For the last 18 years, London-based property developer turned interior designer Kim Partridge has been quietly flying under the radar, creating elegant, timeless homes throughout Europe for her little black book of super-prime clients. Joining forces two years ago with accomplished architect, Ultan Foley, the studio provides a complete or partial package of interior and architectural services from concept to handover. ‘We’re known for taking huge spaces and making them very personal,’ confirms Kim of the practice. And no project better sums this up than her first venture into high-end hospitality: the momentous renovation of Adare Manor in County Limerick, Ireland, which re-opened as a hotel in 2017 to huge fanfare and has scooped countless awards since.
Celebrating the manor’s architectural history while reinvigorating the interiors, Kim employed meticulous attention to detail throughout – from the specially commissioned Pugin-inspired furniture in the Gallery, to the drapery in the Drawing Room that was adapted from an archived 18th-century French brocatelle and re-woven on traditional looms, and the bespoke hand-knotted silk and wool rugs in the Grand Hall. The library is lined with over 3,000 leather-bound books sourced from a bunker in Sweden; individual pages from an original mid-1800s political satire book of cartoons, found in a flea market, have been framed and hang along the corridors.
‘We are always trying to imbue a sense of history and interest through bespoke pieces. It’s the objects that add to the narrative’
‘There is much that I find rewarding about my work, but I get the most thrill out of sourcing those final items that make a space personal,’ says Kim, who spent many happy hours hunting for treasures in auction houses, markets and antique shops as a child. ‘We are always trying to imbue a sense of history and interest through bespoke pieces with integrity. It’s the objects that add to the narrative, the personality of the clients, as well as the building itself, which tells the complete story.’ Since that first hospitality success there have been many more for Kim Partridge, including Moor Park, a Grade I-listed Palladian mansion and country club in Hertfordshire, and the Royal Norwich Golf Club, which bagged the runner up position in last year’s Golf Inc World Development of the Year awards.
In-progress projects include a new-build development on an enchanting heritage site in Devon, a contemporary residential new-build in Dublin and the interior restoration of The Bearsden Club in Glasgow, where the neoclassical clubhouse was recently devastated by fire. ‘Our work there is centred on maintaining the building’s strong historical references whilst bringing warmth, a touch of modernity and new commercial life to the club,’ she explains. The practice is also about to complete on the Padel Club at Adare Manor, which features padel tennis courts, a golf simulator, pool and fitness studio. Whether it’s a sensitive renovation or a contemporary new build, an entire building or a single suite, every project is led and ultimately brought to life by Kim and Ultan. ‘With every project we try to layer in personality, realising the aspirations of the client through really understanding them – and working to ensure that we always exceed expectations.’
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