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Meet the architect behind Heathrow VIP

Sammy Wickins from Helen Green Design has worked on some of the capital’s most luxurious interiors. Here, she reveals the style secrets behind the sumptuous designs

In the beginning

When I was a child living in the countryside, I used to design clothes using those old-school Vogue pattern templates, cutting metres of fabric. Sadly my sewing skills let me down so that endeavour was perhaps my first fail, but it sparked my initial fascination with understanding pattern, colour and texture.

On the drawing board

We recently designed the new Crescent Suite at The Berkeley hotel, but there are many projects happening on the residential side – some luxury residential projects in London, and we are also in the midst of several other sizeable projects including a shooting lodge, country retreat, a barn conversion in the northwest and extensive family homes in Australia and Russia.

Out now

We were asked by Heathrow VIP to create a lounge space that feels like a luxurious home away from home, but at the same time is very much in keeping with their target clients – first-class travellers who choose to bypass the conventional airport experience. The experience is seamless, so our careful consideration of the space had to be likewise. For guests using it prior to a departure or for a connecting flight, it not only had to be a comfortable living space for working and relaxing but also suitable for dining and even entertaining. We created a dining space befitting of a meal by Heathrow VIP’s Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton: a bespoke table crafted from dark oak, adorned with Helen Green Design Collection Dandy chairs, that comfortably seats four people with the option of an additional two diners. A palette of glamorous golds and deep blues is complemented by artwork from Tanya Baxter Contemporary.

At the pinnacle

Design is an evolving process and our studio style is diverse and unique. That being said, I am incredibly proud of the recently completed Kensington penthouse project we’ve worked on. It has cleverly concealed storage in beautiful joinery units as well as a wonderful mix to the soft furnishings.

In your space

I recently purchased a stunning De Castelli Celato sideboard. I love it as it combines beauty with practical function. The bronze finish wraps around the entire piece which was important as it sits in a bay window and the back of it is visible. We also invested in a David Yarrow photographic piece which I am a huge fan of and enjoy immensely.

From the source

Our design aesthetic can stem from the architecture of any specific project we are working on, ranging from the contemporary to very traditional Grade I listed in style. We are known for paying particular attention to scale and blending luxurious textures and fabrics into our designs. We are greatly influenced by art, travel and nature, but being a very creative team we often inspire and influence each other, pushing the boundaries in our design work and process.

On the radar

The autumn involves the international interior exhibitions which I always attend with our design studio. Decorex, PAD and Frieze Art Fair are a huge source of inspiration and exciting new designers.

For more info, see

For more on Heathrow VIP, see