A collection of vintage Japanese obis was the starting point for this glamorous home, resplendent in a palette of intense hues
Japanese art and design was the starting point for exquisite interiors resplendent in exuberant, intense hues.
When creating the schemes for a new home, it is sometimes helpful to consider what one really does not like and for Swiss-american Céline Beaulieu, the answer was simple: “I’m really not a fan of white,” she confides. “For me, colour is so important and I like quite intense shades. I’m not afraid to be bold.” It was with this mantra that she approached the renovation of her home, a 1930s property in central London. CREATING A SOCIABLE SPACE As a young professional with a wide network of friends and family, Céline was keen to adapt the layout of her home to suit her love of informal entertaining and to help her remodel the spaces, she contacted a design and build firm. On the ground floor, the kitchen was moved from the front to the back of the house and a tiny courtyard was incorporated into the footprint to provide an adjoining dining area. On the first floor, the sitting room was reduced in size to create a second bedroom, enabling the top floor to be devoted to Céline’s bedroom and bathroom. The Crittall windows were replaced with new black-framed ones, and their design is echoed in glazed interior doors that allow light to flow throughout the entire ground floor. NOD TO THE EAST Before moving to London, Céline had spent several years living in Japan and when she first met with interior designer Hannah Brown, of Wilding & Wolfe, she came
I’m not really a fan of white. For me, colour is so important and I like quite intense shades. I’m not afraid to be bold.”
armed with ten vintage obis. “The fabrics are incredibly beautiful and I hoped to incorporate at least some of them into the schemes,” she recalls. “I had also come across some exquisite Chiyogami (hand screen-printed paper) in an art supply shop and I wanted to investigate the idea of using it on some of the walls.”
INSPIRED BY AUTUMN
Hannah took the obis as a starting point for the colour schemes, drawing on Céline’s love of rich autumnal hues to develop a palette that spans antique golds and burnt oranges to intense shades of turquoise and teal. As a contrast to the more traditional textiles, Hannah suggested bold geometric patterns on rugs and encaustic cement tiles. “I really wasn’t convinced that these would be for me,” says Céline, “but I fell in love with them and I now see them as a really crucial part of the design.” Touches of brass and bronze run through the rooms, lending subtle glamour, while the Chiyogami, which was supplied in wrapping-paper size sheets, was painstakingly applied to the walls of the study and cloakroom.
Céline owns a considerable collection of art, although it was only after the house was decorated that she hired a consultant to help decide where the pieces would hang. “I think it’s a myth that you need white walls to display art well,” she says. “It’s surprising how di≠erent backdrops can bring out the colours in a photograph or painting.” With its bold, jewel-like tones, her home testifies to this, and reflects the warmth and energy of its owner.