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The Four Elements – Part 1


Four elements form the universe: air, water, fire and earth. Naturally we all tend to gravitate towards a particular element and it is interesting to see how these powerful elements can inspire our designs.

Over the next two weeks, we are going to show you how each element has its own identity and can be interpreted in different ways, giving interiors character and a point of view.

Air – imaginative and carefree

We love being in spaces that have a lightness of spirit and open in feeling. First up is a real breath of fresh air, the Shooting Gallery at Haymarket Hotel. Although the room has generous proportions, with the warm palette, extravagant yet earthy mud bead chandeliers, tonal leafy wallpaper climbing upwards to the tall ceilings, the space is not austere. A bit of drama in a harmonious way! The gallery can be configured in a multitude of ways for different events.

The Rocklin Room at Haymarket Hotel is another flexible space. With its coffered ceiling, light fabric walling and flying birds appliqued on to the backs of the chairs, it is a light and whimsical space to make you smile.

The Dive Bar at Ham Yard Hotel is certainly an airy space, with our diver flying through the air against a backdrop of hand painted Rick Rack ripples, a flash of neon! This airy space seems to egg you on, always ending in a fun time.

The Orangery at Ham Yard Hotel is a more serene space, flooded by light and grounded in natural materials. When I get a chance, I love to sit and look up at the ceramic mobile suspended in air and gently rotating to the hum of the surrounding conversations.

Crittall windows connect the Shade Bar to this Orangery, so the view and flow is not interrupted.

I couldn’t resist these crystal galleon chandeliers flying through the air in Ham Yard Hotel’s Drawing Room.

It is a luxury to be able to design spaces in the open air in London or New York. The roof terrace at Ham Yard Hotel is an oasis of calm within the city.

We designed the architecture of The Whitby Hotel in New York so that it has tiers creating balconies for the best suites.

There is also an outdoor courtyard in the Orangery for others to enjoy.

Spring has sprung, so head to the relaxed and airy roof terrace at Crosby Street Hotel. You may be surprised that the rooftop is home to our chickens and we grow some produce to use in the kitchen.

Water – clear and fluid

Do you know about our secret garden in South Kensington? Number Sixteen‘s serene environment with a koi pond is a place of tranquillity in the heart of the city.

When we pay attention, we can find the water element in the most unexpected spaces throughout our designs, such as in this fascinating reflective orb light adorned with ceramic underwater scenes.

I commissioned the artist, Jack Milroy, to create his own Ophelia floating in the water. It is an intriguing and original take on the story and set against a backdrop of pebble walling, the water element is palpable.

It is not just the appearance of water, but its gentle sounds that add to the whole experience, such as this fountain on Ham Yard Hotel’s roof terrace or a tranquil trickle from the elephant’s trunk in the Spa!

No discussion about water would be complete without enjoying the one and only pool at Haymarket Hotel and that pool certainly has a few stories to tell!

CLICK HERE to see how the elements of fire and earth appear in our designs.

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