Would you like a slide in your living room? (2024)

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INTERIORS

Indoor slides are just one of the new high-end interiors trends that are taking over

Would you like a slide in your living room? (2)

Katrina Burroughs

The Times

What ultra-high net worth homeowners want this year can be summed up in two words: surprise and delight. A double-height glass kitchen extension, a spathroom (a bathroom-spa hybrid), a cycle studio … yawnsville! The bragworthy home improvements of the moment are rarer and more inventive than these. Think a year-round kitchen garden growing inside your ski chalet, an indoor slide for your townhouse or a soundtrack for the country estate. These are the opulent property trappings to swank about.

Indoor slide

The slide by Splinterworks for a Foster + Partners house

MALCOLM MENZIES

Can you think of a better way to make an entrance than zipping down a slide? It’s the architectural feature that brings a bit of the playground to everyday life, a hit of nostalgic joy every time you dodge the stairs and slip down the chute instead.

Splinterworks, best known as purveyors of the sexiest stainless-steel pool slides (and if you doubt a slide can be sexy, have a look at the Orchid), has recently designed an indoor chute for a Foster + Partners house. It provides a link between the mezzanine and the downstairs dining area, and is the very finest means of arriving at breakfast.

Haute horsebox

The trend continues for trickling luxurious interior design into ever more areas of a life. Decorators and architects at Thorp Design (thorp.co.uk) have long been used to designing multiple homes for their clients, as well as yacht interiors. Philippa Thorp has now been called upon to deck out a horsebox. “The horsebox is a large, solid van when you’re driving on the road,” she explains. “Then when you park, a full kitchen and sitting room extend out on either side to create a spacious living area. This client spends large amounts of time at equestrian events, which can last months on end, so she needed this lorry to operate as a home.” Thorp chose a pale palette for the interior, with wood floors. “The client wanted a softness and luxury to the space, so we used cream Scottish nappa leather, like you’d have in a Bentley, for all of the furniture.”

Hay — not just for horses

Would you like a slide in your living room? (4)

We’ve been hearing great things about the new hay sauna coming next month to Estelle Manor, the Oxfordshire hotel that’s challenging Soho Farmhouse for the crown of Cotswolds coolest members’ club, estellemanor.com. The sauna will feature baskets filled with natural English hay from the farm next door, which is collected daily and heated up to 55C by an open stove. News of the soon-to-open attraction comes hot on the heels (sorry) of the unveiling of hay relaxation rooms at the Raffles penthouse in Dubai. The super-penthouse R1 on the Palm Jumeirah occupies the top three levels of Raffles the Palm Dubai Residences, and the rooms — where the relaxer reclines on warm, aromatic hay — are part of a suite of therapeutic features, including a cryogenic room and mini-golf garden.

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Soundscape

This could be the year to bring music into your rooms like you scent your interiors. Peter Adjaye (peteradjaye.com), the sound artist behind Music for Architecture, creates soundtracks for specific buildings. He composed music for the Ghanaian home of his architect brother, David Adjaye. The building is a mud house surrounded by acres of farmland and forest, thatched in dried straw, and the soundscape includes west African musicians, drums and synthesizers. The design process is similar to creating a mood board for an interior: he meets the homeowners, ideally face to face in the spaces for which they want the soundscape. “We would discuss what musical palettes they want to represent in their private space. We would incorporate field recordings that were part of that set of emotions or that set of memories that will be evoked by their very own soundscape. The soundscape will continually evolve in the space and be different each time they enter, as it would incorporate several palettes that would interact with each other at different points.” In other words, Adjaye could make your interiors sing.

Kitchen garden for the ski slope

By which we mean a year-round garden in the kitchen, rather than raised beds amid the snow, from which you can readily source fresh greens. Audrey Carden of Carden Cunietti (carden-cunietti.com) is working on a chalet in Verbier whose owners have asked for an Evogro LED-lit hydroponic system (evogro.com). The cabinets are more usually specified by professional chefs, including the kitchens at the Ritz, for microgreens, salad leaves and herbs, but this couple (and their two teenage children) follow a healthy eating regime that demands plentiful plants. “They are very much into organic food and this will cover them in the snow season,” she says.

Barkitecture

Would you like a slide in your living room? (5)

A bespoke dog home under the stairs designed by Charles Tashima

PROJECT BY CHARLES TASHIMA ARCHITECTS, INTERIOR STYLING BY ZIZI DURRANCE, KITCHENMAKER IS WEST & REID

A pet shower in the boot room, stocked with WildWash organic shampoo (grapefruit, bergamot and ginger fragrance, naturally), is an established feature of the contemporary dog-loving household. Architects are now taking canine comfort to the next level with miniature rooms within rooms, designed for pets. Charles Tashima (charlestashima.co.uk) has created a doghouse for a chocolate labrador, hidden in the stairwell of a north London renovation. “We came up with the idea of cutting an arched opening into the bottom of the stair to give the dog his own home within the home,” Tashima says.

A mini-golf garden

Yes indeed. Rooftop mini-golf is massive in Dubai. Next.

Zhuzh your jet

Sponsored

Picture this. Your first, second and third homes have been renovated, the yacht has had a recent facelift, even the horsebox is in fine fettle. It’s time to cosy up your co*ckpit (and the rest of your private jet). Clients of Banda (bandaproperty.com), the property company founded by Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the husband of Princess Beatrice, tend to be frequent flyers, meaning they are loyal repeat patrons, and some of them are refusing to put up with a character-free cabin. In the interior of an American client’s Gulfstream, Nicola Sherbon, Banda’s head of design, is using the same luxury materials she deploys in his domestic interiors, from woven leather to timber veneer and suede, to customise the cabin to allow for homely accessories, such as decorative lamps “that give the jet a residential feel”.

Would you like a slide in your living room? (6)

Installing a fabric care system will take care of your dry-cleaning needs

Your own personal dry cleaner

You’ve set aside a dedicated room for hair and make-up, with all the latest beauty gadgets and organic hair and skincare products. If personal grooming has been taken in-house, why are you still handing over your most delicate and precious clothing to an outside professional who will clean it with chemical nasties? In a recent London project, Audrey Carden has incorporated a Swiss system for clothes care called V-Zug (vsug.com), and predicts that a steam-based, chemical-free dry cleaning station will soon be a coveted addition to every smart dressing room. “The lady of this house has a quiet luxury wardrobe of beautiful understated items,” she says. “Think Shiv Roy in Succession or Gwyneth Paltrow in court. So, we’re installing a fabric care system that will take care of their dry-cleaning needs.”

A fromagerie

Would you like a slide in your living room? (7)

A bespoke cheese storage unit lined with Himalayan rock salt, designed by Lanserring’s Alex Beaugeard

There’s little more vexing than fridge-y cheese, all dried out and much too cold, which is why a separate cheese larder is becoming a sought-after feature. Once you have picked out your cheese — British or French? Cow, goat or sheep? Maybe a washed rind? — tasted and taken home your selection, you will need to keep your dairy products at the right temperature, and importantly at a consistent one. For most varieties this will be colder than room temperature, but warmer than a fridge. If cheese is stored too cold, the active bacteria will become dormant and the cheese will not mature any further. Now, how do you avoid this new and very necessary piece of kitchen kit becoming just another boring kitchen cupboard. Alex Beaugeard, the managing director of the kitchen studio Lanserring (lanserring.com), has created glowing-pink cheese storage, using backlit Himalayan rock salt. “We were asked by a London client to explore the perfect conditions for maturing cheese prior to consumption,” he says. “We created a stone-clad environment, which keeps the contents a few degrees cooler than room temperate due to the thermal mass of stone. We lined the enclosure with tiles of Himalayan rock salt because it helps to remove moisture from the environment thus accelerating the development of the flavours and textures in the cheese. Aesthetically, we were able to use backlighting to create a harmonious pink glow.” Because even Parmigiano Reggiano looks pretty in pink.

A piano (with concert pianist included)

Would you like a slide in your living room? (8)

Steinway’s self-playing piano has a musical library that includes historical and live performances

Wow your guests by inviting them to a live recital by Lang Lang in your front room. You live in London and the classical pianist is giving a concert in Vienna, but you can see the keys on the piano move as if he is present. It’s Steinway’s spooky and surreal Spirio tech (steinway.com), which means you have a musical library that includes classical and jazz, historical and live performances, on your peerless grand piano. The musical library is updated monthly and has over 340 hours of repertoire. Brilliant for those who lust after the Rolls-Royce of pianos, while still playing with L-plates.

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