A Renowned Designer Shows Us Around One Of His Favourite Homes
A Renowned Designer Shows Us Around One Of His Favourite Homes

A Renowned Designer Shows Us Around One Of His Favourite Homes

Interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan is the creative brain behind some of our favourite spaces, like Claridge’s Restaurant and The Berkeley Bar & Terrace. To celebrate the release of a new book exploring his style, inspiration and influence on the industry, he gave us a tour of one of his favourite projects to date…
By Georgina Blaskey

The Property

Tucked away on a cosy street, this Chelsea townhouse was built in the 1930s as one of the neighbourhood’s many modest terraced houses. However, by the time our clients purchased it, the area and home had been completely transformed. The previous owners had expanded its historic footprint, digging down to build a full-length basement and adding a rear extension. Minimally detailed, the interiors offered us a blank canvas to create a welcoming family vibe for a young couple and their small children.

The Brief

We were lucky as the couple were excited about the design process and encouraged us to push the envelope – we embraced maximalism, eclecticism and playfulness. The clients also loved collecting antiques and mid-century design, so this was incorporated throughout. 

We put in fireplaces and mouldings for character, finishing the walls in textured Marmorino plaster to bounce light around the rooms. Light and shadow led our designs – for any space that was bright, we leaned into that. The living room, for example, features a range of restrained but playful pieces, and we transformed the windowless basement into a cocooning cinema room.


The Living Room

Here, we wanted to create a feeling of understated elegance, but still design a space that felt warm and inviting. 

CABINET: Paola Buffa
TABLE LAMP: Peill & Putzler
SCONCES: Roberto Giulio Rida 
MIRROR: 1950s Carlo Erba 
SOFA: Julep Sofa from Monologue 
COFFEE TABLE: Lella and Massimo Vignelli 
RUG: Sinclair Till 
ART: Alan Raggett

The Kitchen & Dining Area

Bespoke cabinetry is edged in brass and complemented by grey quartzite surfaces, and the walls are finished in a specialist plaster. Two large-scale paintings by Heath Newman preside over the dining room.

CHAIRS: Josef Frank 
CEILING LIGHT: Vintage, 1940s Italian 
MIRROR: Ettore Sottsass Ultrafragola
BAR STOOLS: Client’s own, antique
PENDANT LIGHTS: Opaline Glashütte Limburg Globe Pendants

The Powder Room

Like most powder rooms in London townhouses, this is a compact space, but we wanted to create something chic, so we went for a bold wallpaper throughout and dramatic artwork on the walls.

WALLPAPER: Pierre Frey
ARTWORK: 'The Supermodel’ Marlene Dumas

The Cinema Room

Down in the basement, this room has no windows, so it offered the perfect opportunity to lean into the darkness and create a cosy cinema space. We embraced the vibe by wrapping the room in wallpaper with statement woodwork and extended the pattern to the soft furnishings, too.

WALL FABRIC: House Of Hackney  
PAINT: Hornblende 186, Paint & Paper Library 
TOTEM SCULPTURE: Bespoke Design, Bryan O’Sullivan
WALL LIGHTS: Matthew Cox 
SOFA: Bespoke
THROW PILLOWS: Lelievre Paris Lelievre Paris 
OCTAGONAL TRAYS: Dunleavy Bespoke 
ARTWORK: Client’s Own 

The Bedroom

In here, the custom-made scalloped headboard anchors the room, which is pattern-drenched for maximum impact. The bedside tables are our own bespoke design.

BEDSIDE TABLES: Dunleavy Bespoke 
MIRROR: 1960s French
MIRRORS: Lorfords 
FABRICS: Osiris in ‘Red On Oyster’ by Bennison 
BENCH: Bespoke Dudgeons, upholstered in Dedar wool

The Nursery

We asked artist Clare Wallis to do a playful cloud mural – it adds an uplifting, playful mood to the room. Then we decided to suspended toy hot air balloons in a range of sizes from the ceiling for a bit of magic.

MURAL: Clare Wallis

Click here to buy Bryan O'Sullivan: A New Glamour, published by Rizzoli.
Interior Design: BryanOSullivan.com 
House Photography: Helen Cathcart

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