So many of us strive to have it all, family, career, social life; Designer Thomas Dariel shows us how our space can help us bring these elements into balance through volumes, voids and finding beauty in functionality. High above the bustling crowds of Shanghai city, the Blue Penthouse is both a family home and a sanctuary of calm.
The custom designed, magnificent spiral staircase, is the heart of the home. It unites the rooms behind each door concealed in the wooden paneled walls. The contemporary graphics of the black and white marble floor continue the calming circular theme and contrast with the classical french moldings that provide a timeless sense of style and elegance.
The pairing of traditional and modern living is even more prominent in the large, open plan dining room. Marrying functionality with unique design is Dariel’s calling card and we can see this in every element of the space. Above the bar counter, where the family enjoy breakfast together, is a series of three whimsical glass lighting fixtures, resembling pots and jugs.
An unusual encased chandelier is then encircled by moldings, creating ripples of light across the blue-gray ceiling. The exciting use of shape continues to the geometric dining table below and in the glass-paneled wine cellar behind the bar. Inside the wine cellar, the shelves are reminiscent of the wooden skeleton of a boat and tie-in with the accents of wood throughout the home.
The living room is an area for the whole family to share, reflected here in the design, as both the balcony and the office have been incorporated into the space. The former balcony was pulled indoors to increase the sensation of volume and enable more space for leisure. The blue of the hall has been turned up in intensity, acknowledging the energy of the room and utilizing the light from the sprawling bay windows. The marble from the entrance floor is carried through to the living room in the towering and impressive shelving unit. The pairing of cool marble with the warmth of the dark wood creates depth and highlights the vastness of the space whilst, once again, pulling the two floors together.
The same blue is mirrored on the opposing wall to keep the symmetry. Looking up, a suspended cube has been designed to host the client’s office. The glass frontage of the office allows whoever is working to still be a part of the joy of family life below. The office is also a wink to the original meaning of the word penthouse, from the latin ‘appendere’, to be suspended.
This master bedroom is one of our favorites. Dariel designed a vitrine-like bathroom, glassed in on two sides but tinted from the bedroom. Meaning they could enjoy the luxury of the tub, while still watching television, but the person on the other side of the glass could only guess at their activities.
Dariel has also played with the glass-mirror-reflection elements in the dressing room, a work of art in itself. At every turn, he has tried to reflect the family in the design for their home. As avid travelers, all of the cabinets, wardrobes and drawers are inspired by old, steamer trunk-style luggage. Finished with leather and linen, they add texture to the walls, making the functional pieces both beautiful and unique. The AC grills throughout the house are elegant stainless steel plates with engraved French quotes to inspire the family’s desire to learn French.
In the kids’ bedrooms, wallpapers specifically designed for the project by Dariel Studio’s team, bring culture, playfulness and poetry. The undisturbed fluidity of this home, paired with the unique touches in design, make it a paradise to live in.
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