Discover Walpole's House of Craft

Words by
Lisa Barnard

11th November 2022

How to make a splash with a Show Apartment? SPHERE’s Lisa Barnard has a preview tour of the beautifully curated House of Walpole at 1 Palace Street, the prime residential apartment development by Northacre. Worried about the neighbours? It’s Buckingham Palace.

Designing a Show Apartment for a prime residential development is fraught with decision and angst. Developers can go vanilla, bland and offer a blank canvas onto which the prospective owners can project their personal style and taste, or they might go full-on design and demonstrate the consummate style which might inspire the would-be owner. A half-way house is, in our view, not satisfactory – a Show Apartment that has been hastily conceived with a broad-brush design super-imposed, regardless of architecture, might even put a buyer off. The House of Walpole at No I Palace Street, the new St Regis Residences, across the road from Buckingham Palace, takes the concept of the Show Apartment to a new stratosphere.

House of Walpole
Dressing Table and Mirror Pedestal (left) and antiqued mirror (Right) Sterling Studios

Two years in the planning and making, it is a curated one-off apartment which has been designed, decorated and furnished from top to bottom by Walpole member brands. It has been a collaboration between Walpole, property developer Northacre, and interior design studio Oliver Burns (Walpole member), with the lofty ambition to demonstrate what British luxury, interior design and craftsmanship can achieve hand-in-hand and through brand collaboration.

House of Walpole
Cole & Son hand painted wallpaper, smoked glass mirror by Sterling Studios and handblown pendant light by Rothschild and Bickers.
Buckingham Palace gardens inspire concept for House of Walpole at 1 Palace Street
House of Walpole
Statement light installation by Nulty Bespoke is inspired by the vibrant nature of the Palace Gardens and Mulberry Leaves hand made in London by Aiveen Daly.

The property boasts a unique location, as evidenced by its address. It’s bang opposite Buckingham Palace, with some apartments affording unique views of the Palace and over its private gardens. We are not sure what the restrictions are on binoculars and telephoto lenses, but as His Majesty King Charles III will continue to have his household base at Clarence House for the time being, we need not worry ourselves. More to the point, those royal gardens provided inspiration for the design concept for the House of Walpole by Oliver Burns – ‘A Celebration of the Palace Gardens’, evoking the landscaping and stories behind the residence's secretive green spaces.

As Sharon Lillywhite, Founder of Oliver Burns put it: “It is the enduring love affair between the very best of British luxury and the English garden. The aesthetic for our concept is ‘Majestic Modern’ - a contemporary response that honours the heritage of this enchanting garden in all its splendour, giving the internal space as much gravitas as the external architecture.”

House of Walpole
Handcrafted Savoir N°4 bed, Peter Reed bespoke, hand embroidered Bed Linen and antiqued mirror glass by Sterling Studios

There are so many Walpole brands who have participated in this project, it’s impossible to mention all. Some SPHERE favourites include Cole & Sons, Bentley Home, Savoir Beds, Clive Christian, Asprey, Axminster Carpets, Church's, Wedgwood, Fortnum & Mason, Floris, Johnstons of Elgin, Alexandra Llewellyn, Lock & Co. Artwork has been curated by Maddox Gallery featuring fun pieces by Banksy, Jeff Koons and David Shrigley. This place has personality.

The Walpole effect on all the senses
House of Walpole
Curved banquette and table by Ateliers London, Gaia pendant light from Ochre and Tom Dixon’s ‘Fat Family’ chairs

Unusually for a prime-resi Show Apartment, it is not just about interior design and furnishings. The House of Walpole smells divine. Evocative fragrances wafted through the apartment in different zones, with four bespoke scents created by Rachel Vosper, each to conjure up a season. Those with a discerning palate will not be disappointed, with treats galore to feast upon, including Chapel Down, Edrington, Fortnum & Mason, William Grant, Biscuiteers. On a personal note, I was rather taken with the wardrobes and dressing room (my dream is a dressing room) and discover elegant pieces inside by Roksanda, Hackett, Henry Poole, Mulberry, Anna Mason and Manolo Blahnik.

Walpole’s CEO Helen Brocklebank summed it up: "House of Walpole at No. 1 Palace Street showcases contemporary British luxury on a scale rarely seen. It is a beautifully curated, immersive presentation of the skill and wealth of design talent this country has to offer. It takes the very best of British craftmanship, including brand collaborations and bespoke pieces to evoke a sense of place that will appeal to any future owner.”

SPHERE understands that this 3-bedroom split-level apartment is expected to sell at around £26 million (rest assured there are bijou apartments much lower-priced). If I were in the market, I’d throw in an extra mill’ for the House of Walpole lock, stock and barrel: furniture, fittings, accoutrements and trimmings (fragrances, books, wardrobe and larder contents will be on the inventory). But I would need to check first that those Roksanda dresses are in my size.

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