Moving into a sparse white box of a new build flat feels like it could soon be a thing of the past here in London. Across the capital, it seems an increasing number of developers are asking interior designers to create louche, elegant spaces in every apartment they have up for sale, not just the show home – meaning that, should you buy, you’re not moving into a eye-gougingly bright panic room, but a fully realised home that needs mere tweaks to give it a dash of your own personality.
One of the interior designers leading this trend right now is Sophie Ashby, founder and creative director of Studio Ashby. Trained at Parsons School of Design in New York, her classic-meets-contemporary vibe combines modern furniture, luxurious fabrics and colourful artwork to make the kind of comfortable, liveable homes we all actually want to own – but that still look stylish, considered and sleek. It’s the sort of trend-led design that whispers instead of shouting.
Her most recent collaboration is with Upper Riverside, five residential towers that are part of the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration project – a multi-billion pound urban development scheme that’s turning the district surrounding the O2 from mudflats and deserted boat yards into one of the capital’s buzziest neighbourhoods – designed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects behind One World Trade Centre in New York, and Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Each of the five towers’ interiors have been created by a different design studio, with Studio Ashby taking on the 126 one, two and three-bedroom flats, lofts and penthouses in tower No 3.
Throughout all the open-plan flats Ashby has used a warm palette of warm beiges, dusty blues and rich muted greens, mixed with brass and stone to reflect the Thames as it changes over the seasons. Oak doors and flooring with visible grains and knots add comfort and a homely feeling, while natural materials contrast with the bold architecture of the tower, and a mix of black and brass metalwork adds a more modern touch.
If you’re in need more inspiration for decking out your own flat, you can always check out the show apartment for the development, which takes Studio Ashby’s vision for the space to its full design conclusion, filled with with bright artwork, furnishings upholstered in rich velvets and vibrant prints, and mid-century inspired pieces.
All you need’s the deposit, and you’re home.
Prices at No.3 Upper Riverside start from £550,000. For further information, contact 020 3713 6153 or visit upperriverside.co.uk