West London has a new sky-scraper. Designer Paul Dawson discusses his inspirations
LAST month, interior designer Paul Dawson looked out over south west London from a building he had been building in his mind’s eye for nine years.
Dawson and his 12-strong team at Honky Interiors, which caters for private clients as well as major developers, celebrated 12 years in business last year by furnishing showroom apartments as part of the Great West Quarter (GWQ) in Brentford.
Standing at 26-storeys, the skyscraper is Barratt London’s second tallest building in the UK, falling just one storey short of Altitude in Aldgate.
“I’ve stood on top of the building and the view is amazing,” says Dawson. “It’s basically the same view you get from the top of Richmond Hill towards Kew.
“I remember standing there when it was just a slab on the floor. So it has been quite a journey, as they say.
“It’s the pinnacle of what we’ve been working towards, the walnut on the Walnut Whip.”
The development spans 12 acres, encompassing 425 private and 348 “affordable” one, two and three-bedroom apartments – all with winter gardens – set around a central piazza. The development also boasts gated underground parking, a residents’ car and cycle club, medical surgery, art gallery, fitness suite, Sainsbury’s Local supermarket, Novotel hotel and business starter units.
Dawson is particularly proud of the two contrasting showrooms his team have completed on the 11th floor of The Tower.
“When you’re designing two things side by side, you want to have a real point of difference so they stand out from each other. It’s all about having an idea and running with it.”
Dawson envisages a young couple living in the one-bed apartment, which he designed with a contemporary, urban cowboy theme. Faux pony hide adorns the walls alongside burnished bronze metallics, while a bull’s head made of concentric wooden circles watches over the bedroom.
Dawson says the use of soft, linen furnishings and splashes of strong, bright colour give the apartment a textured feel and keep it feeling fresh and modern.
“The one-bed is turning out to be a bit of a Marmite design,” he admits. “But I just wanted something that would stick in the memory. These people are probably looking around all the new one-beds in the area and you want them to think, ‘I liked the one with the cow on the wall.’ I think it works.”
By comparison, the two-bed showroom has a distinct “east meets west” theme, decorated with darker, richer timber and oriental references such as the Chinese wedding chest that doubles up as a side table.
“The people buying the two-bed apartment may be a bit older, better travelled and want something more exotic.”
There’s still plenty more to do at GWQ and Honky Interiors says it has only just started. It’s currently dreaming up grand furnishings for the elaborate concierge entrance, which boasts 4.5m high ceilings, and the adjoining gallery area. “We’re really just trying to do the development justice,” Dawson says.
Prices for one bedroom homes at The Tower start from £390,000. For more information, call 0844 811 4334 or visit barratthomes.co.uk/london.