I've long had a love of all things English- perhaps it's a result of having grown up in a family of Anglophiles. Lately, however, I've been particularly drawn to the British homes that I've seen featured in various magazines. I don't really know why. Perhaps it was the "Anglomania" exhibit at the Costume Institute last year? Or perhaps the whole English look just feels "right" right now.
I'm especially taken with this London flat, designed by Robert Kime. Yes, the home is somewhat formal and grand, but to me it seems comfortable nonetheless. The walls in the main room (which consists of living, dining, and music areas) are a custom color created by Kime- he likens the blue/gray/rose color to a three-week-old bruise! Despite the sickly connotation of this comparison, the walls are a perfect backdrop for the fine antiques and richly patterned fabrics that are used here. Of course, the fabrics are sublime, but one would expect that from Kime, who is also a textile designer. What I find interesting is that used on their own these prints can be rather bold and a bit distracting, but here they are really quite subtle. The mix seems to give the flat a depth of character, and isn't that really what good design is all about?
The living area of the main room with the bruise colored walls.
The dining area of the main room shows Kime's deft use of pattern (I believe the dining chairs are upholstered in Kime's "Peacock" ikat print, the sofa to the right in "Chenille Stripe", and the sofa on the back wall is in "Long Runner"). The narrow mirrors hanging on either side of the portrait were added to create "internal architecture", according to Kime.
A very orderly and symmetrical vignette.
More images of the flat. Note the top right picture which shows the extremely modern and minimal kitchen in the background. Quite a contrast from the rest of the home.
Image at top: The music room area of the main room with a Flemish tapestry on the wall. The chairs are upholstered in Kime's "Harlequin" print.
(All images from the October issue of British House & Garden; Simon Upton photographer)