Inspiration from Selfridges’ perfume counter

Fashion designer Tom Ford unwittingly inspired this luxurious kitchen in a refurbished townhouse

To be an interior designer is to be constantly on the lookout for fabrics, furniture and ideas. Every shopping spree is a scouting trip, every venue visited is assessed and filed away in case it should be required in some future project. And so it was that, while out sniffing perfume in Selfridges, Sophie Paterson came across the perfect look for a client’s kitchen.
“I got the idea for combining macassar ebony with smoked mirror and marble from Tom Ford’s makeup boutique,” she laughs. “Initially, the client wanted walnut and stainless steel but I felt this would be too industrial for the sole dining area. I urged her to consider more glamorous options.” As soon as she spotted the fashion designer/film director’s lush beauty concession, she knew she had found the combination she was looking for. “I sent the client a picture and immediately we both knew we had the perfect materials for a dream kitchen.”
Sophie has spent the last two years immersed in the transfor­ma­tion of this five-storey white stucco townhouse that once belonged to David Bowie. An espresso cup’s throw from London’s King’s Road, it was built in the 1860s and has been a fashionable address since the first foundations were sunk. When her Scottish clients, two high-powered international lawyers, called her in, they had already been living there for about 18 months.
They loved the super-central location, on a beautiful street between the Thames, Chelsea and Knightsbridge. The lush architecture and the lavishly proportioned rooms were all in its favour. But they wanted to live in it, to learn their way around and get a feel for the way they would ideally like to use the space, before they started stripping the wallpaper.
“It was in an acceptable state of repair but it hadn’t been renovated to a very luxurious standard,” Sophie recalls. “The basement was a warren of small, unusable rooms, and the main bedroom was too small and its bathroom was too large.”
The couple found Sophie via their project manager, who had heard of her from a manufacturer. “They wanted to work with a designer who would understand their taste and interpret their ideas without giving them a standardised look,” she says. “They wanted the furniture to look as if it had been collected over the years rather than all installed at once, reusing some…

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 200-216, issue 101.

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Photography Ray Main
Words Stephanie Murphy