The Idealist

Calming City Penthouse Retreat

The words ‘weekend retreat’ conjure up a sanctuary space to escape to, a haven from busy modern life. This is exactly what the owners of a penthouse apartment got thanks to the the work of Jane Richards Interiors, whose interior design studio and design store can be found in the heart of the independent interiors quarter in Norwich. It was through a mutual love of the brands, designers and products showcased in the store that the couple enlisted Jane Richards Interiors for their property.

Let the light in

Set within a historic landmark in the city, this penthouse is flooded with natural light primarily from the two large roof terraces lining the sides of the building.

These outside spaces are backdropped by sculptural red brickwork from the original building creating beautiful and seemingly effortless outdoor areas. The terraces and the light they let in were to be the main focal point of the project whilst maintaining a “light filled calmness” throughout.

Calm and quiet with bold features

The sense of the outdoors was cleverly continued inside through the use of a light, bright and neutral colour palette interspersed with bold ‘greenery’ greens and contrasting reds. 

The walls, window fabrics, lightning and bedding are all white and with a luxurious light grey silk carpet it creates a bright backdrop it allows the carefully curated furniture and accessories to stand out.

Jane Richards Interiors only use products they source and stock for their interior design projects as they know each item so well and have built up relationships with many designers and brands.

This personal touch meant the property owners trusted the team with selecting items for their home with a fairly open brief.

Designer details

Sharing a love for Dutch and some Italian design, key pieces were selected from the collections of Moooi, Piet Boon, Artifort and Studio Job throughout the apartment.

A quiet sense of playfulness comes from many of these designs. Take the green outdoor table and chairs from Seletti that look fairly traditional at first glance but on closer inspection you’ll find peace symbols, cogs and pretzels to name a few.

The bold patterns of the rugs, upholstery and soft furnishings set against the calming background create great visual impact.

Additionally, there was a conscious decision to have very low furniture to ensure nothing would obscure the view to the terraces and the uninterrupted skies beyond. This aspect really enables the flow between the living spaces and the terraces

Sitting in style

One of the hardest choices within this apartment must be deciding where to relax, surely a sign of a perfect weekend retreat.

There’s the inviting solitary Nut Lounge chair and footstool by Moooi located in the vast master bedroom, the Cloud sofa also by Moooi that had to be craned in, or the elegant outdoor furniture by Piet Boon on the terrace.

I’d happily take a seat anywhere as the neutral harmony between the outside and inside spaces has truly been achieved here.

For more information on Jane Richards Interiors design studio and design store visit their website.

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All photos courtesy of David Butler for Jane Richards Interiors.

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  • Helen is a fabric designer and lives with her husband and two sons near Bath. She grew up by the sea in Cornwall and is reinventing a modern coastal look of interiors with her debut collection in a minimal graphic design inspired style. Passionate about pattern, Helen is constantly capturing images on her phone for potential design inspiration.

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