At the top end of the market, developers not only build homes, but they also commission bespoke homeware for them.
The developer of Chelsea Barracks, a residential scheme in Belgravia known for its luxury residences, has produced for its homes a one-of-a-kind heritage furniture and home accessories range. Curated specifically for the scheme, though available to non-buyers as well, the pieces are handmade in Britain by British craftsmen, and include everything from a desk and a side table to ceramic tableware, glassware, and fabrics.
The Qatari Diar-owned development, which, when completed, will have 450 homes, is set on the site of a historic former British Army barracks, between the super-prime neighborhoods of Chelsea and Belgravia on Chelsea Bridge Road. Its design recalls Belgravia’s white-stucco Georgian terraces and garden squares, but has cleaner lines and contemporary landscaping. The homeware range was designed for the interiors of two of its 13 townhouses.
Named the Chelsea Barracks Collection, each piece has a historical reference to its surroundings, according to Camilla Clarke, co-founder and creative director at Albion Nord, the interior design specialist who curated the collection. The pieces take inspiration from Chelsea and its notable design and creative industries, the Victorian-era barracks and its chapel, and Georgian-era and British design.
Clarke says “we understood the ethos and importance of legacy within Chelsea Barracks, and wanted to take this one step further by creating a collection of pieces… items that can last a lifetime and be passed down from generation to generation.”
The 11 made-to-order pieces lead the interiors in two Georgian-style townhouses. The 10,000-square-foot white-stucco houses, which have 3.2m ceilings, lifts, indoor pools, and leisure suite, “are themselves very British, the architecture itself is a reimagined Georgian townhouse,” Clarke explains. “Therefore, it felt right to give the pieces a sense of place and use British materials and British craftsmen to make them.”
One of the key pieces in the range is the Wellington Desk, a traditional military campaign oak desk with metal lion claw feet ($27,000) created by Stride & Co. and Collier. The bow of its metal key features the Chelsea Barracks emblem whose shape is inspired by the rose window at the on-site Victorian garrison chapel, which survives. The tiles in the chapel also inspired the Garrison fabric ($77-$80 per square meter), which was designed by Marina Mill.
There’s also the Westminster handblown glassware (from $323 to £362) featuring an optic twist finish by Stewart Hearn; the Radnor tableware ($168 for a twin set of mugs) by Sally Marien, which honors the heritage of the Chelsea Porcelain Factory; and another fabric by Mill known as Wren ($64-$77 per square meter), whose design replicates the footprint of the nearby Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The Chelsea Barracks Collection range has a classic look and can be used to furnish any home, but it is rooted in its surroundings through small details that honor both its past and present.