Blue Jewel

This Hong Kong jewellery designer’s London penthouse has dazzling blue, bespoke, industrial-chic accents


The pied-a-terre of a Kong Kong jewellery designer who splits her time between Hong Kong and the UK, a 1450-square-foot, two-level penthouse apartment in Covent Garden, received a full revamp that includes a striking blue anodized aluminium staircase and hypnotic neon sculptures by award-winning glass artist Jochen Holz.

As someone who engages in creative work, the owner is keenly aware of advantages of the creative benefits of a carte blanche. She sought out Eryk Ulanowski of London firm Studio Ulanowski and gave him free reign to remodel the interior of her penthouse. Her only requirements were that there be three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and spaces that are adaptable enough to be used for different purposes. 

The jewellery designer’s husband is a big fan of industrial aesthetics, so Ulanowski combine elements from jewellery design and industrial style to come up with the design concept. 

“The floor plan was completely re-designed. We took the apartment back to a raw concrete shell and started again from scratch. The goal was to make the apartment flow better, to blend the different functions, and to bring in more light,” says Ulanowski who envisions the bold, metallic blue staircase by Joe Faller Fabrications as the jewel of the apartment. “We wanted it to be precision made with industrial materials, but to have an ethereal iridescence that was soft to the touch. Through a long process of research and development with the fabricators, we created a finish that would do just this,” he adds.

In the main living area, Ulanowski removed the existing designated living room, dining room, and kitchen, and brought these areas together in a single, open-plan space. To fulfil the brief for adaptability, the kitchen cabinetry wraps around and extends into the living area, and the dining table can either be linked to this cabinetry or turned and extended to seat a party of 12. A modular sofa was used to enable endless configurations that can accommodate family movie nights, intimate interactions, or lively parties with many guests. 

The modern and simple bedrooms each have a desk, a wardrobe, and an ensuite bathroom. “In the children's bedrooms we kept a datum line, taken from the height of the living room floor, and ran it around the rooms to serve as a reminder of the main space and view out into Covent Garden Market and the Royal Opera House,” says Ulanowski. 

The bespoke, hand-lacquered bed in the master bedroom, and a number of soft furnishings used in the apartment were custom designed and produced by artisans at British furniture and craft company The New Craftsmen.

“The challenging part of the project was the lengthy research and development of all the be bespoke items. While we worked with talented fabricators and craftspeople who understood our vision, it was difficult to get the external suppliers – for instance the company who anodised the stairs – who were often not used to projects like ours, to align with our vision and go beyond their comfort zones. But with a great team and lots of determination, the project turned out beautifully,” says Ulanowski.

Text / Michele Koh Morollo
Images / Michelle Young Photography