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London Calling: Part 1

I know it’s been ages since I’ve blogged. I was swamped with the Interior Design Show at the start of the year and I never seem to be able to catch up after that! And I’ve been travelling quite a bit for work. The good news is that I’ve come back armed with lots of great design stories. One of my favourite experiences was the Kravet Canada trip to the U.K. for London Design Week a few weeks ago.

London was as inspiring as always, and my visit to the townhouse of jewelry designer to the stars Jessica McCormack was a definite highlight. Her jewelry designs are totally unique and she showcases them in her stellar house in Mayfair, giving clients a unique shopping experience as they browse amongst her fascinating collection of artwork and furniture. Here are some of my favourite photos from her gorgeous live/work townhouse:

These are a few of the designers I was travelling with pulling up in front of Jessica’s gorgeous Edwardian home. That’s Richard Ouelette from Les Ensembliers snapping a shot of the building at the same time as me while sporting a snappy green bag from Want Les Essentiels de la Vie that I coveted the entire trip!

The front entry featured stunning panelling in a matte finish that complemented the olive green runner beautifully. Jessica worked with the Haas Brothers to create the dramatic candelabra. Its polished gold finish and slumped fused glass shades have a Dr. Suess-like impact in the stairwell, adding playful contrast to the more serious panelling.

Here’s a detail of the intricate tile work on the floor.

I posted this shot on Instagram while I was there. The David Wiseman-designed ceiling fixture (made of bronze, porcelain and crystal components) hangs from a giant medallion in the front room. It was total whimsy — light and feminine, like woodland magic.

Everywhere you turned there was a spectacular vignette. I love how designer Rick Owens used a single antler as a backrest on this bench, called Tomb, Stag, Bench. The painting is by Axel Geis.

There were several fireplaces in the house and each one was spectacularly appointed. The one in Jessica’s office featured a pinkish marble and the painting, Amazon Lily by Valérie Belin, played off of it beautifully. With all the colour and layers in the artwork, fewer things are needed on the mantel.

Look at the scale of this oval mirror. It was like looking through a doorway.

Moving from light and airy to dark and cosy, the second floor drawing room was a complete contrast from downstairs. It’s a perfect example of how you can play with different styles and palettes in a single space.

The deep blue walls looked like Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue (30), ideal for rich, luxurious impact. I love how the French walnut console in the corner looks perfectly at home with the prototype leather chair and the Anne Hardy print over the fireplace.

The chevron floors were to die for. The highlight in here was the custom electric player piano by Based Upon. Its cool ’70s vibe had a vintage yet contemporary feel. You can see the keys are working their magic. Apparently it plays customizable playlists from your iPhone. The Brazilian hardwood barstools are by Joaquim Tenreiro, the top left painting is by Susanne Johansson, the bottom left by Axel Geis, and the painting over mantle is by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Here’s a quick panorama of the room:

This dramatic curved bentwood olive ash shelf filled one of the corners. It’s Irish designer Joseph Walsh’s Enignum Shelf V1.

Here’s another Instagram photo I posted, a simple grouping at one end of another fireplace. I love how the posie looks like it’s about to make the terracotta head (by artist Charles Weddepohl) sneeze.

The secret jewel in the entire place was the powder room wrapped in a stunning olive-green fauna wallpaper and paired with coordinating fabric, crisp marble and brass accents. The dark wood toilet seat, with a concealed space-saving cistern, felt so new (even though it’s anything but).

The leaded glass window behind the vanity added more pattern and privacy.

The antique faucets made the vanity.

And the pineapple ‘welcome symbol’ sconces were the perfect finishing touch. The whole room renewed my passion for coordinating fabrics and wallpaper.

Stay tuned for other highlights from my travels in upcoming H&H issues and blog posts!

Photo credits:
1a. Vanityfair.co.uk
1b. Coolspotters.com
1c. Marlow 35 blog
2-18. Suzanne Dimma