Abode by Cereal: The Living Space

"Calm, contemplative, coffee-sipping overlooking the boats bobbing below."

“Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” Writing long before the Abode apartment’s interiors were lovingly teased to life, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s wisdom perfectly encapsulates the ethos behind this collaboration between Greenwich Peninsula, design magazine Cereal, and Aucoot, sellers of the UK’s most inspirational homes.

For while its Conran panelling, marbled tiling and poured concrete floors invite an inevitable string of aesthetical superlatives, it’s a living space in the purest sense of the phrase, inviting incomers to kick off their shoes, reach for their drink of choice, and get on with whatever they live to do. Maybe after pausing briefly to wonder at that view…

Photography: Rich Stapleton

Laid back seriousness

Work hard to play hard. Perhaps the City’s skyline proximity is what conjures up this well-trodden motto for twenty-first century living. It’s difficult to imagine a more inspiring, light-filled space in which to flip open a laptop and immerse oneself in a work-from-home day. Or whose vastness is so symbiotic with the human need to create; to splash oils across canvas, to tinkle ivories, to sculpt, craft, draw or dance. But its true, organic beauty is in its opportunities for downtime flexibility; in the choices it offers those who take their playtime very seriously indeed.

Photography: Rich Stapleton

Calm, contemplative, coffee-sipping overlooking the boats bobbing below; sundown salutations in the downward dog—such moments might be few and far between once the ‘new pad’ cards drop on the doormats of nearest and dearest. For this is the kind of space that begs to be occupied, that welcomes guests to mooch contentedly between Fritz Hansen dining table in unpolished white marble and Bruno Mathsson’s fluffy sheepskin day bed, all while the host spreads the hors d’oeuvres over the granite island worktop and pours another Pinot.

Photography: Rich Stapleton

Where there’s water, there’s life 

It’s captured the attention of settling Romans, the imaginations of Impressionist painters, the machinations of pirates, the hearts of Victorian ice-skatersduring a series of particularly ferocious winters. At once purposeful and peaceful, dark and light, ancient and playful, reassuringly permanent but ever changing, the Thames has as tenacious a hold over the Abode apartment as it does the sprawling urban landscape whose curves it commandeers.

Photography: Rich Stapleton

Its tides echo in both the modern and vintage furnishings; its banks and bridges in the combination of natural and architectural materials; its eclectic bracelet of riverside haunts in the sprinkling of fine art and unique objects.

And of course it’s in plain sight. All around. Wrapped around, might be more apt. Floor to ceiling windows beckon to a waterside terrace as spacious as the apartment. It’s here where urban living can truly reflect the diverse and dramatic history of the river, where space expects—demands—alfresco dining, romantic tête-à-têtes and cocktail-fuelled hedonism. And for days where one imagines the Thames might simply shrug its shoulders at life, there’s as much enjoyment to be had here simply doing nothing.

Photography: Rich Stapleton

Just like the river, there’s a twist in every tale. In the Abode apartment, it’s in the detail, the surprises secreted away around corners. Try on for size the Rudd Jan Kokke reading chair, clandestine in the shadows behind a glass partition. Or the sporadic licks of colour against the understated canvas of moody greys and dark woods.

Perhaps the biggest twist of all isn’t in the detail, or even the sum of the parts, but in the definition-rich whole. “Quite abstract and quite playful,” ventures Cereal’s Creative Director Rich Stapleton. A place “to fold out your interests”, proposes Interior Stylist, Nathalie Schwer. Perhaps, but then the beauty of Abode isn’t in the explaining, but in the living.