INTERIOR STYLE: PALM COURT, THE LANGHAM, LONDON
PALM COURT INTERIOR INSPIRATION
Palm Court at The Langham, London, is the self-proclaimed home of afternoon tea since the Victorian era. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love an afternoon tea. Slender, crust-less sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, mini patisseries, bone china, casual conversation.
There is something so civilised, so wonderful, about the whole thing, especially when it’s taken in sumptuous surroundings. The Palm court is just that – sumptuous. And it’s the sort of look I show clients when they talk about aspiring to achieve timeless elegance in their lounge or dining room.
Image source: Palm Court official website
ABOUT THE LOOK
Palm Court combines rich textures (there’s lots of velvet) with a palette of light taupe and cream, alongside olive green and blush with silver and mirrored accents. This colour combination exudes sophistication and subtle opulence. It’s an aspirational look, with deep buttoned furniture, piping and handle detailing, panelling, metallic wall reliefs, mirrors aplenty and some pattern amongst the understated plain textiles.
The lighting is layered, which is key to creating ambience in any interior. Spotlighting is complimented by a wash of lighting across the oversized silver coving and the stunning drop chandeliers – totally befitting the scale and significance of the space. A room like this is always complete with a piano, and the gorgeous grand takes pride of place. This provides the soundtrack to your afternoon.
Creating this look yourself is extremely viable, if you choose the right shades, tones and finishes. Quality is important here – no shabby chic sanded furniture or raw edging allowed!
SHOP THE LOOK
Here’s my Palm Court edit; a ‘top ten’ to achieving this timeless, elegant style in your home:
TRANSLATING INSPIRATION TO YOUR INTERIOR
There are some key ways to integrate this look into your own space. Whether you want your own Palm Court lounge or just want to extract an essence of its spirit, here are some handy hints;
1. MAKE IT SOCIABLE
In the spirit of afternoon tea, conversation is key. If you want to create a sociable space; somewhere for people to stay and chat rather than loiter uncomfortably, then consider the set-up of your furniture. Does it need to be pushed back against every wall?
Consider bringing furniture forward if you can and aim for pieces to face each other. This makes for comfortable conversation. A pair of occasional chairs opposite a sofa not only look fantastic but also allow for ease of discussion.
Explore optimal distance for eye contact. No one wants their personal space invaded but equally seating too far from each other makes it hard to chat. The key to the Palm Court is proximity of each chair. For a dining room, round tables work a treat.
One of life’s luxuries – velvet looks and feels expensive. Personally, I’m not such a fan of the crushed variety but a quality plush velvet exudes elegance. Textile houses such as Dedar and Designer’s Guild create sumptuous velvets that I often recommend to clients for upholstered pieces, from sofas to headboards.
Deep buttoning, a look championed here, looks exquisite in velvet, especially in muted creams, greys and blush. Green has also made a complete resurgence and this olive hue is beyond sophisticated.
I love how the chairs are upholstered in different fabrics front and back, which adds another dimension to the design. This two-tone quality can also be achieved on cushions, with contrast piping creating yet more interest and detail.
Image source: Palm Court official website
Mirrors are your ally if the aim is to enlarge or bring light into a space. Palm Court, a vast lounge, uses mirrored panelling to bounce light, add detail and to somewhat disguise the pillars, necessary architecturally. This is a trick which is easy to emulate; use multiple mirrors in your interior to add interest and brighten.
On wardrobe doors or within joinery, along an entire wall, as a splash-back in the kitchen or at the back of your shelving. It has become increasingly fashionable to use variations on the classic silver mirrored glass; bronze mirror, antiqued or smoked, foxed or with a mercury patina. Regardless of preference on finish, the key is to be brave and embrace this look wholeheartedly.
4. PATTERNED CARPET OR RUG
If you are afraid of pattern, a patterned rug can seem quite scary. However, it is a fantastic way to combine your colour palette (or choose it first and go from there). It also adds a bit of interest to an otherwise plain scheme, especially if you’ve used a lot of the same material (e.g. velvet).
Geometrics and trellis designs are still really popular, or embrace a more eastern or Chinoisorie look. Viscose piles look luxurious – totally in-keeping with Palm Court luxury.
5. STATEMENT LIGHTING
As discussed, layer your lighting scheme and try to avoid a reliance on ceiling spotlights – they are very one-dimensional. To create the sophisticated ambience of the Palm Court, ensure there are lots of levels to your lighting. Combine wall and table lamps with under shelving LEDS or low-level lighting. Complete with chandelier (or multiples).
And ‘Voila’… tea is served. I hope you’re feeling suitably stuffed with new ideas!
Girl signing off,