Edo Mapelli Mozzi’s London-based development and design firm, Banda, recently opened a Manhattan office (portrait by Ben Anders). Top: An antique mirror hangs over a Black Marquina marble fireplace in the living area of a Tuscan-accented new-build penthouse the studio created atop a landmarked London building. The entrepreneur — who married Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice in 2020 — saw, and continues to see, an opportunity in seamlessly blending disciplines, from the financial and logistical through to the artisanal and the creative.
Following his university studies in Edinburgh, Mapelli Mozzi started working in property development, soon realizing the benefits of bringing design in-house. A richly grained gray marble gives the penthouse kitchen character to spare, as does the collection of natural clay and olive-colored vintage ceramics. One such surprise enlivens a 2,300-square-foot central London penthouse, where a lofty roof extension constructed using rustic beams transports you straight from the Bayswater neighborhood to the Tuscan hills.
An emphasis on texture is evident throughout the apartment, where oak, linen and marble furnishings contrast beautifully with walls finished in a tactile, sustainable plaster made of unfired clays, sand and pigment. In the living room of a 1930s townhouse in London’s Notting Hill, a custom Banda-designed walnut cocktail table nestles in the curve of an arcing Sedilia sofa atop a Christopher Farr rug.
Left: in the townhouse dining room, ETEL chairs surround a Meltingpot table by Dirk van der Kooij beneath an Apparatus pendant light.
Featuring soothing backdrops of earthy terracotta, bronze, mustard and green hues, the beautiful spaces — some large, some cozier, all perfect for family living — eloquently demonstrate the art of “zoning.” Banda used design to clearly delineate areas dedicated to dining, cooking and working within an open-plan arrangement. Like the Bayswater apartment, this townhouse impresses with an array of aesthetic surprises, not least a Meltingpot dining table made from reclaimed plastic by Dirk van der Kooij The monumental, dramatically cantilevered Calacatta Oro kitchen island is overseen by a tubular bronze pendant by Allied Maker, while in the ground-floor library, fluted walnut paneling and bookcases serve as a foil to a beautifully crafted bentwood and cane armchair by Ward Bennett. In another project, this one a sprawling one-story apartment in a landmarked West London building, Banda’s laid-back and serene scheme tells a different story.
In a West London apartment, a custom velvet sofa adorned with cushions made of vintage African kuba cloth embraces a travertine coffee table from Studio Oliver Gustav. The chairs in the refined dining room are dressed in an inviting Rose Uniacke peach wool, and a textural Dedar bouclé covers a bench. A triangular pendant light from Allied Maker, meanwhile, hangs over a round travertine coffee table by Oliver Gustav in the middle of the living room. The peaceful main bedroom is home to a clean-lined French iron four-poster, draped with ivory-hued hangings, and a magnificent elm-wood desk by Danielle Siggerud. Going forward, Banda’s focus for the rest of 2022 is mainly on private clients, with around 40 projects in the pipeline around the world, including commissions in New York, San Francisco, Doha, Lake Como, Paris and London. A Rose Uniacke wool fabric upholsters the Emmemobili chairs, while a Dedar bouclé covers a bespoke bench designed by Banda.