The idea of a family home is not always synonymous with sophistication. But in this elegant Notting Hill townhouse, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of Banda Design Studio, turned this notion on its head with a playful but pared-back scheme that respectfully straddles periods but also provides the level of comfort and practicality a multigenerational space demands.
Having welcomed his own child with Princess Beatrice a few months ago, Edo personally understands these particular needs and nuances and lent this newfound insight to the space. The three-bedroom, over-3 900-square-metre home bridges its heritage origins and the contemporary lifestyle of its owners through a design that honours both. ‘It is always a challenge to work within the constraints of heritage regulations, but rewarding to preserve these beautiful buildings and breathe new life into them by using artisan craftsmen and working with original materials where appropriate, and replacing like with like wherever possible,’ says Edo. This sensitive approach allowed for a seamless update, incorporating modern comforts and technology (such as underfloor heating, air conditioning and security systems) while retaining the bones and integrity of the space.
A thoroughly of-the-moment acknowledgement of what people want now from their homes informed the spirit of the interiors and, in this way, breaks slightly from the studio’s typical style with a more colourful, playful feel. ‘The past 18 months have seen a profound change in the way people live and what they value. Our homes are now, more than ever, a sanctuary from the outside world, but they also have to be the space we share with our family, work from, and where we exercise and eat every meal. It felt like the right time to do something a bit different,’ he says.
This mission for satisfying a need for pragmatism and inspiration has resulted in a home that is easy to live in but also aesthetically energising – as demonstrated by spaces such as the high-specification kitchen with its statement cantilevered island in Calacatta Oro marble, hidden bar area and highly functional layout. ‘It speaks of someone knowledgeable about design and bold in their choices but also practical and down to earth, wanting to entertain in a social space in the heart of the home,’ says Edo.
This eclectic combination of different pieces and periods woven seamlessly together is further evidence of the owners’ interests – their life and lifestyle thus far. ‘The tapestry of new pieces combined with instantly recognisable design classics, one-off bespoke pieces and well-worn antiques reflects a life well-lived and well-travelled,’ says Edo. This cultured and elevated interior approach is complemented by the artwork throughout, with striking pieces by artists from around the world, including Alina Vergnano, Alexi Tsioris and Tomo Campbell.
Edo’s multicultural inspiration comes into play too. He infuses his African connections, directly and indirectly, into every project he does, seen in this space via understated but dynamic suggestions, such as the magical safari-inspired nursery, the zebra print sofa or the Christopher Farr ‘Snake Pomegranate’ rug in the sitting room, as well as earthy tones – Paint & Paper Library paint in Masai in the dining room stands out. This material and colour palette, while informed by multicultural interests, is also universal enough to honour the heritage architecture and pull the different elements together, creating spaces each with a distinct personality.
Shades of terracotta, burnt bronze, navy, mustard, yellow and army green accompany bold patterns and classic ticking stripes. ‘We wanted to introduce a more playful element to this family home, working within a palette that would stand the test of time. We created different zones within the fluid living space, each with a unique palette, all seamlessly combining to create a cohesive whole,’ says Edo.
Timeless but distinctive, beautiful yet practical, it exemplifies the sort of personal but pragmatic spaces that offer sanctuary – that allow for socialising and private reflection, that offer the best of contemporary style and reassuring longevity.
Words by Julia Freemantle