Who Knew How Luxurious a Former Army Base Could Be?

Jennifer Milne
Photo credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Barracks

From ELLE Decor

The central London neighborhood of Belgravia is known for showcasing many types of ambition: Michelin-starred restaurants, exclusive boutiques, and the city’s wealthiest residents. But now the new Chelsea Barracks development brings that energy to an even higher level. On a nearly 13-acre site, a collection of apartments, penthouses, and townhouses are set among five lush acres of gardens, with amenities that include a spa and a private cinema.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Barracks

In fact, the site’s namesake has a long and storied history in the neighborhood. The original barracks were completed in 1861 and housed four companies of the British army through 2007, when the last troops vacated the site. They were sold that year for £959 million (about $1.9 billion), making it the most expensive real estate transaction in U.K. history.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Barracks

Fast-forward to today, and ELLE Decor has an exclusive look at the Artist’s Studio, a gorgeous four-bedroom, four-bath model apartment designed by Charu Gandhi, the founder and director of the London-based interior design firm Elicyon. “For Elicyon, the backstory is key to the experience of the final design—the why and the how playing a distinct role in the present,” Gandhi says. “The narrative of the Artist’s Studio is influenced by the many creative districts in Chelsea, historically offering a rare degree of authenticity.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Chelsea Barracks

In the residence, Elicyon juxtaposed classic English herringbone and marble flooring with bespoke pieces by Ochre, Julian Chichester, and Vincent Sheppard. The muted green color palette nods to the British army’s history on the site, while the lighting is reminiscent of 19th-century Victorian carriage lights. “We used a palette of eclectic furnishings, with tactile materials and indoor greenery, to create spaces that are fresh and serene, speckled with quirky accessories, painterly wall features, and art pieces influenced by Cubism and Surrealism,” Gandhi says. The result is clean, contemporary, and unmistakably British.

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