On the penthouse floor of a mansion block, furniture designer Amy Somerville has created a chic family home with the delights of city life right on the doorstep
The kitchen is most definitely the hub of the home. “Lorne and I are both serious cooks, so it was important to have lots of space to prepare food.” Amy designed the kitchen with plenty of cupboards either side of a central peninsula unit, and at one end, there sits an easy-clean, black leather-upholstered banquette, with a circular table where the children eat and do their homework. The built-in pantry units are made from veneered olive wood. Pulled up to the table are two Ernest Race chairs, originally designed in 1945. The chairs are pretty well worn, so there are no worries about the children damaging them further. “I have a particular interest in 20th-century furniture, and it felt right to use it in this flat,” says Amy.
Ella and Finn may be surrounded by modern day antiques, but for them – sitting at the table on the day of our shoot, expertly lining up their toys – what matters more is their proximity to the guinea pigs’ cage, which holds Delilah and Zinkie, the family pets. Amy smiles. “The children get them out to sit on their laps, but I draw the line at a free run through the flat!” she says. The kitchen table also has a fabulous view – there can’t be many children, one suspects, who can admire the sprawl of Marylebone while munching their breakfast.
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