Back in 2010, I was wowed by a World of Interiors article (August, 2010) that featured the London apartment of designer Christopher Leach. The term "jewel box" is becoming overused when describing small apartments and homes, but Leach's flat really was like a jewel box, and a very elegantly appointed one at that. For the past few years, I've been hoping to find other magazine articles in which his work appears, and now my wait is over thanks to the March issue of British House & Garden.
This time, the featured project is a London townhouse decorated by Leach for his client, a Texan currently living in London. The client wanted "the feeling of a country house in London-English without the chintz." I think that Leach succeeded as the home has a strong British flavor to it, one that is masculine and dignified as well. But what really struck me is how the home's interior looks as though it was decorated over many years when in fact that's not the case. Somehow, Leach managed to design rooms that appear to have patina and age to them, and yet they're clean and crisp-looking too. That's a difficult balance to strike.
In a world where so many homes are "all hat and no cattle" (to borrow the old Texas phrase), it's nice to see a home that has both flair and substance.
All photos from British House & Garden, March 2012, Simon Brown photographer.