Luxury apartments: how to design & decorate

There is no single, universal definition of luxury. The very concept means different things to different people. And it’s the same where luxury apartments are concerned. For some people, this term is all about having plenty of space. For others, it’s about elegance. Comfort, quality and exclusivity are usually key features, too.

So, before embarking on any high-end design project, it’s important to identify exactly what matters most to the client. Luxury apartments are no exception. Luxury isn’t necessarily synonymous with a certain or specific style or colour scheme. Rather, it’s about a combination of factors, including – but not limited to – shapes, materials, textures and accessories. Luxury apartments can be big or small, minimalist or elaborate, monochrome or colourful. It’s a fluid aesthetic that is almost always greater than the sum of its parts.

Quality materials such as marble, showcased here in the bathroom of our Kensington High Street apartment project, help to create a minimalist yet luxurious ambience

The initial vision

Getting to really know and understand each client is the best way to create a design that reflects their personality, and embodies their vision. Detailed discussions and mood boards can be super helpful in terms of devising a broad initial proposal. Incorporating as many elements as possible, even at this early stage, will pay dividends later on. So from the outset, we encourage clients to think cohesively about key aspects such as layout, furniture, colour schemes and lighting. That way, we can make practical suggestions early on, that help the entire project to really ‘come together’ on completion.

Maximising natural light, choosing furniture dimensions carefully, and minimising clutter are all tried-and-tested ways to create a more luxurious look

Focus on the footprint

Space planning and layout is usually one of the first things to nail down where luxury apartments are concerned. How does the client want to use their space? This is especially important if overall square footage is limited. And sightlines are key. Get these right, and a small flat can appear significantly larger. So whether you are designing for a space that’s large and open-plan, or compact with smaller rooms, bespoke furniture placement is key. How much is really needed? How big should the individual pieces be? Be ruthless. Less is often more, and clutter of any description is rarely conducive to a luxury look. So curate the bespoke furniture footprint as carefully as any other elements.

The art of illusion is especially useful for luxury apartments that are considered to be more compact. High ceilings, for example, tend to be associated with spacious, luxurious homes. Obviously, we can’t wave a magic wand and physically change an apartment’s ceiling height! But hanging any curtains as high as possible (rather than just directly above the window) is a fast, effective ways to lure the eye upwards and create the impression of extra space.

Be clever with colour

The right colour scheme can make or break any luxury apartment. Keeping the colour palette largely neutral is an easy way to add instant style to a living space. Popular shades include white, off-white, grey and taupe. You can always add interest with targeted pops of brighter/deeper colour. We chose a mostly monochromatic colour scheme for the luxury penthouse renovation we recently oversaw, in London’s High Street Kensington. We decorated the entire apartment with different soft/dark/muted tones of grey and white, complemented by the occasional splash of blue.

A cohesive colour scheme of classy white and greys oozes luxury throughout our Kensington High Street apartment project

Colour psychology is such an interesting science. While there are certain accepted conventions, there are important exceptions too. Different people can react to the same colours in different ways, so it’s important to realise that there are no absolutes. It’s also vital to take into account what a space will be used for (sanctuary/work/exercise) – in addition to a client’s individual tastes and personality – in order to settle on a suitable colour scheme, luxury or otherwise.

Get the light right

At Moretti Interior Design we believe it’s essential to include the lighting plan for your interiors at the very beginning of the creative process. Start by appraising the amount of existing natural light. Maximising daylight is a great way to introduce a luxury feel to any property. Next, consider how much artificial light you need to supplement this natural light – and the various different types. Task, ambient, mood and architectural lighting are instrumental in transforming a space, influencing mood, and helping a home to function. The right lighting can also accentuate features such as heights, recesses and textures. And it can definitely make an apartment look and feel more luxurious.

Statement lighting – like this installation at our Nine Elms project – can add an instant luxury look and feel to any apartment

Our lighting expertise was one of the many reasons we were chosen to design a luxury flat in the increasingly popular Nine Elms area of Battersea, London. A key aspiration for this beautiful project was for the flat to “feel like home” straightaway. We used a combination of statement and subtle contemporary lighting fixtures to help achieve this, and create a bright, stylish and classy aesthetic throughout.

Embrace different types of art

Art has always been associated with luxury, and the right artworks – both paintings and sculptures – are an excellent way to introduce an upscale element to luxury apartments. Prioritise important areas such as living rooms and dining rooms. And make sure all artworks are well positioned, and well lit. Wall art doesn’t just add a touch of luxury; it’s also a great way for clients to project their personality. For example, for our Nine Elms project, we proposed an explorer theme, to reflect the client’s love of travel. This featured a stunning map of the world piece of artwork, which filled an entire wall of WHICH ROOM?

Luxury and personality can be perfectly compatible. See how we introduced an explorer theme to this room at our Nine Elms apartment project, featuring a wall-wide map of the world, to reflect the client’s love of travel

The right artwork, including mirrors, prints, paintings and sculptures, add a luxurious air to any apartment, big or small, classic or contemporary

You don’t need to limit artwork to paintings or posters. Beautiful statement mirrors can also function as pieces of art. And they aren’t just decorative. For example, a mirror is another clever strategy for making a small space seem larger than it actually is. While they aren’t usually considered to be artworks per se, investing in rugs can also make luxury apartments look more sophisticated and refined. Explore different colours and textures, to add dimension to the space. And for an easy win that won’t break the bank, simply introduce some fresh flower displays. Go large with a statement central arrangement, or scatter several smaller bouquets around a selection of different rooms.

Read all about the four colour personalities, which are connected to the Colour Affects System, which reflect temperament here. Please get in touch to find out more about the design services we offer, or to book a consultation.

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