Three Ultimate Bedroom Suites
Sometimes it’s nice to dream, even when wide awake. And with the thin line between super-luxury hotel rooms and what we would actually like in our own homes almost disappearing in recent years, we take a look at three UDesign bedroom suites that are such stuff as dreams are made of.
The Olive Suite
The first is the Olive Suite, and yes, that’s a real 75-year-old olive tree in a real bedroom that you see in the pictures . In fact, it’s so real that it’s open to the sky – hail, rain or shine. It is, perhaps, the ultimate expression of UDesign’s philosophy of bringing the outside in.
Above: Simple bed, wooden flooring, minimal lighting and a perfectly placed armchair that swivels out or in as one’s mood changes. This is what just enough is all about: no need for further decoration.
“When it rains, it rains in the middle of your bedroom,” Jason Harris, CEO and Creative Director of UDesign, laughs, quickly adding that the tree, of course, is separated from the room by walls of glass, making what looks like a room built around an olive tree.
Above: The wardrobe is a showcase for beautiful clothes and shoes, inviting the guest to go shopping if any excuse is needed. The view from the bathroom, as you can see, is the olive tree.
“Basically, it’s having a cube of nature right in your bedroom, illuminated at night to become nature’s sculpture. You can lie in bed and watch the weather change from close-up.”
Above: Minimal ceiling lights, simple bench washstand, brass towel rack and tiled splash area behind the bath with a single globe light – it all adds up to a picture of just enough and no more.
But there is a second focal point in this extraordinary bedroom: a sheer rock face behind the bed, dominating this part of the room with subtle stone tones and textures that make further decoration unnecessary. It is, in fact, solid stone cut in sections and installed on the wall, so perfectly done that one would be forgiven for believing that the room had been built against a rock face. This stunning design shouts in a whisper, as design becomes art.
Above: Some things just work, Jason tells us, and the way this Japanese-themed wallpaper (not marble!) works is a prime example of fusion in action. He doesn’t try to explain why: just look at it…
“These natural materials will never date”, says Jason, “and we try to achieve the delicate balance between the natural and the man-made, where the finished design develops rather than sticks to an over-planned format. The materials are alive, and they tell you what to do next.”
The Manhattan Suite
Above: The Manhattan Suite. The two baroque-style panels flanking the fireplace negate the need for art on the walls and set the colour tone for the whole room, picked up beautifully by the glass-based coffee tables. The über comfortable armchairs actually swivel, allowing you to take in the view, or chat to someone on the bed, something you could never do with a static sofa. The centrepiece is a huge slab of ceramic tiles made to look like marble.
One should go to sleep with a symmetrical mind, and this is symmetry at its best. Shades of the baroque, especially in the wallpapered panels on both sides of the fireplace and the circular mirror, a little art nouveau in the hanging brass lamp and four armchairs, and the rest as minimalist as possible to make the whole thing work. But once again, it was not exactly planned this way.
Above: The dark green of the bed and bench complements the purple hues of the panels by the fireplace perfectly. The only other decoration in this part of the room is an Artemis torso, small wall lamps, low-hanging ceiling lamps and a see-through bedside table.
“The lovely purple side-tables reflect the colours of the wallpaper panels on both sides of the fireplace, which themselves stand out by the subtle use of back-lighting,” says Jason. “It could be in a private house, or in a six-star hotel in Las Vegas or London. It’s not a massive size, but just right for the furniture it contains, and remember, we don’t go to bed these days just to sleep. We go to check our ipads, watch television or read, and we need the bedroom to be designed accordingly. We make an overall plan but we don’t allow it to get in the way of great design. If something occurs to us along the way, we take it on board. One thing tends to lead to another, and if it happens to contradict an established design style, so be it. The result, and nothing else, is important.”
Above: The night is subtly illuminated by hidden light around the ceiling and wallpaper panels, small wall lamps on the panels themselves, a beautiful brass light over the lounge area, thin-corded low hanging lamps over both sides of the bed and sunken lights in black stripes across the ceiling.
Above: The free-standing bed allows access to the feature wardrobe behind. Above the wardrobe and bathroom entrance is a detailed dark wood panel contrasting with the rest of the walls, which are covered with material and finished with fine decorative black lines. The details speak volumes in this superlative bedroom suite.
The ceiling is high, the architectural lines clean and straight, the lighting and decoration down to the basic essentials for a luxury bedroom suite. The baroque style carries through to the bathroom, where a full-size statue of Venus de Milo stands beside the window looking in. She likes what she sees: a free-standing bath, a small round table to place your champagne glass, a simple but elegant towel rack and a wine-red velvet stool, all overlooking the wonderful view of the city.
Above: The stark symmetry of the rest of the room, especially the shower and toilet area, is broken by the asymmetrical design of the art deco rug.
Above: The bath almost floats over the floor, with very discreet taps and plumbing on one side, making what looks like a piece of classical ceramics on a museum stand.
Above: The light-toned honeycombed mosaic wall makes the perfect backdrop for the beautiful gold-finished sinks and circular mirrors above them. Here too, the colours and asymmetrical shapes are in the art deco rug.
The twin hand basins, finished in gold, reflect the perfect symmetry of the bedroom. The shower room, with the same towel rack and an egg-shaped lavatory bowl, is a minimalist dream.
The Hudson Suite
Above: The Hudson Suite. The wardrobe is a feature of the room, as are the clothes within. The bed faces the view, of course, and the swivel chair is placed to take full advantage of it, or to chat to whoever is in the bed.
The Hudson Suite is another masterpiece of understated interior design, from its subtle light browns, greys and off-whites, with contrasting dark lines in the window frames and some fittings, to its elegant almost Mondrian-like shapes and layout.
Above: The room divider is, on one side, a hand basin unit, and on the other side a vanity table – also a place to charge your digital devices. Or if of a generation long past, to write a letter or postcard.
Positioned just over the flowing waters of the Hudson river, its view is so spectacular that very little, least of all a television set, is allowed to distract us from it. The sleeping area is divided from the bathroom by an architectural element that holds, on one side, the twin wash hand basins and round mirrors, and on the other side, the vanity unit that can also serve as a place to prop the digital devices we all carry and expect to have space to use these days.
Above: The bath, with the graceful copper bar that acts as a hanging rail, is a beautiful shape, set off perfectly by the grooved marble panel behind it. The free-standing tap reminds us of the simplicity of a village pump.
Above: Everything is placed just right for the perfect shower experience, from the brass hanging towel rail to the slippers ready to use.
But there are hints of varying styles here too, if you look closely, in the use of natural and manmade materials and how they are used. The decorative panel holding the large ceiling lamp, the rectangular marble panel behind the bath, machined to give it its vertical stripes, and the Oriental picture on the wall. The bath and tap unit have a distinctly traditional, almost industrial, look.
Above: The fireplace, the armchair, the reading light, the small coffee table and the view: this is a bedroom created for spending time in, and not just while sleeping.
“As a company, we don’t have an instantly recognisable style,” says Jason. “But we do have a feeling, and when you feel it then you know it: this is us. The only way to create new styles is to do what you believe needs to be done, by being adventurous and innovative, by accepting the concept of fusion and taking full advantage of the best of what life’s experience throws your way.”
If you’d like to create your own “Ultimate Bedroom Suite” contact UDesign, they can make your dreams come true, literally!
This article first
appeared in the
5th issue of
Click on the image to read online.