Mad Men in Highgate: rent your way to the 1960s
- Credit: Archant
Look inside this Modernist, exclusively furnished penthouse apartment with skyline views that conjures up images of Don Draper and the sleek charm of the sixties, for rent in Highgate.
Sat high on Shepherds Hill, on the top floor of Altior Court, this postwar Modernist flat is finally coming into its own. Furnished with original pieces, the clean simplicity and practical design of the midcentury movement comes together in this harmonious home, worthy of the lush interiors seen on Mad Men.
Sleek, charming and commonly found around Highgate, Modernism is a product of the postwar era. Its characteristic proportion, space and light is designed for urban living, with practical implementations such as garbage shoots, garages, ample storage and immaculate lobbies.
Owner Peter Watson is one of many who has been charmed by the clean lines and soft curves of Modernism. A mid-century architecture and design enthusiast, he has been collecting furniture, objects and paintings of the era for over 15 years. Reluctant to have these rare pieces hidden away in storage, he furnished the apartment from his own original collection.
“At night, the skyline lights up,” Watson says. “It feels a bit like Manhattan.” With floor-to-ceiling windows and a south-facing terrace looking over the city, it’s with this idea of 1960s New York that Watson put the flat together. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine Don Draper sat by the giant windows, sipping a whisky from the twin cocktail cabinets.
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A unique opportunity for design lovers and nostalgics alike, the flat comes with original pieces of British, Scandinavian and French Modernist furniture.There’s a solid teak library including two cocktail cabinets by Poul Cadovius, legendary Danish designer, stylish bedroom furniture by Henry Stone, a wall of 12 floor-to-ceiling Elco mirrors reflecting the city skyline, coffee tables by John and Sylvia Reid and more.
While Watson’s passion for Modernism is evident, what is so remarkable about these designs? “Firstly, they use great materials, it’s all rosewood, teak,” he says. “It’s all handmade and uses modern designs, so while it uses traditional materials it feels modern. It’s very high quality.”
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And Watson is not alone in his appreciation. As Modernism is experiencing a revival, the interiors and designs are increasingly sought after. Highgate boasts some of the best modernist architecture in Britain, says Watson, “North London is one of the areas where some of the most interesting domestic architecture has been permitted.”
Altior Court, Highgate, N6, £460 per week
Anscombe & Ringland / 020 8340 2600