See more of the world’s best homes on our dedicated page

Irene Gunter of interior architecture firm Gunter 
& Co (opens in new tab), the designer behind this extensive renovation, is a great advocate of curves. ‘They relate to the concept of biophilia; human beings respond much better to soft shapes rather than harsh lines and corners, so introducing rounded forms contributes 
to a feeling of comfort and belonging,’ she observes.  The homeowner, Snowy Li, who shares the 
house with her husband, Barry Wen, is equally enthusiastic. ‘The curves soften the rooms and give the schemes an almost art-deco feel,’ she notes. Snowy and Barry are a young, dynamic Chinese couple who work as a fashion designer and entrepreneur respectively, and they travel 
extensively both for business and leisure. Their global outlook informed the brief for this house.  
‘We have stayed in a lot of wonderful hotels and these have really helped us to define what we want from a home,’ recounts Snowy.  She continues, 
‘We know, for example, how important lighting 
is to us. We love soft, warm light and rooms 
that exude a sense of luxury.’ When Irene pressed the pair to define their notion of luxury, beautiful stones immediately came into the conversation. ‘Barry and I both grew up in Beijing where marbles are key; they always feature on the floors and in the kitchens,’ explains Snowy. The couple particularly loved an unusual, patchwork-like Patagonia granite that Irene suggested, and this exotic stone plays a starring role as the splashback 
in the kitchen on the lower ground floor. 

See more: Inside the Obamas’ house: tour Barack and Michelle’s new Martha’s Vineyard home

Snowy jokes that prior to the pandemic, their home was one of the most sociable houses in Chelsea.  ‘Barry and I never used to cook much but with this wonderful kitchen we’ve experimented with every 
type of cuisine: Chinese, Brazilian, African, Italian and English,’ she enthuses, adding, ‘when you 
have such a beautiful space, you want to get your friends over to spend time in it.’  Eye-catching stones continue to weave a thread through the house, from matt white Palissandro marble for the sinuous base of the dining table to translucent alabaster for the table lamp in the master bedroom. Snowy’s go-to interiors palette is predominantly pale but Irene encouraged her to embrace subtle touches of colour: gentle blues, greens, golds and pinks, complemented with accents of warm antiqued bronze.  The hues give energy to the rooms, enhancing the classic architecture that includes ornate cornicing and panelling – details Irene reinstated to give another layer of character to the spaces. Even 
the shower in the master bathroom has a beautiful bowed glass screen, designed to echo the lines 
of the vanity unit on the opposite wall.  The entire first floor forms an indulgent master suite and here Snowy’s favourite room is the master bathroom. ‘I can simply stand and look at it for 
a few minutes every day, it is so dreamy,’ she says.  The scheme sees panels lined with cloud-patterned wallpaper by Fornasetti, complemented with oversized scallop-shaped sconces and a free-standing bath – perfectly curved, of course – that is centred 
on the window to enjoy views of the garden. Words/Rachel Leedham