Interior designer Hendre Bloem injected personality and whimsy into this modern 200 m2 penthouse while maintaining a calm minimalism through the choice of colour palette, functional pieces that are beautifully designed, and collections of art and objet.
“It’s all about making an understatement,” says Hendre of his approach to what was essentially a blank canvas. “Everything is rather subtle and toned down, but if you look closer the detail will truly surprise you.”
With a brief for a minimalist space that merges sleek elegance with a touch of quirkiness, Hendre was careful to select items that were “specific and iconic”, as he puts it, while incorporating a few vintage and heirloom pieces that held sentimental value for the owner.
He used these to inform the new additions, opting for pieces that had hints of mid-century retro, such as the moss green Beetle lounge chairs. “The colour, fabric choice and detailing has such a nostalgic feel reminiscent of that era.” Haldane Martin, Gregor Jenkin and James Mudge are some of the other design names he included, with James adapting his iconic Pick-up Sticks server into a 6 m-long version broken into three segments.
Colour was another important element. In choosing calming, muted tones that were influenced by the apartment’s views towards the bay, Hendre proved that minimalism need not only be monochrome.
“The dark coffee oak floors set an overall mood,” he explains. “In the open-plan living areas, the walls and ceilings were kept light with the furniture pieces bringing in colour, texture and contrast: oak and velvet; a steel Gregor Jenkin dining table; black bentwood chairs; a Haldane Martin laser-cut brass coffee table set.”
The more moody dark shades of the study are lightened with a blush pink powder-coated chair, antique brass-top desk and collection of wall clocks. On the master bedroom’s pink feature wall hang a cluster of vintage mirrors.
Curated focal points, whether it be art or objects curated in an artistic way, introduced that sense of quirky individualism without it feeling cluttered.