SQUAT is an interesting choice of name for a project focused on luxury interior design. And definitely not one you’d associate with London’s high flyers. But Monday evening they were all in attendance, packed into a Mayfair apartment to see SQUAT London.
The brainchild of Nina Yashar, founder of Milan’s acclaimed Nilufar Gallery, she defines SQUAT as “an innovative concept that combines design, art and architecture to give life to new, original and high-standard domestic landscapes. SQUAT is an exhibition and a curatorial and contemplative project at the same time.”
In its fifth edition, its previous curations were held in Paris, Beirut and Milan. Now in London, a Mayfair apartment has been furnished with over a hundred pieces, all flown over from Nilufar Gallery’s collection in Milan.
Yashar is esteemed for creating eclectic visual and textural contrasts within a space, and for her readiness to juxtapose a mid-century master such as Giò Ponti with the modern stylings and ideologies of designers such as Lindsey Edelman and Bethan Laura Wood.
For the London edition, set in a Mayfair apartment, Yashar has collaborated with interior and architectural designer Shalini Misra – who owns the property – and the director and creative advisor of Shalini Misra Ltd, Mehves Ariburnu.
During a private tour, Misra discusses the task of “selecting the right property, and mixing it with the right interiors”. Within a refurbished Victorian building, the team decided to highlight its historic virtues, restoring traditional architectural details, such as its cornicing, throughout the apartment.
But this is mixed with varied visual references to create something spectacularly new. Textures are key to the mood and sensuality. On our tour, Misra draws our attention to the mixed mediums: linen, velvet, leather, inlaid patterns of glossy, finished marble. We love the mirrored-gold inflections that run throughout, in Massimiliano Locatelli’s “Urmia” tables in the salon, a set of fluid tables whose table tops can be spaced apart to drift alongside each other. Or a multi-facted Parventissimo 02 screen divider by Martino Gamper, which stands beside Locatelli’s tables, and also frames the super-king bed of the master bedroom, a gentle, smoked-white space accented with shearling, bronze and patina.
At SQUAT London, friendships are struck between unlikely matches. Pastel shades of pink are sat next to dark brown velour in a Prada-like, off-kilter colour palette (in fact, Yashar was once a consultant for Prada). The effect is pearl-clutchingly elegant, striking, and not overtly pretty.
SQUAT London is located at Flat 1, 70 South Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 2RA London. Open to public Tuesdays – Saturdays 12.00pm – 6.00pm from 7 June to 15 October. Find out more on SQUAT's website.