If walls could talk, those of iconic Chateau Denmark, a sublime new hotel in London’s Soho, would articulate many an enthralling tale. Located in Denmark Street, the birthplace of the British music scene, the design narrative of the 16 illustrious buildings that make up this unique hotel and associated apartments was carefully orchestrated by the team at esteemed interior design studio Taylor Howes Design.
The challenge was to bestow a new decorative lease of life rich with character into the iconic blue plaque townhouses graced by the likes of David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, Chrissie Hynde, the Sex Pistols and Vivienne Westwood, as well as the design studio where seminal albums sleeves were created for bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Pink Floyd. Taylor Howes’ designs skilfully take their cue from these largely Georgian heritage buildings to reflect the history of London’s Tin Pan Alley, while also encapsulating the creative expression, escapism and rebellious spirit of Soho.
‘As a wholly unique design intent, the rooms have four distinct narratives, best described as a figurative journey through Denmark Street’s prolific days,’ explains Jane Landino, Creative Head of Studio at Taylor Howes. ‘We envisioned “Vintage Gothic” to capture a particular charm and present dramatic intrigue, while “Timeless Grandeur” offers an opulent and indulgent Victorian-era aesthetic. “Modern Psychedelia” brings 60s and 70s London to life through texture, finishes and striking palettes. “Punk Now” is a modern interpretation of the raw, anti-establishment movement, presenting the irreverent side of being far less than authoritarian. The overall narrative imagines a time where punk rock and vintage gothic meet modern psychedelia with a timeless grandeur. The result is an old-world aesthetic that’s bound with modern times.’
The team were limited spatially because the majority of the buildings are Grade II listed. ‘This wasn’t an issue because the design in the listed buildings lent itself to a more traditional layout,’ notes Jane. ‘We maximised this and set out the powder rooms and bedrooms in their original layout, pairing this with a modern design scheme, ensuring a nod to the building's history and allowing the original charm and character of the apartments to shine through.’
Naturally, such prestigious milieu necessitated the infusion of the finest materials, with exceptional modern craftsmanship and traditional artisan techniques quintessential to the elevation of the design. To create bold, wow factor interiors, the Taylor Howes team sourced antiques and commissioned bespoke furniture and standout pieces, working closely with UK suppliers, to ensure Chateau Denmark encapsulates Denmark Street’s lasting legacy while transporting it into the 21st century. Naturally, the attention to detail also extends to sound systems that would satisfy any music aficionado.
The bedrooms in the luxurious period townhouse apartments are awash with original and quirky architectural details. Here, the timeless grandeur design narrative is evoked with an opulent and indulgent aesthetic that showcases moody and rich colours, sumptuous fabrics and evocative pattern-laden wallpapers to beautifully complement the original wooden panelling, timber beams and textural leather floors. Carefully curated furniture is positioned against this dramatic backdrop, with an exquisite William Morris wall feature heightening the drama.
The bathing spaces are equally as impressive. Glossy black tiles provide a sleek and sophisticated backdrop in the shower rooms, marrying beautifully with exquisitely veined marble washstands. Lustrous brass accents evoke a touch of glamour. Samuel Heath’s Fairfield deck-mounted basin filler brassware in a non-lacquered finish with matt black chrome levers is showcased in the period-style shower rooms, complementing the black tiles beautifully and elevating the Timeless Grandeur aesthetic. ‘The look of Fairfield ties in well to this more traditional scheme,’ explains Jane. ‘We particularly liked the way that the non-lacquered brass would age and build character over time, which is in keeping with the design direction.’
The epitome of bathing beauty, an adjacent bathroom exhibits rich red panelled walls and invites a sense of indulgence. The space is enhanced by a beautifully crafted maxi-bar with timber, brass and metal finishes, while a sumptuous red-lined roll top bathtub displayed on a marble platform takes centre stage, enriched by Fairfield brassware. Another apartment’s bathroom mirrors the aesthetic, this time with sophisticated black walls inducing a moody ambience, while a sumptuous gold and black freestanding tub heightens the drama.
Taking their inspiration from the building’s musical history and channelling 60s and 70s London with its avant-garde approach across design, art, music and fashion, Taylor Howes followed a playful psychedelic design intent in the largest apartments, bringing it to life through texture, finishes and striking palettes. At the heart of the open-plan layouts are sumptuous beds ensconced in voluptuous jewel-hued headboards that introduce deliciously dramatic focal points. Generous and curvaceous sofas elevate the sense of indulgence, with arresting wallpapers lending a beguiling backdrop and luxuriously tactile fabrics inducing a cossetting ambience.
The bathrooms embrace statement bateau tubs for the ultimate in indulgence. In line with the bold forms, Landmark Industrial brassware in an alluring City Bronze finish was selected for its timeless silhouettes featuring subtle nuances of the Bauhaus aesthetic imbued with a modern twist. Its distinctive knurled details inject a bold and tactile industrial aesthetic.
Musical provenance pulses through The Lofthouse Apartments. Housed in a building with a legendary pedigree, this was the studio where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album, and The Who, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix created their iconic classics. Referencing its location above music shop Regent Sounds, one of the staple guitar stores on Denmark Street, the design narrative captures punk rock accents with a defiantly raucous energy and industrial aesthetic.‘In true punk spirit, the apartments were designed upside down with the living space upstairs and featuring Johnny Rotten’s storied caricatures of the Sex Pistols,’ explains Jane.
Oozing rebellious attitude, signature gold trimmed graffitied beds capture a sense of anarchism, while the punk movement’s DIY culture is celebrated with industrial gunmetal pipe wall lights showcasing switches made from repurposed radiator handles. Pops of tartan and God-Save-the-Queen emblazoned chairs are flaunted throughout the interior in true punk signature style.
Bathrooms too embrace the bold industrial theme with statement black-lined verdigris bathtubs. Landmark Industrial brassware in City Bronze showcasing a classic aesthetic rooted in contemporary style was chosen both here and in the generous walk-in shower. ‘We thought the Samuel Heath Landmark collection particularly lent itself to this look,’ explains Jane. ‘The dark bronze contemporary finish ties in beautifully with the new architecture.’