Banda transforms London home into haven where art and bespoke furniture shine

a living room with a sofa and chairs
Banda transforms London townhouse into art havenBen Anders

In a city like London, ‘space is the real luxury,’ says Edo Mapelli Mozzi. It’s something this home, a 650-square-metre townhouse near Hyde Park, had plenty of, but when it came to planning its renovation for an art-collector owner, time was actually the luxury that the Banda founder was lacking. He was given just one year, from initial brief to finished project, to turn this family home into a house ready for life with grown-up children.

a house and large garden
Ben Anders

‘We had to break down 20 years of history and start again,’ recalls Edo. To do that, he started by opening up the once closed-off rooms to create sight lines through to the garden, then turned to the owner’s art collection – an enviable portfolio that reads like a who’s who of modern art, from Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst to Antony Gormley and Yayoi Kusama.

a kitchen with stools and a table
Ben Anders

These pieces were the starting points for many of the rooms, with decorating decisions made to complement or enhance them. In the living room, for example, a bronze Charles Zana ‘Calanque’ coffee table was selected to nod to the materiality of Gormley’s Standing Matter IV that watches from the corner.

Care had to be taken, though, not to turn this home into a gallery. ‘He didn’t want it to feel cold in any sense,’ explains Edo. ‘The artworks are important, but we had to let them breathe.’ Banda’s affinity for curved forms helped in this respect, creating a flow between the rooms that allows you to naturally journey between the art. Nothing, says Edo, is ‘too rigid or formal’.

a bed with a white duvet
Ben Anders

Also important was that the furniture be given as much thought and attention as the artworks. Edo was at pains to explain each item’s individual narrative, the background of the designers and the craftsmanship involved to his client.

He’s French, explains Edo, so you’ll see work by Pierre Augustin Rose as well as Charles Zana, but, he adds, ‘a home has to be authentic to its surroundings. Thirty per cent of what we include should be from the location, then we try to do thirty per cent vintage or reupholstered and thirty per cent that’s bespoke, plus ten per cent magic dust.’

a room with an armchair and wooden shelving
Ben Anders

That equation has served the designer well. Here, perhaps, that magic dust is the carefully selected materials. Edo has hand-picked marble, onyx, travertine and untreated timbers that will age beautifully, developing patina and character. ‘We wanted to make a home that would be there for the next 20 years,’ he says. ‘One that would only get better with time.’