Thursday, July 21, 2016
Lord Weidenfeld and Geoffrey Bennison
As I read last Saturday's edition of the Financial Times, I came across a small version of the photo above, which accompanied an article on London real estate. The rich wall color, more of an egg-yolk shade in the paper's version of the photo, first caught my eye, followed by those walls of books, books, and more books. The apartment seemed familiar to me, and yet, I couldn't place it. The only information I could glean from the article was that the three-bedroom apartment was located in an 1879 building in Chelsea.
Intrigued and wanting to see more, I visited the website of the brokerage firm, Hamptons International, to see the listing. Described as having been under the same ownership for the past forty years, the apartment is touted as "of historic importance." And two photos into the slideshow, I quickly understood its importance, recognizing it as the Geoffrey Bennison-designed apartment of the late Lord Weidenfeld, publisher extraordinaire. Decorated in the early 1970s, the apartment, which can also been seen in Gillian Newberry's Geoffrey Bennison: Master Decorator, seems to have changed little through the decades, a testament to Bennison's design genius.
Considering that Weidenfeld, who died at 96 earlier this year, was a prominent man-about-town and an avid entertainer, Bennison decorated the apartment to accommodate the homeowner's frequent gatherings. Seating seems never more than a few steps away, while the open plan of the drawing and dining rooms provides flexibility: spacious enough for large gatherings, but with a few intimately-sized areas, conducive to small get-togethers and dinners, too.
There are more photos on the Hamptons International online listing, so I encourage you to visit the website to see more. And in case you're wondering, the apartment is currently listed for £9,250,000.