Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My London Flat




What? You didn't know that I have a flat in London? Well, actually I don't, but I'd love to own one someday. And I always say that if I do obtain a London home, I will most certainly decorate it in a very British manner. I know, some might say how boring or expected, while others might think "damn American trying to out British the British", but why not? So what would my dream flat look like? Well, probably something like this- the flat of Tom Parr in Eaton Square as featured in Living in Vogue.

Parr, seen above, is the former director of the venerable firm Colefax and Fowler. You might also recognize his name as he used to be the design partner of David Hicks. What I'm taken with is the home's warmth and coziness. As Parr said about his work "When you walk into a room, you should think 'What a lovely atmosphere' and not just notice individual objects." I couldn't agree with him more.



The image at top and above are the dining room/ guest room. Behind Parr you can see the sofa which doubles as a bed. The bookcases are faux bird's eye maple, and there are numerous Indian Raj paintings in the room. The dining table is a Colefax & Fowler design. Also, I think the lighting is close to perfect in this space.


The drawing room walls are covered in a handmade paper inspired by an old damask. The carpet (a pattern called "Rock Savage") is a replica of that in Cholmondeley Castle. Note too the marbled molding. And I think that mossy green velvet sofa with the bullion fringe is terrific. (Remember my post on bullion fringe? This is the way it should be used.)


Beyond the drawing room is the tomato red bedroom. The Colefax velvet sofa turns into a bed. This room is actually my least favorite of the three, and I can't decide if it's because of the ferns in the photo or if it's something about the velvet on the sofa. Or maybe it's the way that shade of green looks against that red. I guess it doesn't really matter because the other two rooms are knock-outs, or at least they are to me.


(All photographs from Living in Vogue by Judy Brittain and Patrick Kinmonth; photographer Snowdon.)

25 comments:

  1. Daniel8:45 AM

    What a beautiful apartment! Thanks for posting this: the trim (leather or felt?) on the bookcase shelves is a great idea, one I have thought of doing myself. And you are right: lighting makes all the difference, especially in a dark apartment, and Parr's looks like it is. His gold lamp shades make a wonderful glow. Funny how everyone seems to be into white these days.

    Love your posts!

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  2. I think in the 3rd room what bothers me is that shade of green against that shade of red. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a daybed in a small city apartment!

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  3. Oh wow. That dining room couldn't be any cozier. It looks like the sofa (banquette?) is tufted leather with Indian print pillows. So I'm in. No one does oranges and reds like the British -- well, except maybe Charleston's Amelia Handegan :)

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  4. This breed of decorating is so unjustly maligned today. It's great to see it. Who could ever get tired of these rooms? The sofa frame in the last photo (or something very close) is currently in "recent acquisitions" at colefaxantiques.com

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  5. No doubt that this is a great apartment. I think that there are two things going on in the third room that detract from its impact: the lighting is way too strong in the photo and the second fern on the occasional/coffee table is too much. Otherwise, this is the peak of "traditional" design. Thanks for making me think.

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  6. Jennifer-
    This is one of my favorite homes from the book as well. I especially love the carpet! My dream flat would also scream British as well!

    David @ Ashfield Hnasen Design

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  7. Tom Parr's work is excellent, but seldom mentioned in the style blogs and I never understood this omission.
    Thanks for reminding us of those lovely rooms in
    Eaton Square.

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  8. I knew that I would find others who agree with me about Parr's flat. I don't understand why people look down their noses at this style of decorating. It's utterly terrific- very stylish, sophisticated, and warm.

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  9. Jennifer-


    Brilliant post.
    I think the tone is set by Parr himself, in this portrait by Snowdon. He looks so relaxed, so civilized, so much a result of private schools.

    There's a reason this kind of decoration endures in London--it works for the climate, the light (dull in winter) and entertaining.
    See you in San Francisco.
    cheers, www.thestylesaloniste.com

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  10. Do people, in fact, look down their noses at something like this? Everything about it seems to me exactly right~an exercise in scale, colour and pattern that displays complete authority. That last room, though
    perhaps a bit strident looking on the digital page, has its walls covered in a ripe tomato coloured textured fabric~less orange than it appears. I have seen other images of this flat, and the Rocksavage carpet, along with the double damask patterned walls of the drawing room, are considerably less foxy in tone and the dominant colors are soft reds and stone greys.
    Photography distorts, so too does printing, and the truth about a room's colouring is lost so much of the time.

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  11. Mr Parr was one of the people that the late Nancy, Lady Kieth credited with teaching her about decorating. From what I gather he is still very highly respected at Colefax and Fowler.

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  12. Lovely just lovely!

    Talley ho!
    Leslie

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  13. So much the same Colefax amd Fowler proper touches that I noticed in Roger Banks-Pye's handsome decor appointments. The eye falls on nothing in particular as noted and I agree the lighting is perfect. I can't imagine a better place to curl up in a very large comfy chair and read on a cold Winter's Day. I am a complete Anglophile. Great post.

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  14. English design is so handsome and inviting. It never goes out of style. Thoughtful post!

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  15. I'm with you = we BOTH need an apartment in London, and of course one in Paris too!!!!!!

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  16. Mr Parr is just ahead of his time... again. I predict that the posh British look is on the way back in.
    I write about houses and love a minimal architect-design interior but frankly I wouldn't want to live in one! Designer (and blogger)Anna Spiro's house is a lovely modern take on this look -its in the latest Australian Vogue Living.

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  17. I agree...when in England be English! Also, the fringe is divine!

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  18. As always DDS's insights illuminate and inform. I love this look. Didn't know it was looked down upon at the moment!

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  19. Yes, if I would have a flat or a house in the UK I certainly would have a very British interior with a lot of woodpaneling!

    Great post!!

    Greet

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  20. What's there not to like about such a flat that manages to be both sumptuous and cozy?

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  21. Really a great post. Thanks for sharing...............

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  22. Merci pour cette photo de Tom Parr, c'est diffile d'en trouver une... L'homme est aussi élégant que ces intérieurs. Il a été très longtemps l'"ami" de Fulco di Verdura, le créateur de bijoux.

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  23. I LOVE that sofa! Have been searching for a sleep sofa for ages with an elegant line, slim arms. That is it! I have a small early 19th century (1807) home with small rooms.
    Everything today seems so crass, over-scaled arms, blocky shapes.
    Tim Graham
    B Berger

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  24. Tim, I couldn't agree with you more regarding the sofas being sold today. I bought a sleeper sofa for my study about three years ago, and unfortunately it's not in scale with the room. I can't take my eyes off of the too-large arms!

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