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Open plan apartment design ideas

How to transform a city apartment into a stylish and comfortable family home.

The project: This is part of an open-plan living space in a London apartment that includes a sitting room, dining room and kitchen.

The designer: Stephanie Dunning (01722 710608; started working with her father’s construction business, where she learnt the art of detailed technical drawing, a skill that she still uses today and which is the basis of all her projects. After working for the interior designer Nina Campbell, she was commissioned to make curtains for King Hussein of Jordan, which led to her setting up an interior-design business that is now based in Wiltshire.

Commissions have included the complete refurbishment of King Hussein’s family home and, more recently, a hunting lodge in Scotland, a house on the banks of the Beaulieu River and villas in Mustique and Lake Como.

stephanie dunning room main body

Arabella Youens says: A career in both interior design and construction has given Stephanie Dunning a rare ability to transform period buildings into stylish and comfortable family homes.

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Part of this project involved installing new double-glazed Crittall windows, which offer an opportunity to maximise the light from the west-facing elevation and fashion a clean, contemporary look, enhanced by the muted neutral background created with the paintwork and curtains. The scheme is typical of the designer’s use of texture to add a rich, layered look. A mix of burnt-orange cushions, navy sisal flooring and a navy-and-white rug add a tactile quality that also helps to deaden sound (essential in an apartment block). Furniture and lighting include a mixture of new pieces, as well as the client’s own antiques. A club fender creates extra occasional seating in what is a supremely social space.

How to get the look:

The circular tables are from Julian Chichester, whose shop is at Queen’s Elm Parade, Fulham Road, London SW3 (; 020–7622 2928)

The cushions are from Inky Velvet, Stephanie Dunning’s online business (, which sells a wide range of deeply textured cushions and throws

The steel windows are made by Crittall, which has been making this distinctive style in Essex since the late 19th century—it’s now enjoying a revival in both period and new-build properties (01376 530800; www.

** See more interiors ideas from Country Life