An Italian from the fashion industry decided to set up a home in central London and chose former old-school men’s club to do so. Needless to say that the townhouse needed some help to return it to its 18th-century glory – cue Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli of Milan’s Studio Peregalli.
When the owner brought the top designers to see the apartment, “There was immediate agreement about what had to be done to give a homey feeling to those big salons,” he says. For Studio Peregalli, it was imperative to retain the private home’s quintessential Englishness. They began by stripping back two centuries’ worth of paint, plaster, and wallpaper to find the architectural bones. The duo found traces of colour that steered them toward a palette of pale blues, chalky greens, and dusky peaches.
Imagining what a historic setting would have looked like is Studio Peregalli’s forte—an approach learned from their mentor, Mongiardino, and honed since they opened their own design studio in the 1990s.
They worked with artisans skilled in traditional craftsmanship techniques to produce much of the decor and furnishings. Take the master bedroom: For the wallpaper, the designers drew the pattern, then had their team hand-paint it.
Same for the frieze in the salon: They deduced that the Regency-style fireplaces were from the turn of the 18th century and would have been designed in the style of “the architects of the era—people like Thomas Hope and John Soane,” Peregalli says. To honour this detail, the designers invented a neo-Grec trompe l’oeil, which the Milanese artisans reproduced by hand.
As the building’s developers had already put in a kitchen and baths, there was little structural work to be done. To create a formal dining room, Studio Peregalli simply set a Coromandel screen in the sprawling kitchen, dividing the room in two. (The screen, which they purchased in Paris and restored, is a discreet nod to the owner’s exceptional collection of Orientalist art.) To place the chandelier over the off-centre dining table, they added a chain and draped it across the ceiling.
“Excellent!” is how the owner describes the result. He especially appreciates Studio Peregalli’s work to “find again the might of the stuccos, paired with the delicacy of the colours—mixing invention and discovery.”