The Cereal ABODE
When we were approached by the team at Greenwich Peninsula to sell four newly built penthouses, with interiors by Tina Norden of Conran, our brief was to think of a creative alternative to the traditional show flat. For us, the perfect solution was a partnership with our friends at Cereal Magazine. When we approached Rich (Cereal’s Creative Director) and Rosa (its Editor) they jumped at the opportunity and the result is the stunning ABODE. A unique concept apartment and showroom, ABODE is the work of Rich, Rosa and the talented stylist Natalie Schwer. We caught up with Rosa to find out more about the processes involved and the inspiration behind the work.
We’ve always wanted to create a physical space that was representative of the Cereal brand, and ABODE presented the perfect opportunity to realise that goal.
We definitely have a strong aesthetic sensibility that permeates the magazine and the overall brand, and that look was, without a doubt, a guiding light in the styling of ABODE. We wanted our guests and readers to visit the apartment and recognise that they were in a Cereal space. Having said that, we also wanted to have an element of surprise – even if it means having just a paint colour that maybe you wouldn’t expect us to go for, or a piece of furniture that is slightly more eccentric and has a bit more character than the pared back, elegant stuff we usually opt for.
If I were to attribute one person as the biggest inspiration for this project, it would be Vincent Van Duysen. I’m such a fan of his work, and though ABODE is not necessarily hyper in line with his approach, he was an influential figure in our creative process.
We brought on board long time Cereal collaborator and friend Nathalie Schwer – an incredibly talented stylist from Copenhagen – to work with us on this project, and something she said to me at the beginning of the ABODE journey really stuck with me: “You don’t have to personally love every single object in the apartment, but it must all work together. And in that context, you will appreciate each item.” That rings truer to me than ever before. I definitely tried to push myself out of my comfort zone and am so glad that I did, because i think the end result is that much more successful and gratifying.
There are many people whose sense of aesthetics I admire, but here is a top five list off the top of my head:
- Vincent Van Duysen – for his architecture, his interior design, and his furniture design
- Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen – for the work that they do with their brand, The Row
- Lee Ufan – for his elegant and powerful restraint in his paintings and sculptures
- Axel Vervoordt – for his ability to seamlessly integrate the old and the new within an interior space
- Elon Musk – for making tech outrageously beautiful, be it a rocket or a solar panel
I can see a young couple or a young family living in this flat. I want them to feel immediately at home. We put in great effort to make it a warm, inviting place despite its simplicity.
My two favourite items in the flat are the Bruno Mathsson daybed and the McCollin Bryan coffee bean in coral red. I wish I could have these two items in my flat…
We knew things were right when we envisioned how a person might use the space. Where would they want to sit? Lie down? Where would they then place their cup of tea? Or their book? Where would they be positioned when working? Or hosting friends? The practicality of day-to-day life made a big impact on our decision, and made the design process progress quite nicely.
This changes quite often for me! I am so fickle! At the moment I would say my favourite design classic is a Thonet dining chair.
Home is the place where you feel the most comfortable. There truly should be no place like home.
There are small elements of my own home they exist within the ABODE concept – especially from the art and books perspective – but overall, I would say that it is quite different. To begin with, the space and structural bones are radically different. I live in a Georgian flat in Bath, and this is a super modern flat in central London. And also, I don’t quite have the budget to get the pieces that we’ve managed to secure for ABODE!
Set an objective for what you want your home to feel like (rather than look like), and take it slowly, room by room.