As London Fashion Week Men’s drew to a close last week, with its global celebration of Savile Row and Jermyn Street style, all eyes were on St James’s.
This historic quarter, based around St James’s Square and bordering Green Park and St James’s Park, is undergoing a £500m redevelopment by The Crown Estate, joined by prime real-estate developers, to “gently uplift” the area. I wanted a peek inside one of the first flagship apartment conversions to hit the market, Beau House, with its promise of interiors inspired by the sartorial reputation of its Jermyn Street location.
Beau House is named after the local regency dandy George (Beau) Brummell, and its developer, Dukelease, has adopted a no-expense-spared vision, encompassing handcrafted joinery, architectural lighting that responds to natural daylight, detailed stitching, leather-lined cabinetry, pinstripe wall-coverings and acres of marble of distinct patterns and hues. Managing director Paul Cook points out discrete design touches in every room.
“In all my time in the industry, I didn’t think I would be working with such detailed craftsmanship,” he says.
Eight one- to three-bedroom apartments make up Beau House (from £2m). Interior design firm Edward Philips endeavoured to use British craftsmanship, estimating that between 80 to 90 per cent of the furnishings in its show apartment are British-made.
For the turnkey three-bedroom penthouse (around £15m), Dukelease has partnered with architectural interior designer Oliver Burns to create almost 3,000sqft of contemporary elegance over floors five and six. Lacquered wood panelling, such as curly maple coated in seven to 10 layers of polished lacquer creates a subtly powerful finish to the master bedroom’s dressing room.
The plaster walls around the staircase are polished for hanging art from nearby galleries Hauser & Wirth or Sladmore. The glass balustrade, enhancing this lightwell, takes you up to an 800sqft private roof terrace.
Whoever takes up residence will have a ready-made outdoor dining and chilling space with 360-degree rooftop views, overlooking the neighbouring Sir Christopher Wren church. No doubt a private chef will be stationed at the fully-fitted outdoor kitchen, with its granite worktops and backlit white onyx detailing, while dinner guests chatter around the eight-seater dining table, with underfloor heating, before conversation continues with after-dinner drinks around the firepit complete with outdoor TV and entertainment system.
This small development, an attractively remodelled office block, is just one example of how St James’s is being transformed from bland post-Second World War infilling to contemporary apartments costing upwards of £1.15m.
They’ll be joining a mix of financial firms gentlemen’s clubs, hotels, galleries and restaurants. In uncertain times, it’s a welcome example of how interior designers are promoting the global appeal of British heritage and craftsmanship.
Visit beauhouselondon.com; for sales visit knightfrank.co.uk or cbre.co.uk