Interior design for the baby boomers and Generation X

Sitting room in the Palace Court penthouse
HOW DO you begin to create a dream home for three generations of the same family, all with conflicting tastes, and a shaky grasp of the English language? This was the challenge that faced interior designer Roselind Wilson and her team last year when they were hired to redesign a unique penthouse in Notting Hill.
The five-bedroom property in Palace Court was originally split into separate apartments, but a previous owner had knocked the walls through to create an enormous lateral space. The Georgian family that bought it afterwards for around £15m wanted a home that would exude old-fashioned elegance befitting of the impressive period building, that’s practical enough to meet the needs of a modern family. An older couple had bought the house to live in alongside their daughter and her daughter.
“The grandparents liked gold and red; they had a very firm idea of opulence and luxury but in a very minimalist way,” says Wilson. “They didn’t like having a lot of furniture. The daughter had a very different idea; she liked greys and silvers with a burst of colour, which was much colder but very cutting edge and contemporary. I often find the younger generation are quite eclectic, where the older generation go with what the industry dictates is good taste.”
Wilson has over 14 years experience running her own firm and she’s used to getting to know her clients, their lives, their tastes and building a lifestyle for them in their new home. With a background in business and design, the South African has built up a reputation in fine furnishings both for private clients and residential developers.
In total, the design took 11 months to complete but now three generations have settled into their striking new home.
“For the communal spaces, we took cues from the architectural foundations,” says Wilson. “There were joins that were grey and gold, and we used champagne to really bring those colours out. We tried to create a blend of the two styles, but there were disagreements. For the kitchen, the daughter wanted metallic and pistachio but the mother just walked in and said ‘No, red’ and that was it.”
Next on Wilson’s list are young newlyweds who have made a 2,500sqft house in Belsize Park their first home, and the wealthy owners of a 14,000sqft, four-storey house in Winchmore Hill.
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