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Kensington Painter's Studio


This small apartment, a former artist's studio, faces the Victoria & Albert Museum across a leafy square. The building tapers to one end, cut by the tube line behind. I gave the main room a sweeping curve to hide the awkward taper, with a central balcony looking from the bedroom over a heavily architectural doorcase. The sofa is covered in a cut-up Suzani.


I painted the walls a Victorian Etruscan red, and covered the client's own wing chair in a small weave, with buttons mounted on rosettes of red felt which earned it the nickname Memorial Man as they looked like poppies. I gave the window seat Soanesque, turned finials with incised wavy lines.


The entrance door was draped with an Indian Bagh embroidery; on the wall was a rare madder-dyed Kuba appliqué cloth. We got all these antique textile treasures from Joss Graham. The very architectural, red cabinet held TV and stereo.


The studio window had such a high sill that my client could not see the beautiful view. I built her the raised window seat/bookcase so that she could sit and look out; the steps pulled out to give access to much-needed storage for suitcases. The huge curtains were bordered with camel coat stuff with big handstitching, with gauzy Indian saris behind.


The tiny mezzanine bedroom had a balcony view of the dome of the V&A. I designed the slightly mad, vaguely heraldic, stencilled wall pattern, and the elaborately appliquéd bed.