Residents (Past) – Arielle Belgravia, Leo Belgravia,
ARIELLE BELGRAVIA PURCHASES A PALACE IN THE SKY
The triplex penthouse that came on the market 6 months ago in the prestigious ‘Breach House’ was one that interested many of you architectural buffs. The said penthouse was snatched up by one of the most unlikely of buyers; Miss Arielle Belgravia, daughter of world famous actress Lily Belgravia and top Bridgeport financier and CEO of Belgravia Industries International Chace Belgravia. Miss Belgravia has been off the Bridgeport scene for some months now, having held a position at one of the countries elite private schools, The Howland School for Girls.
We were all interested to see if Miss Belgravia would follow the previous owners in the traditional style of the apartment, with oak floors, oak panelling, and (before the owners removed them; see Article 64, June 1997) the classic furniture which brought it all together. We were lucky enough to be granted what we have been promised will be the only photo spread of the newly furnished apartment. Arriving at the towering apartment block on 1101 Bayshore Highway I felt a little intimidated, the building has been home to some of Bridgeport’s top monetary elite, and I counted no less than 1 million dollars worth of jewels on the several mink clad women that passed by me as I crossed the lobby. Riding the elevator to the 25th floor I must admit I was a little nervous, would she have done the apartment justice? That’s what we’re here to find out.
The entrance of her apartment is stunning in itself. After passing through a large grille gate (which, according to local gossip her mother insisted upon for her daughters security) I entered the classic, simple white door that led me into a shocking hallway. The colours alone are enough to make your mind spin, with a harsh black and white floor, which I noticed followed through to both the kitchen and the living area.
The built in book cases help to fill the room while cancelling the need for pictures on the very busy walls. On closer inspection of these bookcases it seems Miss Belgravia has exceptional taste, with a penchant for novels of the French variety. A rare Socratic bust is framed in the beautiful post-war window which floods the hallway with light during the day.
The kitchen is definitely a first in a building of this sort, the original kitchen was ripped out when Miss Belgravia took residence, and replaced with a startling modern version. The original stone walls, revealed when the kitchen panelling (a lighter shade than used throughout the rest of the house) allows the modern counters and cabinets to really stand out, and a central glass island breaks up the large space and allows for those friendly chats with a hot chocolate that we all love.
Through an original archway, which Miss Belgravia was required to keep (but claims she likes anyway, and would not have had them pulled out) is the utilities area, yes not the most exciting of areas but, as always, we over at Architectural Digest cover every aspect (that the owners allow us to) of an apartment. Obviously, this area is home to the washer and dryer of the house (a rare commodity for city dwellers, no laundromat needed here!), but in the true party girl style that we all know and love her for, Miss Belgravia opted not only to rent a wine cellar on the basement level like most of the residents of the building, she also opted for 3 wine racks on this level, so if she ever needs a drink one isn’t more than a few feet away.
The living room is another huge change from the Bartlett apartment (Article 64, June 1997). The oak panelling has been stripped bare, revealing the stone walls which have been left unpainted on two main walls, and the other two painted a neutral cream/white, giving the space much more of a loft feel. Miss Belgravia loves to settle down in here with a good book or a movie, with a cup of her favourite coffee.
The eclectic furniture gives us a real insight into her personality and taste, with purposely mismatched furniture, fur rugs on the cold checker board floor that follows through from the hallway, and select paintings lit professionally to maximise their effect. Issues of Vogue battle for space against the complete works of Keats and Shakespeare on the central coffee table, which appears to be the base for everything Miss Belgravia loves. A beautiful grand piano is available for use next to the door leading to the terrace, which has both city and sea views. An original, signed guitar from popular rock band ‘Talbot’ lays at the foot of a 200 year old sculpture, based on Botticelli.
A 1950’s pin up girl vys for wall space with a classical religious painting, rumoured to have been painted by a student of Da Vinci. The contrast portrayed throughout the main room of the house (what Miss Belgravia calls ‘the hub’) is a huge part of the integrity of the apartment, symbolising how young Miss Belgravia hopes to live comfortably with her other more traditional, usually older neighbours, and how the old and the new can come together in an effective way.
Contrasting with the light walls, black bookcases (built in) frame the original oak archway which leads to the simple, modern study.
A bright red desk adds a splash of colour to the plain white room, along with another colourful feature, the huge mural behind two ornate glass bookcases featuring another 1950’s girl: Marilyn Monroe. Large windows frame stunning sea views and another terrace offers an even better view.
Stairs (the old wood rails were replaced with sleek glass) in this room lead down to another floor, which is currently being used as Miss Belgravia’s significant others (‘Leo’ a painter whom she met in France) studio, where she tells us he spends most of the day, painting. The studio is a truly cavernous room, made even more so by the lack of any significant furniture or use of colour, and the huge windows letting in more light than most of you city dwellers ever see in your entire apartment.
As you know, however much we would have liked to detail every bedroom of Miss Belgravia’s triplex penthouse, there are only so many pages in the magazine, and of course, the master suite took precedence over 4 (you heard right) other guest rooms. Plain white walls and floor are the backdrop for this eclectic room, which is almost a botanical garden in the seating area.
One of her seemingly favourite features, the built in bookcase, continues in this room, framing the white heart shaped bed and also containing many rare books of the French variety.
The seating area is yet another homage to the eclectic tastes of Miss Belgravia, with soft, comfortable chairs alongside sharp, seemingly self supporting end tables, under which more classic novels fight for space with the novel of today: the magazine (this time it’s GQ), a classic red rose sits over the way from a huge orchid (possibly the largest we’ve ever photographed) and a Chanel purse is guarded by an ancient Chinese dragon. She say’s this is the place she likes to read most, and who can blame her with those stunning views of the sea (slightly obstructed by construction work, but that’s a price you pay to live in the city).
Overall, in my opinion, Miss Belgravia’s triplex penthouse is one of the most unique and beautiful in the city. The overwhelmingly eclectic, and perhaps you may even allow me to call it eccentric taste just reveals how bold she really is. One of the oldest and most elite buildings of the city, with names straight from The Social Register has been rocked by the arrival of this new celebrity. With her man in tow (who has done some amazing paintings while in residence here) she seemingly has everything she wants. A ridiculous price tag was attached to the apartment, which Miss Belgravia is not willing to disclose, but if you had the money would you not want to live here? Although we personally love the apartment, what makes this magazine is you. What do you think of her apartment? Thanks for reading, and remember, if you’re born into an extremely rich and privileged family, you can have all this too.
– Caroline Garons