The Bling Ring – The Sunday Times
A bar stool with a ladder for your dog, a glass lift to take your Mercedes up to the master bedroom or a bespoke sunglasses cabinet – if you had the money, what would you request? They might sound far-fetched, but these examples (yes, they have all been built) represent the epitome of top-end design. “That is the highest point of luxury, when something is actually made for you, when everything about it is as you wanted it,” says Alex Michelin, co-founder of the luxury designer-developer Finchatton.
The market for cramming all this extravagance in to one package was created almost single-handedly by two boys from Surrey who borrowed £6,000 from their grandmother to do up a flat in Earl’s Court. Almost 20 years on, Nick and Christian Candy, the brothers who created the world’s most expensive block of flats, One Hyde Park, are worth a reported £330m. The pair’s firm, Candy & Candy, was the first to successfully create “turnkey” homes for time-poor but super-rich, catering for their every whim.
If you don’t have the Candys on speed-dial, their are plenty of other firms that can help. Here we profile 10 of the top trendsetters who can design and deliver a country estate pegged out with stuffed animal trophies or a penthouse fit for a billionaire.
Back in 1992, Andrew Murray did up his first project with a Collins DIY manual. His development firm, Morpheus, went on to create luxurious and often ecofriendly pads for the extremely wealthy – most recently three £10.25m houses on Pond Place, in Chelsea. The price included a year’s free residential management, with a fully stocked fridge and sommelier to give the owners a wine masterclass on arrival. Morpheus set up an in-house interior design studio in 2010; it’s now headed by Charu Gandhi, an architect who worked on Candy & Candy’s private commissions.
The look It’s all about the subtle layering of lots of sumptuous materials to create “liveable luxe,” Gandhi says, from walls polished with marble dust to a chandelier resembling hundreds of metal autumn leaves fluttering from the ceiling. “When you walk into a room, you discover things as you spend more time there. Its not all in your face.”
The request A haute couture wardrobe with a pearlescent lining and bespoke sunglasses storage.
The cost All three Pond Place town houses sold at the asking price.
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“The decor is simple: dark timber floors and a monochrome color scheme enlivened by touches of a rich, deep blue—a nod to the ocean. Wood paneling is a constant theme, a subtle nod to the décor of Titanic’s first-class cabins, but interior designers Morpheus London have kept overt nautical references firmly in check.”
“The location, which is not on the high street, along with the quality of the finish, has helped to attract buyers from Knightsbridge and Belgravia, and it’s been particularly popular with people who regard London as their second home,” says Lisa Ronson
“The five-story home is a surprising standout from the surrounding stucco and brick villas, bringing modernity to the stunning inception with black basalt and bronze details. Full-height bronze doors open to the formal reception room flooded with natural light and leading toward the limestone garden terrace. The lower ground floor has a spacious living room and two kitchens, excellent for entertainment and seamlessly connected to the floor above with glass panelled walls.”
“At Ashberg the idea of the family kitchen area was to make it discreet yet highly functional. The service kitchen where most of the action takes place is neatly tucked away behind two pivot doors, leaving the grand kitchen as an area to add the final touches to any meal in front of guests, lending itself perfectly to entertaining, leaving clutter and chaos behind closed doors. It was vital to the design of Ashberg house that there be a unity within the whole design concept, and the luxury kitchen was designed to be in synergy with the living area.”
“At Ashberg House, a Chelsea new-build designed by Morpheus, the study can be accessed directly via lift from the hallway, so business guests don’t need to pass through any other private spaces. A luxurious haven, it offers panoramic views, a signal that the home office is moving up the hierarchy of spaces…”
“Designed by Morpheus London, the architecture of this unique five-story residence includes black basalt and bronze detailing, although it’s the glass facade that strikes me most. But on the inside this mansion is equally mesmerising, featuring a well- balanced interior, which benefits from fluid, organic forms, and 8,400 square feet of luxurious living areas.”
“The mansion is surrounded by a high wall, which, like a treasure, hides it from prying eyes. From the side of the inner courtyard of the building, the wall has been completely replaced by panoramic windows, through which the sun’s rays, refracted, penetrate into the rooms.”
“Inspired by the impressive views and alpine surroundings, the designers have taken a classic ski lodge concept and enhanced every single detail, introducing new materials, luxury finishes and furniture designs of the highest quality.”
Alex Isaac, Head of Design, Morpheus London, said: “We were really inspired by the beauty of this picturesque alpine setting so it was a natural decision to incorporate elements of this throughout the spaces we designed. We also worked hard to ensure that our designs remain true to the Six Senses brand and ethos so this remained central to everything that we did.”
“Chalet chic interiors are timeless in their appeal, and never more so than in one of the world’s most luxurious ski resorts, Courchevel. Morpheus London, the leading design house, have a penchant for projects in the world’s most enviable locations including the French Alps favourite Courchevel.”
“Ashberg House is a brand new five-storey home in Chelsea’s Boltons conservation area that is a highly striking, modern design, full of glass and steel, created by Morpheus London. It has its own spa and gym, and if you over-do it with the latter there’s even a lift to all floors of the property. Luckily, this cinema room is on the same floor as the spa, so you can put your feet up after the exercise session is over. It’s on the market with Savills.”
“Ashberg House is a striking new residential property created by leading design studio, Morpheus London. The home takes its name and inspiration from the famous Ashberg Diamond, an amber-coloured cushion-cut diamond once included in the Russian Crown Jewels”
“Another key trend for 2017: “Book-matched marble walls can create a visually striking design element comparable with some original art pieces”, says Alex Isaac, head of design at Morpheus London. Book-matched installations consist of two pieces of marble that mirror each other to form a dramatic V effect.”
…Launched in Autumn 2016, THIRTY NINE is an aesthetically dazzling ode to both holistic wellness and Monte Carlo’s adored Princess Grace… London design maestros Morpheus have teamed up with ex-rugby talent Ross Beattie to offer four floors of dining and bar space, top-notch workout equipment, art-enhanced outdoor space, entertainment and business facilities…
Another British den can be found at Anderson House, designed by Alex Isaac of interior design practice Morpheus London. Set in the basement of the Chelsea townhouse, it has a marble topped bar, pool table, projector screen and sofas upholstered in plush grey velvet.
Morpheus have been appointed to work on the design of decorative furnishings for Six Senses Residences Courchevel. This world class development at the very heart of the exclusive resort of Courchevel 1850 and is home to 53 apartments and penthouses.
Having worked on numerous international luxury residential projects for over 20 years, the London design studio has made its transition into the maritime industry.
…it is a different starkly monochrome work that has provided the inspiration behind Ashberg House, a very high-end new five-storey house designed by Morpheus London… The house features a 12.5-metre swimming pool modelled on British sculptor Richard Wilson’s permanent installation 20:50 at London’s Saatchi Gallery: an oil filled room with a glass-like black floor that resembles a clear pool of water…
…Morpheus specialises in providing that envy-inducing something you won’t find anywhere else. “A project needs to capture the imagination.” says Head of Design Alex Isaac. “Nothing can be off-the-peg; everything must be artisanal.” At Kensington’s Ashberg House (price on request through Savills, pictured on opening page), for example, they have furnished the swimming pool with a black polished-plaster ceiling inspired by the Richard Wilson installation 20:50…
…Clever, modern design ensures this garden functions as another room of the home, even on cooler evenings… “The rear elevation of the house opens up completely to the outdoor space and we dropped the level of the garden so that the interior flows seamlessly out to the terrace”…
…“Morpheus is more commonly known for its projects in other areas, be they homes in international cities, or hospitality projects on the Cote d’Azur, so perhaps the fact that an international design house based in London, such as Morpheus, being approached to undertake high-end alpine projects is itself a reflection of how the market is changing…”
…“The higher-end the project, the more likely it is that tailoring space for entertaining will be part of the brief” says Alex Isaac, head of design at interior design studio Morpheus. “We’re putting in a lot of secondary kitchens – so there’s a show kitchen next to a professional kitchen with catering-level appliances, perhaps with its own separate entrance…”
…Alex Isaac, the head of design at the interior design practice Morpheus London, says: “We recently designed a beautiful penthouse apartment in St John’s Wood, in north London, on behalf of a private client and took inspiration from the world of fashion to create a number of bespoke pieces…
…Two such projects; one for the design house Morpheus London, for which a series of brushed, metallic silk panels was created, featuring the swooping lines of a hand-embroidered and handpainted foliage design called Keats…
…“Interior design has developed into a much more experiential art; every sense is important,” says Alex Isaac, head of design at Morpheus, which hired Vosper to create a scent scheme for Ashberg House, a new-build family home in the Boltons Conservation Area.”
…The London-based design house, Morpheus, drew up the proposed plans for the new home. The sellers – an international family that lived in the villa for many years – commissioned the firm to create a design concept that would complement the existing structure…
…Here, a lateral penthouse has been updated with a glass box extension, affording the balcony year-round functionality with the addition of a plush garden room. The apartment is now flooded with natural light and those panoramic city views can be appreciated from the comfort of the sofa.
Alex Isaac, Head of Design, leads the Morpheus London design team to deliver the finest private residences for a discerning clientele. Dedicated to designing through the eyes of each client, Alex and his team approach every commission in a tailored fashion, not only informing the design language, but the entire process to suite clients desires, needs and requirements.
The world of luxurious ski chalets, yachts and private jets is a familiar one for renowned designer Alex Isaac. Having worked in some of the finest interiors across the world, his expertise stretches across all of the aforementioned, from their interiors to bespoke furnishings.
The leading design house Morpheus London is renowned for creating exceptional properties in the world’s most desirable locations. With over twenty years of experience in the luxury real estate sector their passion for design excellence and impeccable attention to detail has delivered incredible results.
The son of two successful interior designers and having spent the last 15 years plus at renowned yacht design studio Bannenburg and Linley, the talent and creativity of Alex Isaac – Head of Design at Morpheus London – might be viewed as both nature and nurture. And what a combination that seems to be.
Watching the sun set behind the balcony from the bedroom of my master suite in the new Six Senses Residences, Courchevel, was an amazing experience, and a fitting end to a day spent in one of the Alp’s most desirable locations.
Winter, or sky gardens, are the latest must-have feature in luxury apartments, offering view at altitude without the wind chill factor.
London-based design house Morpheus has lifted the lid on the show penthouse at Six Senses Residences Courchevel, the luxury hotel brand’s debut European resi effort.
Perched high up in the Tarentaise Valley in France’s Rhone-Alpes region, Courchevel 1850 has long reigned as one of Europe’s most expensive and glitziest resorts – ranking top on both Knight Frank and Savills’ prime and ultra prime ski resort indices.
One day of skiing may not seem like a trip worth making. But if you get the opportunity to go to Courchevel for 48 hours, you go.
Private jets and black truffle pizza – how to holiday in style in Courchevel – Country & Town House Online
We arrived into Courchevel by way of a very small plane. Technically, it’s not a private jet – but a turboprop. ‘It’s got a propeller, not jet engines Josh’, I’m commandingly informed on Twitter.
First-time visitors who land their private jet at Courchevel’s tiny altiport will need just five minutes to understand why this petite village set 1,850 metres high in the French Alps, is still regarded as the world’s flashiest ski resort.
…for those who want a state-of-the-art escape, with everything from high-altitude training rooms to in-house tailors and access to an enviable little black book of movers and shakers in the principality, look no further than club Thirty Nine, which launches in September.
There are plenty of super-smart resorts in the Alps. Megève, Gstaad, and St Moritz all have more than a little stardust from the royals and celebrities who ski there.
…It’s a fascinating insight into how Morpheus London work, whose projects vary to an astonishing degree. “We don’t have a set house style design,” Isaac agrees, “but it’s all certainly high end. We have worked on everything from townhouses to super yachts, so there’s a really broad spectrum in our portfolio…”
The understanding of beautiful lighting elements is paramount within all of our projects. Whether functional or dramatic our designers work with a number of the industry’s most experienced lighting consultants to produce the perfect ambiance for a project.
SodaStream, Wallpaper* and London designers are fizzing about the future of soft drinks. With SodaStream as co-host, Wallpaper* took over Chapman House, part of London’s super-smart Chelsea Townhouses project by the Morpheus design and development company, for the latest in our series of Lock In events.
The Chelsea townhouses take their name from three eminent British Personalities: bespoke Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, the original dandy and arbiter of men’s fashion Beau Brummell and the elegant and charismatic founder of Lotus Cars, Collin Chapman.
Turn-key homes, where everything is included in the sale price, are a regular feature of expensive properties sold to international buyers who, although cash-rich, are too time-poor to search out their own cutlery and crockery. But what started out as a niche product offered by interior designers for wealthy international clients has expanded, with a broader range of services being offered to a wider range of buyers.