Design experts reveal the secrets of East vs. West London style in the new build market.

The age old questions, East vs. West, trendy vs. traditional, edgy vs. classic, still play a crucial part in the biggest choice Londoners will make – where to put down roots and set up home. Historically the differences between the East and West stem from the location of industry and the position of the River Thames as a transport network for trade, people and goods. In 2015 however, you can still distinguish between the East and West’s defining characteristics with the East’s style coloured by the area’s industry, a mix of cultures and the docklands area and the West with its early influences from the aristocracy, royalty and easy access to green open space.

With four new developments from either side of London, property developer Peabody has taken interior design inspiration from this cultural, artistic, and economic split. Clare Morton of Studio Morton and Gabriella Ramacotti of Suna Interior Designs were both tasked with creating modern and sophisticated show homes for Chancery Building, Carters Yard, Merchants Walk and Upton Village whilst drawing on local influences.

Carters Yard is located in the heart of Wandsworth and comprises a selection of three bedroom penthouses as well as two bedroom apartments. Ramacotti’s design for the two bedroom private sale show-home reflects, “…the old commercial buildings, such as the brewery, green park spaces and the river Wandle” she comments. “I wanted the apartment to have a cool, urban feel, to convey premium city living. I was inspired by the location; the borough is currently undergoing large scale regeneration, yet has still retained its special atmosphere.”

This design is sophisticated with a metropolitan feel based around the trend “urban luxe”. This comprises the perfect combination of industrial elements such as leather, concrete, metal as well as luxurious textures including soft velvets and wool. Gabriella adds, “I loved the urban/hip, yet rich/sophisticated feel to the apartment – London meets New York City living. Continuing to reflect the location, there is a reference to Carters Yard in one of the artworks above the sofa in the living room. My favourite accessory is the collectable model of the now redeveloped Battersea Power Station, an iconic landmark carved in cool white plaster – a perfect example of mantelpiece art.”

Peabody’s second West London development to focus its interiors on local heritage is Chancery Building at Embassy Gardens. This stunning development offers a collection of spacious one and two bedroom apartments and duplexes in Nine Elms. The scheme’s Shared Ownership show home was designed by Studio Morton, a London-based design consultancy working on both private and commercial projects. The studio’s founder, Clare Morton comments, The Shared Ownership show home at Chancery Building relayed a grown-up mid-century style that was inspired by immerging trends in American interior design. This is an interesting trend at the moment as Americans seem to be leading in interior design with the UK following suit. With the American embassy being built next door to the scheme, it is perfect that Chancery Building will be reflecting this American style.”

The Shared Ownership show home design echoes the aesthetics of local luxury bars and hotels in the area with its sophisticated design. Clare continues, “To create this luxury mid-century look, we added in a lot of walnut woods, adding a Mad Men type theme to the design. Brass metals were used to give the apartment a wealthier look. With such a high end development surrounded by the likes of Chelsea, you’ve got to be setting trends.”

In contrast, the East’s quirky and eclectic flare inspired both Upton Village’s Shared Ownership show home in Plaistow and Merchants Walk’s Private Sale show home in Bow. A turning point in the history of art and design in the East London came with the opening of White Cube Gallery in Hoxton over 20 years ago. Upton Village is a development which ensures to emulate this historic arts culture, Clare explains, “Proving the varied trends between East and West, Upton Village had a completely different design stance compared to the sophisticated palette of Chancery Building. We took the familiar East-end quirky/eclectic look that you might see in places such as Dalston and Shoreditch and brought those elements to Upton Village. With industrial style pendant lighting and limited edition art work from local artists, designers and print markets we feel we have encapsulated the style and character of the area without compromising on quality. We used furniture from established brands like Habitat with metal, wood, vintage school or café chairs. These key ingredients were essential to bringing together the East London look.”

Upton Village had huge influence from local artists, studios and designers with a number of pieces in the show home sourced from Print Club London, a screen-printing studio and gallery based in Dalston. Morton’s inspiration further drew on staples found from East London Art Fair in Dalston, meaning Upton Village truly had an authentic, ‘proper East-end’ input.

Increasing outdoor space in the East, whether a balcony or terrace, is always a priority and a trend that Clare has seen gain momentum in new-build homes. The Shared Ownership townhouses at Upton Village boast an expansive roof terrace. Clare says, “We are increasingly seeing the incorporation of floor to ceiling windows and bi-fold windows in higher end schemes that help to create a flowing transition from indoor to outdoor living.”

Further reflecting the East-end feel, Merchants Walk is located between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Village in thriving Bow, E3. Clare recently completed the private sale show home for this scheme and explains, The design is very East London and it’s almost a reflection of Upton Village. We took inspiration from the branding, creamy colours with blacks, whites and greys. This private sale show home features more standout, quirky and daring pieces of designer furniture to reflect the industrial trend in this part of London. This has been created through token industrial pieces made out of metals as well as using wallpaper that looks like textured concrete. A big trend in East London is stripping back the inside of buildings to bring in exposed brick and concrete floors, which is something that is featured in the show home.”

All homes are now under offer at Chancery Building and Upton Village. Only two bedroom apartments and three bedroom penthouses remain at Carters Yard with prices starting from £582,750. At Merchants Walk,Studio apartments at Merchants Walk are all now under offer, Prices start at £342,500 for a one bedroom apartment and £425,000 for a two bedroom apartment

To register your interest in any of Peabody’s developments please call the Peabody sales team on 020 7021 4842 or email [email protected]

Clare Morton Interior Designer