Inside House of Walpole: No. 1 Palace Street’s first show apartment

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I visit No. 1 Palace Street, Victoria’s latest luxury property development, on one of the first properly cold days of December. The Clermont is decked out with wreaths and baubles and fairy lights wink in the shopfronts of Buckingham Palace Road.

It’s here, bang opposite the Queen’s Gallery, that residents of No. 1 Palace Street will call home. The collection of buildings was once a hotel (plus civil service offices) of the sort that Victoria used to be known for; the development, therefore, will integrate five different architectural styles (Italian Renaissance, Beaux-Arts, French Renaissance, Queen Anne, and contemporary). The 72 residences housed here will be served by hotel group St. Regis, adding them to the roster of branded residences piling up in London.

I’m here to visit the development’s flagship apartment: House of Walpole. It is so-called thanks to developer Northacre Properties’ collaboration with Walpole, the luxury sector advocacy body, which counts 250+ British brands among its membership. The entire apartment has been kitted out with Walpole names, with each piece made bespoke, all pulled together by member Oliver Burns.

The 4,000 sq ft residence boasts views of Buckingham Palace and its gardens, and this is how the decor is themed. Brands, including Helen Amy Murray, Aiveen Daly, Cole & Son, Savoir Beds, Maddox Gallery, Asprey, Bentley Motors, Axminster Carpets and Bazaar, have created furniture and accessories reminiscent of the flora and fauna of royal grounds. The result couldn’t be further from twee – but rather fresh and springlike.

Over the dining table, for example, hangs a sculptural installation resembling raindrops, bulbs or cocoons. The line of a stream weaves through silk chairs and across tableware. On floor-to-ceiling shelves is displayed a backgammon board painted with butterflies in striking photorealism. The bathroom pays homage to Queen Charlotte’s menagerie, which housed one of the first zebras in the UK. The ‘Queen’s ass’, as it was known, is even embroidered on hand towels. The colour palette is natural and soothing throughout, with shades of grey and blue reminiscent of St James’s Park Lake mixed with warmer earthy tones and soft greens.

The master bedroom (one of three) is a spectacle, with a cherry blossom light fixture and a 3D mural of a pair of trees behind the bed; they are ‘​​Victoria’ and ‘Albert’, two London planes planted 150 years ago in the Palace grounds by the Queen and her consort. One guest room employs a beehive motif; elsewhere, textured wallpaper looks like a dragonfly’s wing. The duplex home is scented by Rachel Vosper scents emulating the four seasons.

From hand towels to perfumes – chairs shaped like flowers to a tiny dragonfly embroidered on a headboard – House of Walpole is made in the details. The fact that everything has been selected both for its individual merit, as well as to work within the collective, makes a huge difference. The micro finishes make for a macro aesthetic that is wonderfully elevated.

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