Design studio Banda creates cultivated elegance in a London penthouse evocative of a French farmhouse through considered sourcing and sustainable practices.
Edo Mapelli Mozzi, creative director and CEO of Banda, has a palpable outward-looking focus; not only through his commitment to designing and delivering ‘dream homes’ for his clients but also the deep appreciation he holds for his team. Beneath Edo’s formidable reputation, lies a devotion to ‘thoughtful sourcing’ from skilled craftspeople and environmental responsibility. “The quality and provenance of materials will continue to be a major theme for us,” he says, “as will our signature approach of delicately mixing old with new. We pride ourselves on championing craftsmanship and emerging talent.”
A collaboration between Banda and Obumex, the kitchen features dark grey marble, American Walnut cabinetry and Gaggenau appliances. An eclectic ensemble of treasures and collectables feature on the creamy kitchen shelves.
Edo attests sustainability is more than simply being energy efficient. “Environmental impact must be factored into every decision,” he says. “To us, mitigating impact means building high-quality homes that last and are ‘built for life’. Reducing unnecessary retrofitting or restoration in the future, which ultimately costs time, money, and energy,” he adds.
Banda’s latest project in Notting Hill, London, is a three-bedroom penthouse perched on the fifth floor that conjures the feel of a French farmhouse. Edo deliberately wanted to avoid the typical penthouse aesthetic, seeking inspiration from his travels. The result is a country-style retreat in an urban environment, set behind a stucco facade circa 1850. The 2300 square foot abode also features a spiral staircase leading to a 500 square foot roof terrace overlooking Leinster Square gardens.
Following a philosophy of ‘design for living’, Edo created warm spaces with a true sense of ‘home’. “The design unfolded from the oak beams. Once we saw how powerful they were, the rest just flowed. We wanted to create elegant farmhouse warmth, which is decidedly unusual in a city apartment.”
Banda sourced vintage and artisanal pieces to create focal points. “A French farmhouse tends to be full of pieces built up over the years. This is exactly what we wanted to convey in the penthouse.” One of Edo’s personal favourites is the cabinet in the snug – an oversized vintage Carlo Hauner (1927-1997) piece crafted in natural cane and Jacaranda with delicate brass handles, commissioned in the 1950s for a villa in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Grey chevron parquetry floors contrast with walnut timber cabinetry, subtly concealing entrances to the guest cloakroom, second bedroom and a snug. Art by Ursula Nistrup Tzeela.
Transcending the many treasures within the penthouse is an overwhelming sense of calm. The palette is earthy with creamy, muted neutrals melding with soft khaki and moss greens. Natural materiality, including wood, stone and marble, subtly contrast with newer bespoke pieces, including a black Marquina marble fireplace and the Obumex marble kitchen, both designed by the studio.
Considered indoor planting was also high on Banda Design Studio’s agenda. “Bringing the outdoors in was a pivotal part of the design intent. The olive tree to the left of the fireplace and the ferns positioned carefully in the main living space help lift the aesthetic and improve air quality within the city. Together they bring about an overall sense of wellbeing and harmony.”
‘Heart’ lies at the epicentre of every Banda project, and that’s really where ‘home’ is, after all.
This piece originally appeared in est Magazine issue #43.