This client was firm in the view that he didn’t want a “TV room” – he was after a real cinema. Inspired by the Electric Cinema, in Notting Hill, I therefore set about creating a luxurious and functional screening room. George Smith were commissioned to build the exact same armchairs and a giant “banquette” on the front row, everything upholstered in a velvet for extra indulgence. The space had originally been a derelict pig barn (circa 300-years old) and it was therefore no small challenge to re-build and insulate it fully for acoustics. US firm HomeTech oversaw the technical requirements and, having previously worked on projects for both Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas, mentioned that this was the “most spectacular private cinema” that they had ever undertaken – What a compliment!
A quintessential Tudor hall, nestled deep in the Sussex hills, this property had belonged to the same family for many years. Heavily beamed and complete with flagstone floors and small mullioned-windows, the house was in desperate need of updating and, upon the arrival of a strong-willed new chatelaine, I was instructed to begin a year-long program to refresh and embellish the property. This is a multi-layered and multi-faceted house, very much lived in by the owners, an assortment of dogs and children; it is constantly changing and being adapted.
Following a fire in which the original homestead was all but incinerated, a new building was commissioned to act as the centre for the Australian branch of the family’s thoroughbred operation. Located at the centre of a 50,000 acre farm, the Hunter Valley hills marching into the distance, the new homestead was designed by architect Michael Bell, inline with the country’s Victorian heritage; single-story with high ceilings and wide verandas. Internally a very English aesthetic was applied, importing most furnishings from the UK. The family’s racing livery (a deep blue) was used throughout, acting as a base for the evolving colour schemes.
A chic “pied-à-terre” was my brief for this mini palace in the heart of central London. Originally a humble mews, the property was completely gutted and re-built internally, and a basement was dug to provide extra space. I then needed to give the property some character and asked master-joiner Brian Capewell to erect sharply detailed timber panelling throughout the main reception floor. Thereafter I sourced 200 year-old parquet flooring and reclaimed grey and white marble tiles from France. Finally, juxtaposing styles, a very modern “floating” timber and glass staircase was installed, providing a contrast to the more traditional furnishings. The kitchen was designed with Plain English, and the bathrooms by Drummond’s.