Homeowner Interview: Manhattan-Style Living with a Feminine Touch
Project: Madeira Tower, London
We spoke with our client, Hala, to find out more about her initial vision for her apartment, her lifestyle and what she loves most about the finished design.
Tell us about yourself...
I am from Saudi Arabia however from a young girl my family and I have always travelled a lot and often stayed in London when visiting the UK. I studied Law in Manchester and then moved home to work for a year. I then decided to make a change and study International Relations, focusing on sustainable development.
Home is such an important thing to me, it’s not just about having walls and a roof, it’s about telling a story and most importantly my story; sharing my loves, life and passions.
Whilst I study hard and work hard, home – at the end of the day – is what it’s all about, it’s where I want to one day raise children and for it to be a place they feel safe and inspired in.
How would you describe your individual style?
My style has changed a lot over the years – as it does for many – and it will often change with my mood. When I was a young girl I was very much a ‘Tom Boy’ and whilst I wouldn’t describe myself as that any longer it’s something that’s stuck with me. I love pink and purple, but that doesn’t necessarily make me ‘girly’ and this is something I really wanted to reflect in the interiors of my apartment.
I want to shift that stereotype around how pink is ‘girly’ and perceived as young – the same for how ‘blue is for boys’ - and I wanted to showcase how using pops of pinks and purples can still look classy, mature and sophisticated. It’s really important to me that my home showcases colour this way.
What does your home in London mean to you?
We travelled to and stayed in London every summer whilst I was growing up and we did this a lot with my Mum who sadly passed away when I was younger. London for me holds sentimental value because of this; It’s always been my second home.
I see my apartment in London as my home from home and my safe haven. I am very much a home person and London is where I want to create somewhere I can retreat to at the end of a busy day and feel I can both relax and/or socialise in; a diverse space allowing me to enjoy my independence and feel inspired by the moment I wake up and equally the moment I return through the door.
What was your initial brief and vision?
Wardrobes, wardrobes and wardrobes... this is where I started. I have a LOT of bags and shoes (at least 50 pairs of shoes...) that I wanted to display beautifully so this was the first thing I listed when speaking to Vesta. This then played into my Dressing Room ideas; since being a child I have wanted a swoon-worthy Dressing Room I could have huge mirrors and lights in and large display areas for my favourite things. I wanted a spacious room I could get ready in alone or with friends before heading out; a really sociable and luxurious space.
When it came to colour, I was clear I wanted hot pinks and purples but to be used in a sophisticated way. And I wanted to add elements of gold where possible. Ashley was so helpful in guiding me on the best use of colour and how and where to combine colour.
I really am a home person so it was important to me to not only allow for sociable spaces but spaces I can feel relaxed and inspired in. So really, it was a case of creating multi-functional areas especially within the Living/ Dining Room. I may want to have a cosy evening in, just me or I may have up to 10 friends over at one time so I wanted the larger part of the apartment – the living and dining area – to consider this.
I wanted each room to showcase a different element of me; the homely part of me who likes to relax and unwind and have long video calls with family; and then the sociable, more glamorous side where I host friends and we have great nights out in the City. I think it’s important for your home to reflect every part of you.
Are the final designs as you imagined? Had anything changed from your initial brief or is different to how you expected?
The outcome surpassed my expectations. I was overcome with a feeling of pride and happiness when I saw the photos from the final install. This is my home!
It was so lovely to work with such creative people. From the very start Ashley would provide me with feedback and ideas based on what I’d asked for – all of which improved the final look. This included every little detail; from how and where to use colours to what size my favourite handbags were so they could make the presentation shelf perfect for them, even whether I wanted my shoe shelves to be angled or not in order to show the full shoe better.
It was such a fantastic experience and I am over the moon with the outcome. It was almost like getting a crash course in interior design, I have come away educated and knowing some great tips and tricks for when I come to purchase another property.
What is (or are) your favourite element of the interiors?
I have to pick three favourites!
THE DINING AREA This wasn’t just a place I wanted to eat, it’s a place I wanted to host and have friends gather around for drinks and catching up. Usually you’d find a simple table and chairs in a dining area but this fitted bench seat and table allows for a far more sociable scene – not to mention the gorgeous cocktail trolley! It’s a great use of space
THE SOFA The sofa acts as a bit of a contrast to how I see the dining area, and this is my place to relax and unwind. I wanted it to be bold and beautiful but also allow me to have a space I can lay on the sofa and fall asleep watching my favourite TV shows for those all-important nights in. It beautifully incorporates all my favourite colours too!
THE DRESSING ROOM This is everything the little me imagined it to be and more – I mean from when I was a young girl and dreamt of one day having my own home with a beautiful Dressing Room. It has everything from the gorgeous chaise longue, to the large mirrors and lighting and the perfect storage for my bags and shoes.
You can see the full gallery from Hala's gorgeous London apartment below, and find more on Instagram. If you're interested in finding out more about our services please don't hesitate to get in touch!
Photography by Chris Snook
Bespoke joinery by Middleton Bespoke Joinery