the asymmetric shelving (below) on the opposite wall, which was a designed specifically for the client’s collection of artefacts. We had to create something that was subtle and understated enough not to detract from the pieces displayed, but instead of being utilitarian was also a fantastic design in its own right. The innovative shape and use of close tones in leather and timber achieved this.
Anything you would change with hindsight?
I worked very closely with the client on this project, and in terms of the design there is nothing I would change as I feel the end result is truly fabulous. From a personal perspective I am fond of brighter colours and feel these interiors could provide the perfect palette for some really interesting artwork – which may already have happened.
Client involvement: hands-on or hands-off?
Definitely hands-on. The interior designer was Beverley Angell of Beetroot Interiors, and she was incredibly dedicated and inspired throughout the duration of the project. She provided a huge amount of creative input into the design process, with lots of attention to detail which is really important to us. The end client was also involved in terms of decision making to ensure everything would be to her taste.
Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline for 2016?
Yes, however the nature of what I do involves working in interiors that are private rather than public, so discretion to protect the privacy of our clients is important. Having said that, I think that Queen’s Club won’t mind me mentioning a very fantastic bar we are making for the Player’s Room. It will be in patinated brass and stitched leather, and will look utterly fabulous.
What excites you in the world of interiors?
Lots of things, but I think mainly the never-ending variety of people and design possibilities. In design nobody is wrong – like in the art world the aesthetics of design are subjective. Everybody has a different opinion which is fantastic, and as a bespoke maker I am in a position where I’m lucky to see such a huge variety of creativity in design.
Any predictions for interior trends in 2016?
Well I’m always hoping there will be a contemporary revival of Baroque! Otherwise I think there will be continued interest in mirrors and in metal cladding, and we will see innovative new ways of using these surfaces in design, functionally as well as decoratively. They can both be used to either subtle or outrageous effect. For example, we have just started using traditional hand-blown stained glass with our mirror-making techniques to produce very interesting and modern interior finishes.
For more information, visit Rupert Bevan