Marking her debut in London, the esteemed New York-based designer, Kelly Behun, has unveiled her creative touch in the design of a three-bedroom apartment within the confines of the historic Whiteley building.
A new era of opulent living is poised to grace London’s landscape. The Whiteley, an impressive redevelopment of an iconic London landmark, has reached its culmination after years of meticulous reconstruction and restoration. Once the domicile of the renowned Whiteleys department store—a competitor of Harrods in its heyday—the building ceased operations in 1981.
Subsequently, it housed mid-tier retail establishments until now. Spearheaded by development managers Finchatton, in collaboration with investment partners MARK and C C Land, The Whiteley has undergone a transformative metamorphosis into a mixed-use marvel, featuring luxury residences, high-end retail, and the inaugural Six Senses Hotel in the UK. Valued at $1.25 billion (£1 billion), this regeneration initiative is slated for completion in 2024, and The Whiteley has offered a tantalizing glimpse into what awaits its future inhabitants.
For the design of the model residence, The Whiteley enlisted the talents of Kelly Behun, a luminary in the world of interior design and an AD100 awardee based in New York. Known for her collaborations with notable personalities and contributions to some of New York’s most iconic residential structures, Behun brought her distinctive touch to her inaugural project in London.
Whether adorning Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Californian abode or working within the realms of Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ 1228 Madison Avenue, Behun consistently infuses her signature elements: vibrant colors, contemporary art, and a seamless integration of the past and present.
This alignment with Behun’s vision perfectly resonated with MARK’s aspirations for the model residence. The apartment pays homage to its historical roots while exuding a contemporary ambiance. Boasting 13-foot-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling heritage windows, herringbone floors, and fluted millwork columns, each room is bathed in natural light streaming through the oversized windows.
The three-bedroom apartment showcases an alcove-style kitchen, effectively delineating the kitchen and living areas, a spacious dining area, and generous outdoor spaces.
To infuse warmth into the apartment, Behun curated a palette ranging from opulent gold and deep green to muted rose and lavender, creating a harmonious blend. Uniqueness is a hallmark of Behun’s projects, and this specific apartment features bespoke and handcrafted furniture pieces, wallpaper from her collaboration with Calico Wallpaper, and an earthy mural by Brooklyn-based scenic backdrop painter Sarah Oliphant.
Balancing comfort with artistic design, each furniture piece and artwork appears thoughtfully selected for its surroundings. Behun collaborated seamlessly with the existing architecture to craft an environment that feels inherently connected to the building and its surroundings.
Expressing her sentiments, Behun stated, “As a devoted New Yorker, when contemplating the one other city in the world where I could envision living, it’s always London. When I received the details of the building and learned about the team behind it, I was captivated.
Situated near Hyde Park, which served as a muse for nature-inspired art, murals, and verdant tones within the project, The Whiteley also showcases works from artists such as Kathleen Mullaniff, capturing the essence of English gardens through her paintings. Among the more whimsical features are statement hand stools carved from Bali.
Currently listed at $15.75 million (£12.5 million), the property anticipates residents moving in starting Q1 of 2024. The development will also house the UK’s inaugural Six Senses Hotel, along with Six Senses-branded residences, wellness amenities, tennis courts, a fitness center, and private dining.