Fashion designer Roksanda Ilinčić has brought her modernist sensibility and colour-blocking flair to the interiors world with her debut residential project – a three-bedroom penthouse flat in the highly covetable, Wilkinson Eyre-designed Gasholders development in King’s Cross. She follows in the footsteps of fellow designer Bella Freud, who teamed up with Retrouvius to create a 1970s-inspired interior for a penthouse at Television Centre in White City.
For ‘The Penthouse by Roksanda’, Ilinčić collaborated with close friend and design consultant Nick Vinson, who helped curate mid-century modern and postmodern pieces, transforming the apartment shell and rooftop into her vision in under three months. It’s a natural progression for the London-based designer, whose original subject of study at the University of Arts in her home city of Belgrade was architecture and design, before she followed her first love, fashion, and headed to London’s Central Saint Martins.
Ilinčić has been a keen collector of vintage chairs ever since she arrived in the capital. ‘I seek out chairs online as a way to unwind. I am obsessed with browsing’, she says. And the proof of this passion have been channelled into the £7.75m duplex, with an array of gems including Pierre Jeanneret’s 1950s classics designed for Chandigarh, India and made by Dimo Chair and a 1951 Três Pés Armchair by one of her favourite designers, the Brazilian modernist Lina Bo Bardi, not to mention a few unattributed pieces, sprinkled throughout.
‘It’s a project that brought me a lot of joy,’ she says, sporting one of her own frocks in complementary peach shades, during the preview breakfast. ‘It really speaks to my brand DNA, but we’ve transported it into something different. I wanted to bring warmth and calmness to the interior and also use it as a platform to highlight female artists and makers.’
Murals, artworks and textiles by Paris-based artist Caroline Denervaud provide sensuous panels of block colour in the dining room and kitchen on walls and on blinds, the distinctive palette of deep blue, red, rust, peach and pink carries throughout the rest of the apartment.
Her full sense of colour and attention to detail is expressed most succinctly in the master bedroom where Ilinčić insisted on the bespoke bedlinen and shearling blanket that dresses the beautiful Vanessa bed by Tobia Scarpa, being designed in no less than four different shades of burgundy. Luckily Ege of Germany obliged. ‘I love this room,’ she says, of the space that is enveloped on one side by floor-to-ceiling pink Kvadrat drapes. ‘I wanted this feminine red colour and the book on the bed is by my art teacher and favourite tutor Selena Vicković.’ Other statement items here include the ‘colourful cactus-like’ Skin lamp by New York ceramicist Eny Lee Parker.
Whoever is fortunate enough to purchase the penthouse will also be buying an education, and not just about art and design. Ilinčić has curated a fantastic library of books, ranging from classics such as The Decisive Moment by Henri-Cartier Bresson and tomes on the likes of Ettore Sottsass and Frida Escobedo, to books by her confidants and heroines such as Alice Rawsthorn and Joan Didion.
Perhaps they’ll read up on the rooftop, seated at the vivid yellow Pallas table, or pull up the Bola de Latao chair by Bo Bardi in the small contemplation area indoors that looks out onto an small inner courtyard, pepped with with Annette Lantsoght’s ceramic vessels. ‘We don’t have enough spaces like this,’ says Ilinčić, ‘where we have room to reflect. I can imagine sitting here looking out at the courtyard when it’s raining or snowing.’ And so can we. Let’s hope Ilinčić continues to explore the world of design and interiors.
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