The city apartment that is a masterclass in colour

This Fitzrovia apartment is a consummate lesson in using bold colour to inject character into a new build, while creating a harmonious setting for the owner’s collection of antique furniture and ceramics

The owner of Creake Abbey, the rural retail destination in north Norfolk, had very specific needs for her London bolthole. ‘It had to be in W1, have parking and be secure so I can lock it and leave.’ After nearly three years of searching, she settled on Fitzroy Place, a development started by the Candy brothers and completed by Exemplar, in partnership with Aviva Investors on the site of what had once been Middlesex Hospital.


This apartment has personal resonance for the owner as she purchased it with the proceeds from selling her parents’ apartment in Grosvenor Square and filled it with furniture taken from their former home. Her childhood memories of growing up in the Colefax & Fowler-designed apartment with huge windows and high ceilings, are so strong, her own home could be termed as a modern imitation.

‘Soon after I bought this apartment, my mother said to me: ‘I hope you won’t make the mistake of not getting a designer to help you.’ I knew she was right. I confess to being a bit square and safe, so I needed someone to push me. Emma Deterding of Kelling Designs was the ideal person to help with that, particularly with colour, and, golly, how this apartment sings with colour,’ she explains.


The glossy orange wall and eye-catching blue of the lamp shade make the entrance hall set the scene for the rest of the scheme. ‘I was keen to find a contemporary way of showing off antique pieces that have been given to me, such as the mirror and lamp,’ says the owner.

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Get the look: Interior design, Kelling Designs, Rivulet console table, from £625, Oka, Walls in Charlotte’s Locks Full Gloss, £60 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball,


The owners white tub chairs were once her mother’s. The stud detailing and shape of the legs inspired designer Emma to incorporate the same details into the chairs she designed for the bespoke dining table.

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Get the look: Dakota base, £2,203, Julian Chichester,


‘My parents’ apartment in Grosvenor Square was designed by Colefax & Fowler and in the French style of Louis XIV,’ she says. ‘My apartment couldn’t accommodate a lot of the furniture we had there, however, as the pieces were too big or overly decorative, but this desk made the grade.’

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Get the look: Teidi Woad rug, £2,195, William Yeoward,


‘Emma designed the practical yet creative dining chairs as a response to my need for a dining table,’ says the owner.

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Get the look: Chair backs upholstered in Janano Azul, £132.40m, Gastón y Daniela at Abbott & Boyd, Chair seats and banquette upholstered in Macrosuede Oatmeal and Pacific, £20m each, Warwick Fabrics,


The curtain fabric is a Kit Kemp design from her favourite hotel, Charlotte Street. ‘Kit’s use of colour has inspired so many people to be bolder in their interior design choices and this pattern contains the accent colours that we’ve used in the apartment,’ says Emma.

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Get the look: Curtains in Rick Rack in Orange, £200m, Christopher Farr,


The wall colour was inspired by a picture of a blue sofa in a large windowed, high-rise building that Artemis had shown to Emma. ‘This shade is virtually identical to the corporate colours that I use for Creake Abbey, but I didn’t connect them till afterwards,’ she explains.

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Get the look: Walls in Juicy Jute Grasscloth Blueberry, £40m, Phillip Jeffries,


The wood panelling, flooring and bathrooms were part of the developers’ standard fit, she recalls. ‘I had no say over it, but I could see that the fittings were of good-quality Italian design without too much bling, so I didn’t worry about it.’

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‘I always dreamed of having a wall lined with a de Gournay print. I fell in love with this one for its texture. It gives me absolute joy to see that pattern,’ she explains.

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Get the look: Wall in Plum Blossom, from £566 per panel, de Gournay,


Although not quite a penthouse, her apartment is on the eighth floor and the lightwell above the window is a welcome extra, throwing additional natural light into the room.

City Apartment London

Get the look: Curtains in Silk Wool Satin in Lili, £150m, Fox Linton,; trimmed in Eaton Plain in Pale Red, £92m, Colefax & Fowler,

Photography ⁄ Davide Lovatti

Interior Design ⁄ Kelling Designs