Luxury design is in each detail for Studio Vero. Romanos Brihi and Venetia Rudebeck joined forces in 2014 to open this company. Studio Vero has established a reputation for creating environments which feel expressive, yet also aesthetically balanced. Fusing a desire for inventiveness with design refinement, the panache with practicality, these interior designers work together to create striking results.
The London Magazine had a “light and airy Kensington conversion” with them and the owners to know more about this interior design project. As someone who started his professional career working with Finchatton, Brihi is accustomed to envisaging the possibilities in even the most unpromising space, but his clients’ requirements always come first. “The owners have a large family in London and love entertaining. I felt some of the properties they were looking at initially would just have been too small for their needs.”
Then, Brihi found and recommended a neat double-fronted Victorian house in Kensington, pretty as a picture on the exterior, with scope for tailoring to requirements indoors. The architectural revisions left four floors of light and spacious living, the ideal canvas to introduce a look with a strong American accent. “The owners wanted something fresh and elegant, simple but sophisticated. Florida meets Park Avenue.”
However, needed to rehouse the highlights of a carefully accumulated collection of fine furniture and 19th- and 20th-century paintings, and this required a careful edit. In order to ensure aesthetic coherence, the ground floor sitting and dining room were designed around lighter, more abstract works, the lower-ground floor kitchen and family room with earlier oil paintings in mind.
The colour palette throughout has been carefully modulated to reflect the use of each room, with a light and summery prospect in the master bedroom – “the owners want something very serene and calming” – and a warmer, more autumnal mood in the cozy open-plan family room opening out on to the garden on the lower ground floor.
Space for entertaining is very much a leitmotif of the born-again space, and the owner is delighted with the multi-faceted opportunities now offered. In order to unify the whole, bespoke furniture has played a starring role. “I love supplying individual pieces that the owners’ friends won’t have,” says Brihi. “I don’t feel I’ve done my job properly if I just shop on the high street.”
Certainly, no one could accuse him of neglecting his responsibilities, and here every detail has been carefully considered, from the dining room chairs adorned with period-referenced hooks on the back, allowing them to be pulled back without marring the fabric, to the carpet on the fluid sweep of hall staircase edged with contrast stripes. “The treads were too narrow for a stair runner but this alludes to it.” The contemporary design is undeniable.
And, while the beautiful is always to the fore, the practical is kept firmly in view. “We really wanted to use a De Gournay silk wallpaper on the staircase, but with children and suitcases, we thought it would get scuffed and ruined, so we had our decorative painter create the look of silk panels – including the joins.”
“They finished the project incredibly quickly and we hardly had to go to a meeting,” says the owner. “It really was a very pleasant experience.”Not something that’s always said of downsizing.
What do you think about this luxury design?