The Design Is In The Detail


Jen and the team at Bernard Interiors gives Abode2 an insight into the design details of the new build urban retreat they created for retirees in central London

Bernard Interiors are renowned for creating luxurious interiors for the later living and care environments and are part of the Audley retirement villages development team. The team have recently created luxurious interiors for three of their impressive retirement villages. Founder Jen Bernard’s, Interior Design practice has over 12 years experience in the sector and is credited with designing award winning interiors which defy preconceived ideas about later living.

They have also worked with different care home operators, such as Hadrian Healthcare, Angela Swift Developments, Boutique Care Homes and is working on current projects with Audley, MACC Group and Principle Care Homes.

Nightingale Place is Audley’s first retirement village in central London. Completed during lockdown in 2020, it has 94 one to three bedroom apartments as well as a pool, restaurant and health club. The leisure and restaurant facilities form the Audley Club, which is open to non-resident members. Jen and her talented  team have created a haven of peace and relaxation in the capital at Nightingale Place, with exciting nods to the past.

As Nightingale Place is an entirely new and urban development, inspiration has been taken from the adjacent Clapham Common, London and popular culture and here Jen tells us about the design details of the project.

“We’ve mixed classic and contemporary to create a truly unique interior, appealing to both Audley owners and visitors with a strong nod to the past.” enthuses Jen.

The reception combines classic and contemporary perfectly to form a welcoming and vibrant entrance, setting the tone for the rest of the scheme. The custom curved sofa upholstered in mustard velvet is teamed with retro inspired cushions, positioned in-front of beautiful, bronze laser cut screens.

Bespoke screens are installed throughout the ground floor to create defined areas whilst allowing light to filter through and create vistas through the building. Tub chairs upholstered in geometric prints are reminiscent of the famous London Underground fabric designed by Enid Marx, echoing the close proximity of the ‘Clapham South’ northern line tube station.

The restaurant design is inspired by Joe Gilmore, head barman at The Savoy Hotel’s elegant American Bar from 1955 to 1976, and the bar’s high society clientele. Along with the private dining room both spaces are elegant and restrained, combining shades of blue, grey and terracotta with dark wood and classic ceramics.

The bar bistro is influenced by 1970’s pop culture, featuring timber décor panelling and bar stools upholstered in oxblood leather with black studding. Sleek and subtle embossing on the bar stools showcases the name of the bar bistro, a nod to the address of the Nightingale Place development.

In the spa, a cascade of unique, individually worked metal leaves adorn the wall. The artwork was specially commissioned by sculptor, Ollie Holman who joined the team on site to install the leaves.”

“Every new development is a new place, a new venue, a new destination. We looked at the location, the site’s history including the characters involved with it, its future operation and the people who will live there to build the story. Telling the story through the design gives context, creating links with the local community and surroundings."

“Inspiration for everything – from the colour palette to the artwork – has come from the surrounding area of Nightingale Place, London life and the experiences of the village’s future residents. Bold and vibrant large scale artworks line the communal corridors, and the pool and spa create a serene sanctuary in the city. Finally, each area has its own identity, with the overall linking theme of a luxurious, relaxing urban retreat.” explains Jen.

Bernard Interiors works across the UK and abroad providing interior architectural design, consultancy and procurement services for the high end later living, residential, and commercial markets. The award-winning practice has specialist knowledge in the interior design of five-star new build care homes, extra care apartment complexes and retirement villages.




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