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spring 2015

Chamber Light Large by Lee Broom Š Arthur Woodcroft


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spring 2015 contents

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06. property: Clarendon Works, St Petersburgh Place

Notting Hill 17 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU 020 7727 1717

12. DESIGN: MADE IN JAPAN Clever and creative ideas from Japan’s coolest product designers 14. DESIGN: LEADING LIGHT Domus Life catches up with design superstar Lee Broom 18. PROPERTY: Westbourne Terrace Mews, Linden Avenue, Chesterton Road, Notting Hill Lofts 26. ARCHITECTURE: THE SUPERS Four of Japan’s hottest architecture firms profiled…

Bayswater 78 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RT 020 7221 7817 Management 37 Alexander Street, London W2 5NU 020 7908 9338

30. PROPERTY: Oakwood Court, Ledbury Road 36. TRAVEL: THE GREAT ESCAPE Whether you retreat to the mountains, explore a city or ski, do it in Japan… 40. PROPERTY: St Quintin Avenue, Ladbroke Grove, All Saints Road 46. ARCHITECTURE: FAMILY AFFAIR Discover the husband-and-wife world of Cousins & Cousins

Online Twitter @domusnovalondon Pinterest domusnovalondon

50. PROPERTY: Portobello Road, Courtnell Street, Pembridge Place, Aubrey Walk 58. PEOPLE: NEW FACES Meet the new Japanese kids on the London block 62. PROPERTY: Arthur Court, Melbury Road, Chepstow Villas, Bishop’s Bridge Road

Read Online Read Domus Life online at

70. ART: GOING WITH THE GRAIN Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto reveals his deeply moving ‘saltscapes’ 74. PROPERTY: Gloucester Road, Gloucester Gardens, Talbot Road 80. FOOD & DRINK: FAR-EAST MOVEMENT Feast your eyes on London’s sexiest Japanese food spots… 84. PROPERTY: Crediton Road, Powis Gardens, Henrietta Street, The Lofthouse, Newton Road, Faraday Road, Earl’s Court Square 98. DESIGN: ICONIC We look to Japan’s Ato Matsumoto for one of the world’s most iconic design pieces

Created and published by Domus Nova Ltd. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of Domus Nova Ltd. Copyright Domus Nova Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be copied, imitated or reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. Front Cover: Labryrinth Salt [4x12m] by Motoi Yamamoto. “Making Mends” Bellevue Arts Museum, USA 2012. Opposite page: Chamber Light Large by Lee Broom © Arthur Woodcroft Administration fees apply for all lettings properties, please visit:


Scandinavia in winter, Japan for spring. Domus Life heads to one of the world’s most intriguing cultures to discover its inspiring architecture, influential people and irresistible retreats. All this and more awaits you...

楽しんでください “Enjoy please”

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work of art A dramatic dose of Manhattan style in Clarendon Cross CLARENDON WORKS, W11 £9,000,000 Unique four-bedroom conversion moreno:masey Architecture Studio epc=d

It’s rare to find restoration and reinvention on the same page, yet moreno:masey Architecture Studio has skilfully managed to combine the two over the past seven years. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice’s reinterpretation of Clarendon Works, a former Victorian brickmaking factory in the heart of Notting Hill. An industrial site densely surrounded by quiet residential streets, it was only a matter of time before the building was transformed from commercial space to family house. 6

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With a background in residential development, and more recent involvement in some of London’s best-known restaurants, practice director Rodrigo Moreno Masey brought a wealth of knowledge of commercial spaces and their possibilities to Clarendon Works. The history of the property is beautifully conveyed through the use of raw materials such as heavy metal, wood and stone, which are combined in an elegant and complete way. The current owner purchased the property in 2011. He says: “Clarendon Works is such an iconic building and a unique part of the area’s history. I lusted after the site for 30 years before I was finally able to buy it.” The conversion is arranged over five floors with a creative, cosmopolitan feel and large amounts of natural light throughout. The ground floor includes a sexy contemporary kitchen and dining area and an integral garage that could also be used as an office, while the indulgent basement level has a cinema room, gym and wine cellar. The first floor boasts a wonderful lateral reception area with exposed brick and masculine tones. On the second floor are three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms, while the entire top floor is given over to the phenomenal master bedroom complete with an open bathroom, vaulted ceilings and private terrace. Read our interview with Rodrigo Moreno Masey of moreno:masey Architecture Studio at 9

light house The extraordinary story of one of Bayswater’s coolest family homes


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Once a multi-occupancy house with eight bedrooms, two bathrooms and a basin on the stairs, this property had been unoccupied for 10 years and was completely derelict when the current owners purchased it in 2008. Their aim was to create a dynamic, light-filled family home that was flexible, efficient, comfortable and ecofriendly, and they enlisted Michela Bertolini of mb-ds to help them achieve just that.

predominately free-flowing lateral space. “Where possible we created open spaces to give visual continuity, while split levels and double-height ceilings allow the light to punctuate the space throughout.”

To say the owners had their work cut out is an understatement. “We excavated under the total length of the house and mews to gain extra space and add an extra lower ground floor. The derelict garage was demolished and a threefloor mews added,” they say. The result is now an awe-inspiring contemporary home spanning close to 4,500 sq ft, with each of the five floors offering

Leading to the first floor via a bespoke staircase is the more formal reception room with study to the rear. The bedrooms are on the upper floors where a flat roof is accessible, constructed as a green roof to be as environmentally friendly as possible. There are two further bedrooms at lower ground level, and a gym, steam room and games room in the basement.

Wonderfully suited to entertaining, a Bulthaup kitchen on the ground floor overlooks the landscaped front garden, and links to the dining space.

At the rear, a courtyard garden leads to the attached mews which offers a new garage, home cinema and first-floor office. A glass construction filling the space between the closet wing and party wall creates an internal atrium at basement level, bringing as much light and calm into the property as possible. Talk about inspiring. Read our interview with Michela Bertolini of mb:ds at

ST PETERSBURGH PLACE, W2 £6,950,000 Contemporary five-bedroom house mb-ds epc=c 11


made in japan Cool, quirky and original. Japan’s pioneering young designers are coming up with brilliantly inventive products to enhance our lives


Hitotaba lamp

Portrait in Chair

Inspired by traditional bunches of rice straw hanging down to dry.

The seat and back have a shifted axis, transforming an everyday experience.

Shinn Asano

Akio Hayakawa

HC Hanger

Rassen chopsticks

When not in use, hangers stack neatly on the base of this simple white steel coathanger.

Supplied as a single unit which separates into two for eating, then rejoins.

Mifune Design Studio


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Mt.Fuji Letter Stand

Paper torch

The world’s most advanced humanoid robot, now able to run at an astonishing 5.6mph.

Supplied as a flat, plywood sheet with laser-cut shapes to punch out and assemble yourself.

A piece of paper with a battery-operated LED attached – simply roll it up to activate the light.


Flat Packables

Kazuhiro Yamanaka

FLUE containers



Each of these three sleek sculptural containers is made from a different material.

From Architecture for Dogs – a hanging paper house designed to give your dog his own territory.

A stool, a table or a handy container, depending on where you place the lid.

Kenyon Yeh


Daisuke Kitagawa Design

© Hiroshi Yoda

ASIMO robot



leading Product designer Lee Broom is lighting up the British interiors scene like no other. Domus Life profiles the man of the moment…

With a personal motto of ‘do your own thing’, Lee Broom is a one-man powerhouse, a British-born designer who creates beautiful and mouldbreaking lighting, furniture, interiors and decorative accessories. Winner of multiple awards and with a flagship store in Shoreditch, his products are sold in more than 30 countries worldwide. If ever you were looking for a name to fill Sir Terence Conran’s massively impressive shoes, Broom is definitely one to watch. Broom fell in love with design at a young age, while he was a pupil at theatre school. This early exposure to costume and interiors propelled him on a career path that has covered more than half a dozen different design disciplines. Earning his stripes as a teenager with an internship at legendary designer Vivienne Westwood, he was inspired to study for a fashion degree at Central St Martins. However, his mind was 14

already elsewhere. Changing tack, he spent the next few years honing his talent for interior design and creating inspiring bar and restaurant environments. It’s an area he is still involved in – November 2014 saw the opening of Old Tom & English, an unashamedly decadent cocktail bar in Soho featuring a collection of Broom’s lighting, furniture and interiors, the perfect commercial gallery. Today, Broom is best known as a product designer. He founded his company in 2007 after his inspirational designs began to attract international attention, in particular his lighting, which has won more than 20 awards. Among them are the Elle Decoration British Design Award for Crystal Bulb [a hand-blown, hand-cut, lead crystal version of the everyday light bulb, which has sold more than 10,000 units worldwide], and Designer of the Year 2011/2012 at the British Design Awards.

Now in his late 30s, Broom was a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s when recession-driven Britain was enjoying a new wave of music, fashion and design. Boundaries were broken and institutions smashed, as icons such as Westwood, Boy George and Philippe Starck took centre stage. It was a time of evolution and Broom rode the wave. There is still a certain homage to the 1980s in his work. Broom’s 2011 collection of Salon Lounge Chairs featured superb, sumptuous upholstery accentuated with punk-style stud detailing. His latest collection, Nouveau Rebel, launched at 2014’s London Design Festival, uses his favourite crystal combined with Carrara marble in a series of beautiful, gently luminous lighting pieces. The new Quilt Chair crosses gorgeous fabrics with couturestyle quilting techniques, while the Fulcrum candlesticks invite us to enjoy crystal in its most recognisable form.

Clear Crystal Bulb Chandelier by Lee Broom

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A keen supporter of British manufacturing, Broom works closely with specialist traditional craftsmen from the initial concept to final production. It’s no surprise that The Times dubbed him “the pin-up of British manufacturing”, or that he has in no small part helped to revive the fortunes of the UK’s only remaining crystal manufacturer. In 2013, the ongoing creation and production of new designs prompted Broom, together with his partner and business manager Charles Rudgard, to open his first ‘store’ [don’t call it a shop] in east London’s hip Rivington Street. Electra House is part store, part gallery, a living display of Broom’s work that has attracted international design professionals since it opened its doors. Some products have been so popular that they sold out within weeks of opening. For Broom, this is the pinnacle of success – he recently admitted to being delighted “to see people leaving, clutching our Lee Broom bags”. It is this approach to embracing the more luxurious end of the interior design business that is currently driving Broom, and one that will see his products surely end up in the auction houses of the future, legacy pieces and antiques for generations to come. It may also be the driver in establishing a hotel, something he has described as the “ultimate project”, a place where every facet of his designs could come together. Take note, would-be investors… With so much happening, it’s hard to imagine a moment in Broom’s day when his head isn’t filled with design, 16

but this is one London convert who uses the city to its full advantage. He lives in a former fire station in Kennington with a retro cinema in the basement, and the space and texture of the building provide the perfect environment for him to trial designs under the watchful eye of Charles. Broom is an avid art collector [a favourite piece is an original Keith Haring leather jacket with a white crucifix on the back], and a prominent figure at London’s galleries and museums, and, internationally, at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami. He also collects mid-century furniture and cites Atomic on Shoreditch High Street as the place to shop for original pieces, or Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road for new design. London’s street markets, in particular Portobello and Brick Lane, have also been a huge inspiration and where Broom first bought crystal decanters to try the idea for his Crystal Decanter Lights. But it’s not all about retail. Broom is a keen runner and says that crossing the river and its bridges on foot opens his eyes to the panoramas, people and places around him. Every day is different and each location throws up possibilities which, for Broom, could prove to be the inspiration for the next big thing. Read our extended interview with Lee Broom at

Lee Broom Electra House 93 Rivington Street, London EC2


design domus nova spring15 © Arthur Woodcroft

02. © Arthur Woodcroft

03. © Luke Hayes

04. 01. electra house 93 Rivington Street, London EC2 02. Chamber Light Small Chamber Light from Lee Broom’s Nouveau Rebel collection 03. Tube Light From Lee Broom’s Nouveau Rebel collection 04. old tom & english The bar’s interior featuring Broom’s lighting and furniture


ENDURING COOL A lovingly designed home with a timeless personal touch This eclectic mews home dates back to 1850 and lost all its original features when it was bombed during World War II. This did, however, provide the owners with a fantastic opportunity and blank canvas to create the clean, contemporary space they had always hoped to achieve. Purchased in 2007, the property was completely transformed by knocking through walls and adding windows. “We responded to the bones of the original building and followed what seemed right,” say the owners, who cite Brian O’Doherty’s classic book on gallery spaces, Inside the White Cube, as inspiration. The property now provides a cool space with impressive open-plan living areas, brought to life by exceptional natural light throughout,


as well as vibrant colours, retro furniture and a stunning collection of modern art and prints. A large double-aspect reception space incorporates the relaxed lounge, contemporary kitchen and dining area. There are also two large double bedrooms, a smart family bathroom, a third guest bedroom/ study and a walled patio garden.

WESTBOURNE TERRACE MEWS, W2 £995 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Grade II-listed three-bedroom mews house Styled by the owners epc=d

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rise style An alluring home with an eclectic sense of fun

Unique, creative and with the character to match its Kensal Rise location, this property is truly extraordinary. Measuring 2,244 sq ft, the home has been meticulously refurbished by its owners with exceptional flair and attention to detail, combining bespoke finishes and fittings with reclaimed and period architectural features. The main draw is the double reception room – one side more formal while the other offers a relaxed open-plan living and bespoke kitchen space. The master bedroom suite includes a superb bathroom, and there are three further bedrooms, two bathrooms, a west-facing garden and a separate self-contained studio. Clearly arranged to maximise entertaining space and light while keeping the design playful, this property really is one of a kind.


LINDEN AVENUE, NW10 ÂŁ1,695,000 Cool four-bedroom house Styled by the owners epc=d

Bespoke units by British Standard gave the kitchen an inviting country feel, while hanging bulbs, polished concrete floors and steel Tolix chairs added an industrial vibe

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A splash of colour courtesy of David Hockney intensifies the magic of the space


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maximum impact Comfort and simplicity combined with meticulous style

This beautiful townhouse completed by renowned Australian designer Claire Lloyd demonstrates her penchant for simplicity, light, comfort and sensuality. A lover of all things white, Lloyd has ramped things up a notch here by introducing black lacquer to create the ultimate sexy monochrome retreat. Arranged over four storeys, the home has a conventional layout and, at more than 2,100 sq ft, is perfect for modern families. A contemporary full-length reception room features original detail such as wide wood flooring, high ceilings and period sash windows. Also on this level is a study space. The lower ground floor features a sensational open-plan kitchen and dining area. Though nearmonastic and pared back, block concrete and natural light add substance and warmth. This space opens out onto a south-facing rear garden.

Read our interview with Claire Lloyd at

CHESTERTON ROAD, W10 ÂŁ3,250,000 Minimalist four-bedroom townhouse Claire Lloyd epc=d


urban sanctuary A contemporary penthouse that ticks all the boxes Set on the fourth and fifth floors of the iconic ‘Church’ building, this ultra-stylish penthouse apartment forms part of a group of luxury residences called Notting Hill Lofts. MMM Architects originally designed the flat, working closely with Manhattan Loft Corporation on what was one of its most groundbreaking projects. The huge open-plan reception space and contemporary kitchen make this a perfect property for entertaining. “We love to have large groups of friends over for dinner, especially in the summer when we can watch the sun set over the skyline through the floor-to-ceiling windows,” say the owners, who purchased the apartment in 2006.


The rest of the home includes a master bedroom suite, a second bedroom with a balcony and a family bathroom. Added extras include Lutron lighting, underfloor heating, air conditioning and video entry phone. With lift access, two underground parking spaces, open-plan living and panoramic views, the property caters to every need. With a working church still on the ground floor, Notting Hill Lofts is one of London’s most interesting conversions, offering an excellent location among the designer boutiques and go-to eateries on Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road.

NOTTING HILL LOFTS, W11 £3,500,000 Indulgent two-bedroom penthouse MMM Architects + Manhattan Loft Corporation epc=c

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supers 26

Yatsugatake Flying House, Kidosaki Architects Studio

Japan is famous for producing some of the world’s leading, cutting-edge architecture. We venture east to deliver you our pick of the very best‌

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S-HOUSE Yuusuke Karasawa Architects


Tokyo-based architect Yuusuke Karasawa – who worked at Dutch architecture firm MVRDV and Japan’s Shigeru Ban Architects before setting up his own practice in 2006 – is interested in what he terms “complicated network space” in which “walls, ceilings and floors are intricately entwined”. So when he was commissioned to design the S-House, in Japan’s Saitama area, it was a match made in… well, complex interior volumes and parallel lines. Exemplifying avant-garde architecture, the S-House is one of 2014’s most progressive works of contemporary design. Reminiscent of Dutch artist M.C. Escher’s ‘Relativity’ print and inspired by the integration of humanity and nature, the S-House is essentially a glass box with an overlapping geometric structure, and is home for Karasawa himself – a philosophical execution of his life’s work.

This stimulating practice infuses modern and traditional Japanese aesthetic notions into starkly contemporary buildings. Established in 2000, Kidosaki Architects Studio is based in Tokyo, and is one of the only firms to have a project go viral. Its design for the Yatsugatake Flying House, a spectacular mountainside structure, has filled architecture and design web pages and print magazines alike. The house is situated near the city of Nagano in Japan, and serves as a lavish mountain retreat. “When I visited the site, my first impression was that this untapped and expansive nature must be embraced into the interior to the greatest extent possible,” explained studio founder Hirotaka Kidosaki.

Aside from the S-House, Karasawa and his team have been responsible for some of Japan’s most unusual and intricately executed buildings, including Villa Kanousan and Quezon Day Center. 28

Kidosaki learnt his trade at Nichon and Sheffield universities. From 1979 to 1993, he was vice president at legendary practice Kenzo Tange Associates, then joined Architect 5 Partnership before setting up his own practice. The rest, as they say, is…

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Narazaka House © Eiji Tomita

Narazaka House © Eiji Tomita


NARAZAKA HOUSE Yoshiaki Yamashita Architect & Associates

Born in Yamaguchi, Bunzo Ogawa of Future Studio may only be 35 years old, but in his short life he has managed to achieve a hell of a lot.

The firm that epitomises everything we love about Japanese architecture – clean, modern lines, quality, function and pioneering design. One of Yoshiaki Yamashita Architect & Associates’ projects in Nara, a Japanese city near Osaka and Kyoto, sums this up beautifully. The geometrically inspired home incorporates extensive views of Nara into its design, ensuring the outside world is always visible. With modernist and Bauhaus influences, the structure must be one of the coolest homes ever created for a husband and wife about to retire.

One of Japan’s leading architectural practices, Future Studio is based in Hiroshima and is responsible for such design masterpieces as the acclaimed Light Stage House, Beam House and Wrap House. The latter is a private family dwelling in Hiroshima where the walls of the building extend to enclose a garden and first-floor terrace. Without compromising the privacy of the inhabitants, a diagonal cut into the surrounding wall permits light into the garden and terrace spaces. Constructed from timber and clad in black galvanised steel plates, the structure is a contemporary marvel, typical of the firm’s calm aesthetic, and quite unique.

Born in Osaka, Yoshiaki Yamashita started his firm in 1994 and is still based in Osaka. Often applauded for his ability to create structures across varying contexts and environments, whether woodland, inner city or coast, his works will undoubtedly satisfy any architectural appetite.

A groundbreaker in Japanese architecture, Ogawa spent years at Foster & Partners and Atelier Jean Nouvel before establishing his own firm. Winning design award upon award, it’s safe to assume he has the architectural world bowing at his feet. 29

modern exotic A glamorous home of fierce seduction

OAKWOOD COURT, W14 ÂŁ4,250,000 Fabulous four-bedroom mansion apartment Caroline Legrand Design epc=e

Lavish, sumptuous and glamorous, this home, owned by Caroline Legrand, is a masterpiece. Belgian-born but London-based, Legrand is one the capital’s most exciting designers, creating distinctive, timeless interiors that combine sophistication and decadence with a touch of the whimsical. Working in London, Ibiza and the US, she is most definitely a name to watch. 30

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With chocolate walls, green and gold seagrass wallpaper and warm greys, the property is sophisticated while modern and fun

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As soon as Legrand saw the apartment in a magazine back in 2011, she knew it was for her. “I wanted a project, something that would be a challenge,” she says. With the property last updated in the late 1970s, she didn’t hold back, gutting the kitchen and bathrooms and knocking down significant walls. Her idea was to keep as many of the original features as possible, including doors, ceilings and herringbone floors, to create an elegant lateral city apartment with clean lines, warm colours and Carrara marble. When asked about her biggest extravagance, it is no surprise that she says it was art, given that works by Anish Kapoor, Ryan McGinley, Robert Longo and Miro grace the walls. “I’m obsessed with art, and at last I had lots of beautiful walls to fill!” The jewel of the home is the formal reception area, open plan to incorporate the lounge and dining space. The bold design scheme teams dark wenge floors with heavy coloured walls and black lacquered windows. Rocking a distinct 70s vibe, much of the furniture was sourced from vintage specialist Talisman London. Iconic pieces abound, including dazzling Rougier Ovoid lights, Charles Hollis Jones Lucite-framed dining chairs and a Christopher Farr silk rug. One of our favourites is the 1960s gold velvet sectional sofa that frames a travertine and Lucite oval-shaped coffee table. “I looked at the room and saw squares, so my thought was to introduce curves,” says Legrand. “A house made up of squares is dull”. The rest of the property includes a contemporary Boffi kitchen, four indulgent bedrooms, three bathrooms, a study, marble-tiled hallways and a large patio garden. Read our interview with Caroline Legrand at 33


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style statement The latest design addition to Ledbury Road

Bucking the trend for removing walls and structures to create huge open-plan living spaces, the current owners of this home were after something more traditional. “We loved how the house had a grand feel with high ceilings and generous room proportions. We like rooms and doors rather than big, open spaces, and that’s how we planned the layout”. Purchased in 2011, the property is now a superb Victorian terrace home offering five floors of exceptional living space, with four bedrooms, a generous city garden and the rare benefit of two off-street parking spaces. In terms of design, the property feels utilitarian, with statement furniture pieces and pops of colour adding vibrancy and character.

“We tend to go for a modern architectural look, never chintzy or showy. We like our personal belongings to be a relatively blank canvas to work with.” Each detail has been thoughtfully considered, whether it’s a paint hue, a book on a shelf or an intriguing print on a wall.

LEDBURY ROAD, W11 £2,500 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] £3,000 per week, short let [Admin fees apply] Victorian four-bedroom house Styled by the owners epc=c 35


the great

escape With spring looming and sakura soon in full swing, Japan is the ultimate destination this season. Exploring every aspect of this dazzling country, we take you far and wide to the chicest places to stay‌


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CITY Like mega-metropolises of dizzying contrasts, both foreign and familiar, Japan’s cities are spectacular. With cutting-edge modern architecture, skyscrapers, crowds and futuristic technology combined with shrines, wood houses and village-like lanes, it is an understatement to describe big hitters like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya as fascinating.

Aman Tokyo TOKYO

Occupying the top six floors of the 38-storey Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is a breathtaking city retreat featuring traditional Japanese design, a sprawling spa and some of the largest rooms in this megalopolis. With a launch date of late December 2014, the hotel will be the first Aman property in a capital city and undoubtedly one of 2015’s hottest. Interior designed by Australian-based Kerry Hill Architects, the hotel is a considered contemporary that simultaneously regards Japanese design practice with locally sourced materials including camphor wood and washi paper appearing throughout. Featuring two traditional rock gardens,

Aman Tokyo immediately delivers Japanese serenity, “intended to calm the mind, drawing it away from everyday concerns towards an appreciation for nature in the raw”, says the designer, while a sculptural centrepiece in Aman Tokyo’s expansive lobby modelled on the interior of a Japanese paper lantern is simply beautiful. The rooms themselves do not fail to impress. Totalling 71sqm, Aman Tokyo’s premier rooms will be the largest entry-level suites in Tokyo. With an outlook towards the Tokyo Skytree, Japan’s highest tower, and rooms featuring palatial open-plan living spaces and large furo – a traditional, deep-set Japanese soaking tub – they are unrivalled in luxury.


SKI Japan has become the long-haul ski destination of recent years, renowned for its deep powder, unique atmosphere, breathtaking views and of course, incredible food. Though its après-ski scene may not be on the same level as The Alps, Japan allows you to completely unwind without guilt or pressure. Add to the mix, Japanese-style chalet residences and our knees go weak. With some of its best resorts in the Hokkaido, Nagano, Tohoku and Niigata regions, you are literally spoilt for choice.


Loft Niseko is a collection of four very cool loft-style apartments and the answer to complete luxury. Architecturally designed by the acclaimed Riccardo Tossani, the interiors have been completed by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox’s YOO, as the design firm’s first project in Japan. Split level in design, each space has been exquisitely appointed with refined workmanship, high-quality design, style and technology, in addition to being incredibly environmentally friendly. Loft Niseko is the place to indulge in panoramic views of mountain


scapes, notably Mount Yōtei, through huge floor-to-ceiling windows, all the while warmed by roaring log fires. In terms of location, it is one of the most sought after in Japan with its heady selection of Michelin-star restaurants and world-class ski facilities. Ranked by Forbes as number two in the world for powder, Niseko’s 15m dwarfs Whistler’s average of 10m, Chamonix at 9.6m and Aspen with 7.6m. Unlike many of Japan’s resorts, Niseko allows off-piste skiing and so hundreds of unadulterated acres of pure powder joy.

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mountain Embrace your inner Zen with a trip to Japan’s rainforests and glorious mountain ranges where you will find sleepy villages, scores of temples and remnants of imperial cities. With an abundance of national parks and mouthwatering local cusine, inner Japan is truly the jewel of the country and somewhere to retreat from the crazy ways of the city to simply explore.

Beniya Mukayu KANAZAWA

And relax… Beniya Mukayu is a minimalist-style retreat in Japan’s Yamashira, a small spa town famous for its hot springs, beautiful gardens and castle ruins. The serene hotel was founded in 1928 and presents beautiful Japanese architecture by Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama, elegantly contrasting between light, shade and neutral colours.

with its own open-air spring bath and where you will have the night’s sleep of your life. When not in catching up on ‘me-time’, Beniya Mukayu is the perfect retreat to start your day with morning yoga, eat kaiseki-style, kip on futons, indulge in its in-house spa, and aside from exploring the local area, do pretty much nothing else.

The open-plan design of the hotel constantly reminds of its beautiful surroundings and authentic Japanese gardens of wild red pine, cherry, maple and camellia trees. With 17 rooms in total, each is incredibly private



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making history A home to get your creative juices flowing…

If walls could talk… Once the starting block for local architect Alex Michaelis and his firm Michaelis Boyd Associates, this characterful flat has also been home to TV and radio presenter Jamie Theakston. It occupies the first floor of a Victorian end-of-terrace building which with its hexagonal glazed turret is considered a W10 landmark.

He then launched his architectural practice from the mezzanine office area. The current owner purchased the apartment in 2006, and it was a case of love at first sight. “I grew up in Los Angeles and was used to open-plan living with lots of natural light. I found conventional period conversions dark and depressing. When I saw this unique, one-off space, I fell in love,” she says.

Spanning a generous lateral floor area with a double-height lounge and mezzanine level, the apartment has exposed beams and is flooded with natural light. Though renovated by various owners over the years, most of the work was done by Michaelis who bought the building and modernised the space in the early 90s.

The property now has a cool retro vibe that mixes perfectly with the wood beams and spiral staircase. The 30 ft reception space is instantly inspiring and a great place for entertaining, thanks to the adjoining kitchen. The master bedroom is equally bright with a large bay window at one end, and there are two more bedrooms,

including one in the galleried loft room, and a cool new bathroom. With the original period features existing alongside modern open-plan living, this property is one of the most unique to hit our books. Read our interview with Alex Michaelis of Michaelis Boyd Associates at

ST QUINTIN AVENUE, W10 £1,700,000 Iconic three-bedroom loft apartment Michaelis Boyd Associates epc=c


new romantic A captivating fusion of bygone style and 21st-century sensibility


A touch of Art Deco on Ladbroke Grove… With opulent elements of polished furniture, silky fabrics, mirrored surfaces and luxurious crystal lighting, this gorgeous home has the relaxed sensuality of a past era. Offering fantastic open-plan living space that includes the inviting lounge, kitchen and dining area, this is a perfect place for soirées with friends. The magic continues as French doors lead out to a substantial rear garden, where mature borders and oversized tiles deliver your own secret walled space. The 25 ft long master bedroom is exquisitely decorated with pastel hues, sumptuous textures and mirror-fronted furniture, and an indulgent roll-top bath next to the huge bay window adds to the drama. Elsewhere is a second bedroom with adjacent bathroom.

LADBROKE GROVE, W10 £1,100,000 Enchanting two-bedroom garden flat Styled by the owners epc=d

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into the blue Dive in and chill out…

Welcome to the spirit of Notting Hill. The heart of this contemporary maisonette is its living area on the ground floor, a generous open-plan space that lends itself to any number of lifestyles. With original wood flooring and marble fireplaces, the property’s history remains beautifully intact while rejuvenated with modern design touches.

ALL SAINTS ROAD, W11 £2,250,000 Sensational two-bedroom maisonette Styled by the owners epc=e

Combining the kitchen, dining and lounge, and opening out onto a leafy garden, the living area is well suited to summer carnival days. Below, on the lower ground floor, are two chic bedrooms and bathrooms, with the master suite enjoying a fantastic walk-in wardrobe. The interior design, with its sophisticated eclectic vibe and functional layout, is archetypal W11.





An engaging architecture firm that always exceeds the expectations of its clients. With a husband and wife at its helm, we were intrigued to find out more…

Some of the great design partnerships of the past century have been husband and wife: Charles and Ray Eames, John and Sylvia Reid, Robin and Lucienne Day to name but three. So, in a changing world, it’s refreshing to find a couple continuing the tradition. Ben and Jelena Cousins head up a 15-strong team at the practice that bears their name, Cousins & Cousins, perfectly complementing each other’s skills. The couple met when they were both starting their careers in the late 90s. Ben Cousins grew up in the corner of north London where Cousins & Cousins is now based, working for practices such as Hopkins Architects 46

and ESA, where he played a key role in projects including the conversion of the former Younger’s Brewery in Edinburgh to the Dynamic Earth Centre, and the refurbishment of Grade I-listed Chandos House in London’s Cavendish Square. Croatian-born Jelena Cousins began her career at David Gibson, Wilkinson Eyre and Hawkins\Brown, honing her skills in both residential and commercial architecture. By the time she established Cousins Architects in 2006, her repertoire was focused on complex project design, management and delivery for the commercial and residential sectors.

Today, under the umbrella of Cousins & Cousins, Jelena is known for her ability to challenge the development of subterranean and sky space in the high net worth residential market. Initially working independently, Ben and Jelena began to collaborate on projects, including their own homes, testing out their ability to partner in business. In 2012, they finally took the plunge and joined forces, completing the Vegetarian Cottage in Hackney as their first project. The innovative yet sympathetic refurbishment of this charming Victorian cottage has set the tone for the practice, its ethos and approach to design.

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The Vegetarian Cottage, Malvern Road in Hackney by Cousins & Cousins


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The Vegetarian Cottage is simple, elegant and timeless, yet incredibly complex. Is this typical of Cousins & Cousins projects? Jelena: Not all of them, but I think there is a danger in overdesigning spaces. Our clients at the Vegetarian Cottage wanted a gentle update that would make the house more usable without conflicting with the spirit of its original form and interior. It took a little persuasion from us to make them see that what we proposed would work, but they tell us that their home makes them feel comfortable and inspired in equal measures. That is what we are all about. We want to harness a vision and create something that makes the client proud, happy and engaged with their surroundings. Size, period and location aren’t barriers if you apply this ethos. You both grew up in cities. How has your urban upbringing influenced your designs? Ben: The more urban the environment, the more creative you have to be about how you apportion and use space. We would all like more of it, but the reality is that it isn’t always possible. Subterranean development has opened people’s eyes to the possibilities that lie beneath their home, but we also look at how we can develop above ground. The tightest spaces and most awkward sites all have possibilities, and the engineering challenges that have to be overcome to achieve an end result are a big part of what makes urban development so exciting. Do you have a constant source of inspiration? Jelena: My favourite architect is Carlo Scarpa – I find myself looking to his work regularly because his architecture challenges the mind and what the eye can see. I also love the precedent that architects such 48

as Nicholas Grimshaw and Richard Rogers have set. I would love to have been fresh out of university when these architects were graduating. It was a time of free thinking in architecture when possibilities challenged the mind, before we had computers to work out the viability of our schemes for us! Ben: I’m impressed every day by great feats of engineering such as Centrepoint, which was groundbreaking in its day. I also look to the serene and almost monastic lines of [Belgian architect] Vincent Van Duysen’s work. What has been the practice’s greatest design challenge? Ben: I think we’re working on it now! We have designed a mews house in Powis Mews in Notting Hill which has an exceptional twostorey basement. We have had to identify how to refract light around the subterranean spaces without compromising the interior. We have worked with glazing companies to develop their standard products to work within our specific design requirements and produce a bespoke glazed wall to run the entire length of the back of the house, to bounce light around at each level. What does Cousins & Cousins have in the pipeline? Ben: We are on site in Notting Hill on two projects, recreating the mews house we talked about above, and also in Bedford Gardens, where we are redesigning the interior of a Victorian house and its mews house, digging out an impressive basement beneath the house and garden. We are also working on a similar project in Islington which is one storey above ground and two storeys below, and on a new-build in Highgate, which I think will be one of our finest projects. It is located in a really tight conservation area and we have been

pleasantly surprised not to have received any objections to the plans we submitted. It is vindication that local residents and the planning office feel our house will have a sense of place in the existing surroundings. Our team is also about to start work on a wonderful house in De Beauvoir Town. This is a long-term living arrangement for our clients and as such we are developing with an eye on the future and the changes that may affect their life in the coming years. Is there a typical Cousins & Cousins client? Jelena: Not really. We are happy to look at every possibility and because we have a skill set that covers contemporary, period and listed properties, we are fairly versatile. We do work with developers and about half of our work is for companies rather than individuals. With the private homes we work on, our proposals are very much led by the lifestyle of our clients. In London there are lots of similarities because of the challenges people face with their homes – lack of light and space, busy lifestyles, children and a need for each space to be multifunctional. Our translation of these needs may present in a similar way on several projects, but each is unique in its execution. It is not really a house style, more a greater understanding of how to manage a family lifestyle in London. You have three children. How does your own house reflect your lifestyle? Ben: The thing about raising a family in London is that if you get the home environment right, the rest often falls into place. We moved not too long ago, so our family life is now closer to the office, which cuts down on commuting. Our own home is still a work in progress, though, as we use it as a testing pad for ideas.

Jelena: I think we will probably move again before it is finished! Is there a successor to the business in the family? Jelena: We would love our children to have a healthy interest in design of all disciplines, but they are still young and the pull of the playground is far greater than the idea of an art gallery! In London we will always be surrounded by great design and we do try to get out as a family to see what the city has to offer. I am sure we will do more of that when the children are older. Right now, the reality is that a lot of mine and Ben’s ideas are born while we sit and chat in the park. What’s next for Cousins & Cousins? Jelena: We would love to design a public building in London and are fortunate to have been given an opportunity recently to explore what could be our first cultural project. It’s early days but we hope it will focus the practice in another direction and make our overall offering much greater. Ben: We are also looking at expansion. We have a great team but with more and more enquiries, we will undoubtedly need to grow. We would also like to be able to create opportunities for graduate architects – the job market is so competitive and we remember all too well what it was like taking that first step. So, more projects and more people: an exciting time all round. Read our extended interview with Cousins & Cousins at

Cousins & Cousins Linton House 39-51 Highgate House, London NW5

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01. cousins & Cousins Ben and Jelena Cousins of Cousins & Cousins 02. cleveland square Interior of Cleveland Square by Cousins & Cousins 03. Carlton hill Interior of Carlton Hill by Cousins & Cousins


cool craft What happens when rural rustic and urban industrial meet…

A classic Notting Hill home – cool, creative, inspiring and unique. Crisp whites, dark wood and natural stone against amazing light and space suggest that the owners looked to Europe when considering the design. The perfect backdrop for their collection of vintage furniture, books and intriguing prints, the space is instantly interesting and somewhere you could picture in Stockholm or Berlin. The property has its own private entrance to the rear on Haydon’s Place, making it discreet and free from shared areas. Inside, the large, 40 ft first floor awaits, incorporating the kitchen and vast living area which measures more than 400 sq ft. Above on the second floor are two bright double bedrooms and a tiled shower room. Maximising the sense of space and volume,


all rooms on the top floor are opened up to the eaves. The final piece of the jigsaw is the suntrap roof terrace, delivering the ultimate city oasis.

PORTOBELLO ROAD, W11 £1,595,000 Stylish two-bedroom maisonette Styled by the owners epc=e

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make over Perhaps there is such a thing as the perfect home…

When people talk about a property being given a new lease of life, this is the sort of thing they mean. Previously owned by actress Miranda Richardson, the house was once very ‘Notting Hill’ – artistic, vibrant and eclectic. It has since undergone a spectacular refurbishment and is now in our opinion one of the most impressive homes in the area. With new owners at hand, it offers nearly 3,000 sq ft of outstanding space, detail, luxury and light within an enviable contemporary context. One of the biggest undertakings was the addition of a large basement stretching beneath the house and garden. Featuring a huge living space, a bedroom suite and laundry, this floor is close to 40 ft long. The rest of the home includes an exceptional ground-floor living space with a modern kitchen and dining area leading directly to a walled

lawn garden. Cantilevered stairs, which appear to float, take you to the upper levels and three further double bedrooms and bathrooms. Beautifully finished, it’s no surprise that the property has been fitted throughout with the best in home technology. And though the archetypal modern home inside, it’s a delight to see it sitting behind a gorgeous traditional London façade. Pair this with its location on the Artesian Grid, and it’s fair to say that this property is unrivalled.

COURTNELL STREET, W2 Price on application Magnificent four-bedroom house Styled by the owners epc=e 53

sunny side up Naturally illuminated with elegance and style Taking prime position on the first floor of an impressive period villa in Notting Hill is this breathtaking interior-designed apartment. Offering the ultimate in opulent city living, it has been finished with impressive attention to detail throughout. Flooded with natural light, the reception room features three floor-to-ceiling windows that take up one side of the south-east facing wall. Combined with oversized oak flooring and high ceilings, the effect is magical. Open plan in design, the adjoining kitchen features Corian worktops and Gaggenau appliances. With room for a large dining table, the space is incredibly social. There are two double bedrooms, including a master suite with a luxurious en-suite bathroom.


The second bedroom could be used as a private study; linked to the reception space by oversized sliding doors, it can be opened out or remain concealed, to suit your mood. The location is excellent, with Notting Hill Gate and its transport links only minutes away, and the inviting boutiques and eateries of Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road also close by.

Pembridge Place, W2 ÂŁ1,295 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Lateral two-bedroom apartment Styled by the owners epc=d

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most wanted A beautiful home that meets the demands of a modern family Constructed 10 years ago to a very high specification, this exceptional new-build townhouse is situated at arguably one of Kensington’s most sought after and peaceful addresses. Offering five storeys of excellent family accommodation, the 340 sq m house also provides an integral garage and off-street parking for two cars. Designed with state-of-the-art comforts including Lutron lighting and underfloor heating, it more than meets the demands of a modern household. The layout is well thought out and includes a large, 500 sq ft snug on the lower ground floor. There is an adjoining study tucked away behind glass doors.

The ground floor above is occupied by the sleek modern kitchen and dining area, a walled patio garden and the garage. A double drawing room on the first floor provides additional living space. Elsewhere are four excellent bedrooms, including a palatial third-floor master suite, four bathrooms and a laundry room.

AUBREY WALK, W8 ÂŁ8,500,000 Flawless four-bedroom townhouse Styled by the owners epc=d

The original building included an elevator which was subsequently removed; the mechanics are still in place, giving the new owners the option of reinstating it. Located just north of Campden Hill Square, the property has access to communal gardens, too.




FACES Meet three superstars in the making who haven’t looked back since swapping Japan for London


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HARUKA ABE Born in Tokyo, Anglo-Japanese actress Haruka Abe spent her childhood split between New York, London and Tokyo before settling in the UK. She gained worldwide recognition when she starred in the 2014 video for Clean Bandit’s hit single, Rather Be, and her other work includes 2013‘s fantasy action film 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, and Richard Curtis’ About Time, with Bill Nighy. She can next be seen in the new Russell T Davies drama, Cucumber, and also in Cyber Bully, both on Channel 4.

Haruka, when did you move to London? The first time was with my family when I was seven years old. We moved back to Tokyo four years later but at 18 I returned to go to drama school in London, rather than university in Japan. Where in London do you live? Currently in Shoreditch, which is lovely, but I was in Chalk Farm for years and really miss it. How did you get involved with Clean Bandit’s video? The guys were looking for a Londonbased Japanese actress and found me on Facebook – as simple as that! The first time I met them was when I landed at Japan’s Narita Airport – we then spent the most intense four days together. They were amazing to work with; it was such a cool experience. Your short films have earned you worldwide acclaim. Tell us more… Stanley Pickle, directed by Victoria Mather in 2010, was probably the most successful – it won 33 international awards. The film was shot using a technique called

pixilation – it’s exhausting and requires a lot of physical control and concentration. On the other hand, I love that short films are a more collaborative process where you get to really immerse yourself as a small team. I have met some of my closest friends that way.

and the nicest person to work with. Working with Steve Barron on Slingers and 47 Ronin were high points, too. The latter was the first time I worked on a big Hollywood production, and I learned so much. What do you love about London? I absolutely love how incredibly open and diverse it is. I also adore that it has so much history but is modern and cutting edge, and all within such a compact city.

How would you spend your ideal London weekend? Sleep, read, eat, repeat… Maybe a film, checking out a market and catching up with friends. I love Columbia Road Flower Market, and Stables Market is always fun. Borough Market is another favourite – how you can spend all your money on buying yummy things is plain wicked.

What do you miss about Japan? My family, first and foremost. Also how easy and convenient life is there, from shops and restaurants that are open 24 hours a day, and trains that run frequently and on time, to customer service that is second to none.

What has been your career highlight? That’s a difficult question. 2014’s highlight was definitely working with Russell T Davies, who I adore. He’s an amazing writer

Read our extended interview with Haruka Abe at 59

JUMPEI KAWASHIMA Monograph London is a boutique Japanese supper club cooking up a storm in the city. With a secret location in Shoreditch, the club offers a unique and contemporary Japanese dining experience. Head chef Jumpei Kawashima is at the helm and since moving to London in April 2014, he has become one of the capital’s most exciting new foodies…

Jumpei, what sparked your love of food? I grew up in a family where my mother’s cooking always incorporated simple seasonal ingredients – she never used processed foods. She passed on her passion for cooking while teaching me the basics of Japanese cuisine. It took cookbooks to expand my knowledge until I started working in a small izakaya in Yokohama.

How did you get involved with Monograph London? I met Ugo, its founder and an Italian chef with a passion for Japanese cooking, a few months back. At the time we had already hosted a few Japanese dinners and he suggested that I join him. And here we are today, running a weekly Japanese 60

supper club which is fully booked most of the time. Where in Japan are you from? Yokohama, which is about 30 minutes from central Tokyo. What’s your signature dish? Salmon marinated in saikyo miso for 24 hours, then slow-baked. Which chefs inspire you? At the moment I would say Kuniharu Takahashi. He runs a small izakaya in south-west Tokyo. I admire his skill in experimenting with new combinations and ingredients. What’s your favourite London haunt? It’s so hard to choose! But I do love a cup of green tea at Labi’s in

Fulham, and shopping for Japanese ingredients in Rice Wine Shop on Brewer Street, and Japanese books in Denman Street’s JP Books.

looking at different cultures, which I definitely get the chance to do in London, while understanding more about my own Japanese culture.

What do you miss about Japan? Japanese food!

Read our extended interview with Jumpei Kawashima at

How would you spend your ideal London weekend? With the supper clubs on a Friday, Saturday is when I relax and enjoy being the guest rather than the chef. I enjoy exploring the city and experiencing new foods and restaurants. Sunday is more chilled out, when I like nothing better than to read. What inspires you? I like to find inspiration through

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MASA INABA While in Tokyo, Japanese graphic designer and typography lover Masa Inaba was creative director at an advertising agency, running major campaigns for Ricoh, Sony, Hitachi and Nikkei. Since moving to London in 2010, he has pursued his passion for graphic design, working at design consultancy Thomas Manss & Company. He has also co-founded magazine Art Glossary to create a platform for young artists and designers to discuss experiences and ideas on art.

Masa, where in Japan are you from? A little town called Kuwana, very close to Nagoya. Why did you move to London? It was always my dream to work outside Japan. When I had to decide where to complete my Masters in graphic design, London seemed the obvious choice. How would you define your style? I’m not sure I have an overall style for my design, but I always spend a lot of time researching how best to communicate with the target audience before I start working on a project. If your thinking is correct in the first place, you don’t need to decorate your design until it looks pretty.

Where did you learn your design skills? They have definitely developed since I joined Thomas Manss & Company. The job has given me so many opportunities to work on different projects, including packaging, art catalogues, websites, exhibition designs and even car graphics. Each project brings new challenges and it’s always fun to find design solutions.

Who are your clients? Bowers & Wilkins have been huge clients at Thomas Manss. I also work for The Ritz Carlton Kyoto, and various Japanese clients and publishers on book designs. Where are you based in London? I moved to north London about a month ago with my family.

How would you spend your ideal London weekend? It would start by heading to a café near my flat with a cup of coffee, then I would spend the rest of my time in my favourite bookstore and record shop in east London. A roast dinner and pint of lager at the end would make my day. What inspires you? All typefaces I see around town. I find fonts on old buildings really inspiring – I love how decorative and organic they can look compared with modern characters.

ten Japanese titles, which are hard to find here. There is something about a bookstore in Japan that’s so intriguing. Read our extended interview with Masa Inaba at

What do you miss about Japan? Bookstores. The last time I went back to Japan, I spent almost half a day in one and bought more than 61

SEVENTH HEAVEN Dream designs in Bayswater

This cool penthouse apartment designed by Tigg + Coll Architects is stylish through and through. Skilfully arranged to include an impressive open-plan reception space and bespoke kitchen, the living area has been maximised brilliantly and opens out onto a panoramic decked terrace. Beautifully constructed inside and out, and with a fantastically bright dual aspect, this property is definitely one to impress. There are two bedrooms, including a luxurious master suite with its own shower room and direct access to the roof terrace. The second bedroom is spacious, and there is an additional shower room. Arthur Court is a well-positioned mansion block building located at the northern end of Queensway, moments from Westbourne Grove, Whiteleys and the peaceful streets of Westbourne Village.


Read our interview with Tigg + Coll Architects at

ARTHUR COURT, W2 ÂŁ1,650,000 Superb two-bedroom penthouse apartment Tigg + Coll Architects epc=e

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fine affair A house of drama, elegance and style

A wonderful red-brick home on the doorstep of Holland Park – what more could you want? Melbury House, beautifully presented throughout, mixes contemporary finishes with stunning period features. Offering a rare, lateral feel on all of its seven floors, and a total of five bedrooms, it will no doubt attract large families. With a voluminous ground-floor entrance hall featuring a magnificent staircase, adjoining drawing room and separate dining space, you feel the formality of the property the moment you walk in. Grand soirées could be held upstairs, while the lower-ground floor provides a more informal setting for everyday living with a contemporary kitchen, lounge and second dining space, and access to a private patio. The second floor is wholly dominated by the luxurious master bedroom suite, its bathroom and generous dressing room.

There are four double bedrooms, all en suite, on the first and third floors, and a top-floor day room/study that leads to a large roof terrace. Walled with glass surrounds and laid with lawn, the contemporary terrace is second to none for views and summer entertaining. The property also benefits from offstreet garage parking, security gates and coded door entry for absolute privacy.

MELBURY ROAD, W14 £6,950 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] £8,950 per week, short let [Admin fees apply] Outstanding five-bedroom family house Styled by the owners epc=d 65

minimal chic A calming space with global influences…


This cool and contemporary lateral penthouse apartment is located in a prestigious mansion block on Notting Hill’s tree-lined Chepstow Villas. With a lift that opens directly into the property, the home delivers the easy modern living so many of us hanker after. The property includes an expansive living space that also incorporates the large kitchen and dining area, together delivering a sense of urban zen and pared-down minimalism. Wonderfully bright, one side of the entire space is fitted with a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows which provide access to a private balcony. Taking its cue from Japanese architecture and design, the property makes the most of space and light, as well as clean parallel lines. There are two bedrooms, including a luxurious master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a second generous bathroom with separate shower room.

CHEPSTOW VILLAS, W11 £1,500 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Lateral two-bedroom apartment Styled by the owners epc=e

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Injections of colour, such as the electric-blue lounger and multi-coloured kitchen tiles, add personality and substance


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colour pop A home that’s not afraid to play Set on the eighth floor of one of the area’s most distinctive Art Deco buildings, this funky threebedroom lateral pad shows utter devotion to statement style and modern design. Owned by one of west London’s hottest restaurateurs, the apartment is also testament to his creativity.

BISHOP’S BRIDGE ROAD, W2 £595 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Playful three-bedroom apartment Styled by the owner epc=c

Thoughtfully designed to make the most of the abundant natural light and ensure those views are enjoyed throughout, the reception and kitchen areas are cleverly linked to create a sense of free-flowing space, while remaining separate. The property offers three spacious bedrooms, two of which have floorto-ceiling windows, and a smart bathroom. With an interior that will be the envy of many, the location is also a huge draw, just moments from Paddington, Hyde Park and Westbourne Grove.



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grain Floating Garden by Motoi Yamamoto [Salt 9.2x9.2m] Solo Show: Return to the Sea at The Mint Museum, Charlotte, USA. 2013

Radiating intense beauty and tranquillity, Motoi Yamamoto’s incredible salt installations are more than just works of art. Domus Life explores the world of one of Japan’s most intriguing artists


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“Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory,” says Motoi Yamamoto. The Tokyoborn artist is famed for his vast, two-dimensional sculptures and carvings of oceans, mountain ranges, typhoons, shattered planets and huge expanses of brain-like curves, created using just one medium: salt. Although visually compelling and hypnotic, his works are far from being solely aesthetic. Each one of the artist’s ‘saltscapes’ is an event and experience in its own right, and a highly spiritual personal journey. Salt is a traditional symbol of grief and purification in Japan. Widely used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches, it is also placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and attract benevolent ones. It was following the death of his 24-year-old sister from brain cancer in 1994 that Yamamoto forged a connection with the substance and began using it to create art. It was in part an attempt to preserve his memories of her, but also a form of meditation that served as part of the grieving process. One of the artist’s first installations was a three-dimensional brain, as an exploration of his sister’s condition. Fast forward nearly two decades to March last year, when Yamamoto completed two monumental works in Salt Lake City, Utah, taking up the ground floors of Weber State University and Westminster College. Creating new adaptions of his Floating Garden lacework, the show saw Yamamoto’s work within the confines of a circular form. Filling the frame were thousands upon thousands of minutely


interconnected lines of salt, linked to each other within a convoluted labyrinth. The twirling, tornadolike pattern, hugely poignant for Yamamoto, is used in east Asia as a symbol representing life and death, resurrection and rebirth. Asked about his biggest careerdefining moment, Yamamoto replies: “It was in Charleston, in 2006, during one of my exhibitions. Somebody wrote, ‘Thank you, Mr Yamamoto’, using a floor mop. I saw a photo of it in the newspaper next day, and it almost made me cry.” It was that moment that led him to his Return to the Sea project, a major travelling exhibition that saw him complete site-specific installations in Los Angeles, Charlotte and Monterey. Yamamoto’s sincerity is never more evident than when he is painstakingly creating one of his poetic saltscapes. Working alone, he appears as if in a trance, carried far into the depths of his consciousness to a world of peace and calm. “I see drawing by myself as my mission, relating completely to my entire motivation,” he says. With the world on hold, Yamamoto has the ability to transfix those around him with the repetitive movement of his hand, which stops only when the final artwork appears as a whole. After each piece has been on view for several weeks, the public is invited to collectively destroy the work and help place the salt in jars and bags. It is then returned to the sea, a process which is just as important for Yamamoto as the creation of the work. Given the scale of his work, preparing for sitespecific installations is a monumental task. “In an ideal world I would see each venue in advance,”

says Yamamoto. “However, I tend to create the installations based on photos and floorplans of each space.” He takes into account each venue’s characteristics, including the history, floor shape, lighting and audience, but most importantly the atmosphere. “An installation at a historical site can be so different to that at a museum. It is only after I get to the venue that we decide on the final plans and procure the salt locally.” Shunning the high life that international acclaim might bring, Yamamoto finds constant inspiration in his studio, a small wooden structure by the ocean in Japan’s Kanazawa region. “I am always moved by the transition of nature over time – slopes on a mountain, changes in vegetation and the play of a valley. Ruins and temples bring out memories in me, too,” he says. Citing his mother and secondary school teacher as his biggest influences, Yamamoto reminds us how grounded he is. Having recently exhibited Labyrinth in Paris’ La (Deuxième) Galérie Particulière to great acclaim, 2014 was certainly Yamamoto’s year. He is now venturing into photography and pencil drawing. With preparation for a solo show in Tokyo well under way, and plans to exhibit in France, Italy and the US, it looks like the world’s appreciation of his talents is here to stay. Read our extended interview with Motoi Yamamoto at

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01. Making of Labyrinth Making of Labyrinth [Salt Diameter 12m] Solo Show: Salz at Jesuitenkirche Sankt Peter, Cologne, Germany. 2010. Photo Š Stefan Worring 02. Labyrinth Labyrinth [Salt 18x18m] Mono no Aware – The Beauty of Things at The Hermitage State Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. 2013



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wonderwall A slice of rock and roll in South Kensington Working with a traditional interior of high corniced ceilings and huge bay sash windows, the owner has introduced cool New York style to this lateral South Kensington apartment. Playing with tonguein-cheek art, bold colours and modern statement furniture, this is undoubtedly a property to party in. Set on the raised ground floor, with its own front door, the apartment offers fantastic privacy. A vast open-plan reception space benefits from excellent proportions and light. Adjoining this room is a modern tiled kitchen. A specially designed mezzanine sleeping area cleverly allows the bedroom to maximise its floor space while providing additional storage or a study area. With South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Chelsea on its doorstep, this property is perfectly located to enjoy the playground that is London. Have fun!

GLOUCESTER ROAD, SW7 ÂŁ595 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] ÂŁ750 per week, short let [Admin fees apply] Slick one-bedroom pad Styled by the owner epc=e


red hot A Bayswater home filled with passion‌

Located on the first floor of a grand period conversion is this property offering contemporary, open-plan living in a traditional setting. Architecturally designed and remodelled by the current owners, the space has been beautifully opened up to maximise the floor area, enhance volume and deliver a home for today. One of the biggest changes was the addition of a mezzanine level connecting the vast living space with a second lounge/study area. Both enjoy incredible blasts of light from floor-to-ceiling sash windows in the main living area that in turn open out to a private south-facing balcony. The rest of the property includes a modern kitchen with sleek white units and red lacquer walls and floors, and a cool bedroom featuring a roll-top bath and separate wet room/WC.


Putting us in mind of a super-sexy boutique hotel, this property is irresistible. Moments from Westbourne Grove and close to Connaught Village, it also enjoys the best of west London.

GLOUCESTER GARDENS, W2 ÂŁ525 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Creative one-bedroom apartment Styled by the owners epc=d

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With an all-white finish and dark wenge floors, the monochrome interior works as a blank canvas for the owner’s fine art


retro cool A Notting Hill residence to take you back

Far removed from stark, modern, architectdesigned spaces is this characterful garden apartment, as if from a bygone era. Dotted with charm, the property has a country-chic exuberance with lovely bare floorboards and original upholstered furniture that George Hepplewhite himself would be proud of. Jade-green printed wallpapers, rich burgundy textures and glowing amber lights take the mood even further. Accessed by its own entrance, the property includes a generous living space, formal in nature and akin to a drawing room. This adjoins the relaxed kitchen which comes with an Aga and an Oriental vibe. A long hallway, currently set up as a home office, features more beautiful vintage prints and colour schemes. Here, a glimpse of an iPad reminds us that we are in the 21st century and not Georgian times.


Two bedrooms and a smart bathroom sit at the rear of the home. There is also a gorgeous private patio garden, walled for the utmost privacy. Positioned on Talbot Road and only a short walk from local institutions including Granger & Co, The Cow and The Westbourne, this property is classic Notting Hill.

TALBOT ROAD, W2 ÂŁ1,000,000 Intriguing two-bedroom garden flat Styled by the owners epc=c

The symmetry of the home is impressive, whether it’s the considered placing of a trio of jugs or the positioning of two antique chairs

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food & drink


movement Taking their star turn in the capital, London’s sexiest Japanese restaurants are a feast for all the senses


food&drink domus nova spring15 Kanada-Ya © James Byrne

KANADA-YA WC2 If you’re a lover of noodles and ramen, look no further than Kanada-Ya. A sleek and trendy restaurant that opened in September 2013, Kanada-Ya is cooking up some of the capital’s hottest Japanese food, and is already a favourite with bloggers. With the menu and recipes crafted by its founder, Japanese-based Kanada Kazuhiro, the food is authentic, with exceptional ramens and mouthwatering onigiri. Taking the world by storm, it’s hardly a surprise that this is Kanada-Ya’s third global restaurant. With a snug, cosy vibe and Soho setting on St Giles High Street, Kanada-Ya is perfect for relaxed after-work bites.

Kanada-ya 64 St Giles High Street, London WC2 81


Kurobuta w2

Since landing in London in October, Ipuudo hasn’t had an empty table. With flawless, minimalist Japanese design by west London architects Stiff + Trevillion, the restaurant delivers real Japanese cuisine in a ridiculously cool setting. Slick and sophisticated with an emphasis on black, red and white, the restaurant is split over two floors with tables arranged in a conventional fashion, creating a more formal, intimate feel than in traditional ramen bars. As you walk in, the warming cheer of “Irrashaimase” [“Welcome”] from the chefs heightens the ambience.

From London to Melbourne and back again, via a stint in Dubai, Australian chef Scott Hallsworth has gone above and beyond to create a one-of-a-kind restaurant. From the unusual hardsurfaced café space with bare dangling bulbs to the pulsating music and Antipodean feel, Kurobuta has been created to please.

With an extensive list of Japan’s best beers and spirits, and a great selection of sake and shochu, Ippudo is also a fantastic bar in its own right. There is no reservations policy and the queue can be off-putting, but trust us when we say the wait is definitely worthwhile.

Ippudo Central Saint Giles, London WC2 82

The so-called ‘Japanese junk food’ is anything but – the pre-braised pork ribs smothered in copious amounts of sugar, salt, umami and smoke are particularly addictive, and the famous garlicky chilli sauce definitely gets your taste buds going. Located in Connaught Village, west of Marble Arch, Kurobuta is a firm favourite with the Domus Nova team.

Kurobuta 17-20 Kendal Street, London W2

food&drink domus nova spring15 ROKA interiors © Richard Southall. ROKA food © John Carey

roka WC2

the ARAKI w1

Roka, a restaurant we all know and love, has turned 10! To mark this milestone, the award-winning Japanese robatayaki has opened a fourth outpost, this time in Aldwych, just moments from the Strand. The new branch is the biggest of the bunch, and chef Rainer Becker has teamed up with renowned Italian designer Claudio Silvestrin to create a tantalising Japanese experience.

Those with a penchant for Michelin-starred restaurants – and superb sushi – should head for The Araki. Luxurious and in a class of its own, it has an address to match on Mayfair’s New Burlington Street, worlds away from its original location in Ginza, Tokyo. Owned by chef-patron Mitsuhiro Araki, the restaurant has exclusive written all over it, with only nine seats and a further six in a private dining room. Experimenting with European flavours, The Araki’s edomae sushi plays with foie gras, caviar and truffle, while its tuna is sourced from Spain and Ireland. Not forgetting its roots, every grain of rice served is produced in Tokyo by Araki’s father-in-law.

The environment is relaxed and inviting, from the mesmerising water feature at the entrance, to the natural tanned leather seats, grey-stained timber and dried green oak within. The cocktails are fresh and super cool, all to be enjoyed at the glistening bar before sitting down at your table to dine. As to be expected, the food is impeccable, in particular the mouthwatering wagyu beef tartare, and our favourite, the sublime black cod.

ROKA Aldwych 71 Aldwych, London WC2

London is going mad for The Araki, so reservations are hard to come by. But then again, with the experience of a lifetime awaiting you, how can you refuse?

Araki 12 New Burlington Street, London W1 83


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modern family Cool, calm and collected in NW10 This red-brick property on one of Queen’s Park’s most desirable streets offers superb living space for a modern family. At the front, a double-length reception room features high ceilings, beautiful oak floors and a colour palette of neutral tones. This space continues seamlessly through to the contemporary open-plan kitchen where skylights allow light to stream through.

CREDITON ROAD, NW10 £2,200,000 Rejuvenated four-bedroom house Styled by the owners epc=d

To the rear, bi-folding doors lead to a large manicured garden, part decked and part lawn, highlighting the harmonious relationship between the ground-floor living spaces and outdoor areas. The first floor is occupied by three bedrooms, including the sumptuous master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a family bathroom. A guest bedroom taking up the entire second floor has an en-suite shower room and eaves storage.



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homing instinct

Space, light and a contemporary British feel

The owners bought this Notting Hill maisonette in 2012 and have spent the past two years painstakingly renovating it, from planning and gaining permissions to, in their own words, “gutting it, with the only original feature being the outer brick walls”. The result is magnificent and extremely cool. Occupying the second and third floors of a Victorian terraced house, the property now features a wonderful open-plan living space that combines sitting, kitchen and dining areas. Bright and roomy with high ceilings, the space is softened by a palette of muted greys, while a log burner and light wood floors make it all the more inviting. “Space and light were the most important factors for us,” the owners say. “We took design ideas from restaurants and homes in New York, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, all cities which we travel to frequently.”

Accentuating the home’s modernity, a stunning floating staircase made of steel, glass and Belgian wood leads to the luxurious third-floor master bedroom suite. With a balcony overlooking the tree-lined church square below, this sleeping space offers stunning views. Elsewhere is a second double bedroom and a guest shower room. Located on the doorstep of The Tabernacle, Portobello Road and All Saints Road, this home couldn’t be better located for enjoying Notting Hill. POWIS GARDENS, W11 £1,000 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] £1,750 per week, short let [Admin fees apply] Spectacular two-bedroom upper maisonette Styled by the owners epc=d 87

super luxe An exemplary creation from one of the world’s most-respected interior designers


Bringing serious Manhattan style to Covent Garden is this sensational four-bedroom property designed by Kelly Hoppen Interiors. Arranged over the second and third floors of a period building in the heart of the West End, the apartment has been finished to the highest standard. The space and volume are impressive. A vast, double-height living area on the second floor boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, dark wood floors and a palette of soothing caramels and whites. Three defined lounge areas surround a central dining area with a bespoke Cathy Azria fireplace, while a huge hanging light installation gives the room its inner sparkle. From here via the entrance foyer is a modern Smallbone kitchen, light and bright, with a cool outlook of the Covent Garden streets below. Also on this level is one of the

four bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, and an impressive sweeping staircase that links the two floors of this home. The upper floor features the master suite complete with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. Connecting two further bedrooms is a galleried walkway that also offers views over the reception space through a large glass window. There is one additional guest bedroom with en-suite bathroom, a supplementary shower room and a guest cloakroom.

HENRIETTA STREET, WC2 ÂŁ6,950,000 Exquisite four-bedroom apartment Kelly Hoppen Interiors epc=d

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The home demonstrates the neutral tones, clean lines, warmth and luxury for which Hoppen is known



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one to watch The possibilities are endless….

This spacious loft house would suit anyone seeking riverside living, and would also make an ideal work/live space for an artist, photographer or architect. One of the rarest properties currently on the west London market, The Lofthouse offers potential buyers a unique, 2,700 sq ft freehold opportunity. Incorporating the original industrial fabric of what was once a former business site, The Lofthouse delivers fantastic proportions, lateral living spaces and natural light throughout – attributes one might expect to find more usually in Clerkenwell or Hackney. Of note are the floor-to-ceiling heights which range from 10 to 15 feet and include an impressive double-height area that could be used as an urban garden.

The ultimate blank canvas, the site is in excellent condition and shell-ready for a bespoke fit-out designed to the new owner’s specification. The site comes with 24-hour security, two off-street parking spaces and access to visitor parking. Located in the Hurlingham area of Parson’s Green, it is also close to Fulham and Wandsworth Town.

THE LOFTHOUSE, SW6 £1,625,000 Unique loft opportunity Styled by the owners epc=e 91



This exceptional lateral apartment offers penthouse-style living in an imposing period building in Bayswater. A 28ft long reception space benefits from a sensational amount of gorgeous natural light, thanks to a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows lining one wall, which also gives access to a private west-facing balcony. This room is open plan to a bespoke kitchen finished with marble worktops and modern appliances. With elegant shades of grey and white paired with light wood floors, the property feels almost ethereal in style. The spacious master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom directly above, accessed by a contemporary spiral staircase. The second bedroom is also en suite and generous in size. Added extras include underfloor heating and good storage space throughout, as well as a lift that opens directly into the apartment.

NEWTON ROAD, W2 ÂŁ1,750 per week, short let [Admin fees apply] Chic two-bedroom penthouse Styled by the owners epc=c

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PARISIAN MOD A romantic North Kensington home with European style Proof that beautiful things come in small packages. We love how classic this property is, as well as the character and warmth it radiates. Inspired by the existing features – original wood floors, high ceilings and arched shuttered windows – the owner has successfully paired stunning period detail with modern furnishings to make a strikingly eclectic statement. The inviting living space is without doubt influenced by Paris, the city of love and romance, and the creative spirit of Montmartre in particular. In the kitchen, however, you could be in a different home entirely; where the dramatic reception space is vintage, the kitchen is highly contemporary and refreshing, with white making a brilliant contrast, beautiful sleek finishes and cosmopolitan tiles.


The rest of the home includes two good-sized bedrooms and one bathroom. Located off Golborne Road, the apartment is in the heart of cool North Kensington, and is a pocket-sized wonder that we can’t get enough of.

FARADAY ROAD, W10 £595 per week, long let [Admin fees apply] Chic two-bedroom corner apartment Styled by the owners epc=d

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Hints of decadence come from the gold-rimmed glass screen, the bohemian occasional table, and the violin and music stand.


fresh approach A slice of Antipodean life


This dazzling refurbishment of a lower ground floor apartment is set within a Victorian conversion in Earl’s Court. The owner purchased the property in 2013 and was immediately drawn to the site. “Basements often have negative connotations, but I was impressed by the vast amount of light and huge construction opportunities,” he says. He set to work with the help of Duncan McLeod of Studio McLeod, reversing the layout, reinforcing the foundations and eliminating as much corridor space as possible, making the property now near unrecognisable. “Duncan is brilliant at making ideas a reality and consistently worked with me to find the best possible solutions. We often drew on his ability to package space while considering the importance of light.

The final design challenge was removing the rear corner of the building and replacing it with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The property is clearly influenced by the style of open-plan living found in Australian homes, embracing light and space so often found in design-led Melbourne or Sydney. “The overall concept was to create a modern, industrial feel, exhibiting character through materials, rather than a blank space that would only be brought to life post-build with furniture,” says the owner. Now extending to well over 100 sq m with wellproportioned rooms and good ceiling heights, the property is probably one of the best turnkey opportunities in the area. It includes a fantastic open-plan living space with well-chosen glass

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exterior walls that provide access to the landscaped garden. One of the most sociable spaces in the house, the living area, also incorporates a contemporary kitchen and breakfast bar. Sitting behind the living area, the master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, dressing room and views of the front courtyard. A second bedroom is positioned at the rear of the property with access to the private garden. Read our interview with Duncan McLeod of Studio McLeod at

EARL’S COURT SQUARE, SW5 £1,550,000 Cosmopolitan two-bedroom garden apartment Studio McLeod epc=d 97


iconic With the mid-2000s dominated by Nike Air Max, Converse and Vans, there was a void waiting to be filled by the next big thing in footwear‌

Then came 2007 when Kanye West made sure that everybody’s focus was on Japanese designer Ato Matsumoto, and scrambling to get their hands on a pair of his sneakers. The rapper wore them in his video for Stronger, sparking a trend for anything associated with a futuristic Tokyo where robots create humans and rappers sport shutter shades. 98

Notting Hill 17 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU Tel 020 7727 1717 Email Bayswater 78 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RT Tel 020 7221 7817 Email Management 37 Alexander Street, London W2 5NU Tel 020 7908 9338 Email

lettings design domus nova spring15

Works 16, Yoshiaki Yamashita

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Domus Life Spring 2015  

This latest issue in inspired by our admiration for Japan, from its intriguing culture and iconic architecture, to its amazing travel destin...

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