Stucco town houses in Stanley Gardens, W11
Long before Notting Hill became synonymous with that godawful movie and the banker-wanker (and their status anxiety riddled wives) it had an association with artists and bohemian culture since the 1820s.
Part of the allure, undoubtedly, is its large light filled Victorian houses; originally designed as single family dwellings with room for some live in help. By the 1950s, the majority had been hacked into bedsits and, later on, flats. The boom of the late 90s saw a great many of them restored to single family dwellings. Some have even had their basements dug lower to accommodate lap pools. Needless to say, the long time residents find this akin to heresy. I tend to look on it much the same as Mrs. Parrish looked on a steak and lobster dinner, so Hollywood.
There are still some pockets of interesting people. It has been my good fortune to work for one of them. Here are some snippets of the late night room I did for him.
Mirrors needn't always go in the most obvious of places. A particularly good Icon of John the Baptist hangs above a woodpecker by Rowland Ward from the Benacre Hall sale.
Two more pieces of taxidermy by Rowland Ward from the Benacre Hall sale.
A Billy Baldwin Nantucket sofa, the body done in leather with the cushions done in mohair. The throw across the back is an antique Sammi quilt. Four versions of Saint Apollonia (patron saint of dentists), purchased to bring the rest of the religious art into a more current context, gaze out from above the sofa.
Early 19th Century Podicherry angels with instruments hang above the fireplace. While the client liked them, they rose even higher in his estimation when he found them far superior to the ones in the Mayfair offices of Air India.
Hilarious because it is ridiculous yet cringingly real.
Now playing: Sarah Vaughan - Deep Purple