Your luxury home away from home
“These suites are a blend of the personal, the intimate, and of welcoming hospitality,” says Yanik Allard, design consultant for The Apartment at Bicester Village. “They aren’t just first-class lounges – they have their own personality, as you’d expect from someone’s home.”
Creating this feeling of ‘home’ is key when designing the spaces. “I imagine the owner – their family and their passions – and why they might be escaping the city for calm in the country,” he adds.
The suite of luxury Apartments across The Bicester Collection offer guests a private space in which to unwind, enjoy refreshments, revel in their purchases or take part in a personal shopping consultation. Five-star hospitality, courtesy of our expert teams, comes as standard, but it’s where these services meets style that the concept really comes together.
Available by invitation only, the spaces capture the magic of the surrounding region, taking influences from local culture in the form of colour, flowers, art and interiors.
Bicester Village, near London
As with all Apartments across the Collection, Bicester Village’s space manages to capture the personality of its locale, a quintessential English charm, while at the same time oozing an effortless worldliness.
“My favourite part, oddly, is also the smallest, The Study,” says design consultant Yanik Allard. “You feel like nothing else matters in the world when you’re there: the panelling makes it cosy, the colours are warm and rich, and the fireplace brings soul.”
Get the look: “Add art and fresh flowers – they’re the soul of any space,” says Yanik. Your art can be a mix of professional or amateur paintings, illustrations and personal photography – in different sizes too – but it’s that mismatch that feels perfect together.
Fidenza Village, near Milan
New for 2021 is the Apartment at Fidenza Village – imagined as the home of “an eclectic film producer who’s an avid traveller and art collector,” says designer David Thomas.
Inside, a colour palette of teal, ochre and rust reflects the drama of Italy, while a varied art collection brings to life the imagined owner’s eclectic tastes. Key pieces include a one-of-a-kind mirror by sculptor Frederic Liger, hand-crafted in Paris, and a vintage Carlo Scarpa deep blue lacquer table from the mid '80s. The table was sourced in Milan, as were most pieces in the Library, including the vintage mid-century Italian chairs covered in nubby pink boucle and the large ottoman in its original sculpted velvet fabric. There’s also a pendant light from Ochre made by hand in London, and leopard carpets are a vintage print from Parisian designer Madeleine Castaing.
The Apartment’s Tower Salon is the majestic high note to finish, memorable for its panoramic mural created and executed by Patrizia Volpi, a locally based artist. The sofa was especially designed to fit the room's octagonal shape and the vintage chairs were found in Milan and covered in fabrics from Rubelli. The sheer linen curtains are made from Armani Home fabrics and the octagonal shaped rug was designed for the room and woven by Limited Edition Belgium. Look out for the unusual bronze cocktail table and the two vintage '60s bamboo patterned brass floor lamps designed by Maison Jansen. The large-scale Murano chandelier was handcrafted for the room.
Get the look: This eclectic style is made easy by combining contemporary furnishings with vintage finds. The same applies for the finishes: polished pieces in places, industrial touches in others, for a rich, textured feel.
Ingolstadt Village, near Munich
Sitting in what was the Textilfabrik Forstmann company factory during the nineteenth century, Ingolstadt Village’s Apartment retains much of this industrial heritage in its design – from the exposed concrete ceilings and columns (carefully recreated by Andrea Fitzpatrick and Todd Boyne) to the steel window frames.
Beautiful artworks are also a regular occurrence throughout this space too: with a 1930s bust by French sculptor Sapiens, a contemporary paper collage by Spanish artist Txema González, and fashion illustrations by Francesca Waddell, all lining the walls of the Studio.
In the main Lounge, your attention is immediately captured by the unique, hand-painted wallpaper by De Gournay, titled Namban. The wallpaper – an abstract seascape with gold-leaf patterns and a flock of soaring cranes – evokes the artwork of Imperial Japan.
Get the look: Having a focal point is key to creating attention-grabbing interiors. It could be a feature wall, using ornate wallpaper, or even a statement piece of furniture, such as the gilded curved bar and mirrored drinks cabinet in this Apartment.
Shanghai Village and Suzhou Village, China
The Apartments in Shanghai Village and Suzhou Village – within an hour of Shanghai and Suzhou respectively – were both designed by Yann Debelle de Montby and Cécile Devillers, of Dream Manufacturer design studio. The first has a distinctively Art Deco atmosphere, mirroring the glamour and exuberance of the ‘20s and ‘30s, while the latter was designed to reflect the Silk Road – journeying through Venice, Constantinople and Xanadu to Suzhou in the thirteenth century.
“We wanted to bring a ‘soul’ to the spaces,” explains designer Yann. “We hope the spaces stimulate guests’ creativity, taking them on a wonderful journey and ultimately triggering inspiration for their own homes.”
In the Shanghai space, dark marble and golden ceilings form the backdrop for similarly dramatic furnishings. The Lounge – inspired by transatlantic liner the SS Normandie’s first-class dining room, designed by René Lalique – features black lacquer and leather furniture, wooden panelling and floors, and crystal vases, glasses and art works sourced from antique markets in Paris, London and Shanghai.
Meanwhile, the Man Ray studio is named for the American photographer, painter and visual artist whose influence can be felt in the treasures dotted throughout. From tribal textiles hanging on the walls to the 1930s Leica camera and authentic frog-shaped opium pipe repurposed as a pendant light, it’s as if Man Ray himself had collected them.
Get the look: “Good design is meaningful and authentic,” says Yann. “Look for beautiful pieces that have been collected over the years, from your grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ perhaps, and mix them with contemporary art and, most importantly, great lighting.”
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