Green and pleasant
Natural materials bring calm to this London house. Find out how to get the look
‘I’m obsessed with green and loved the idea of using colour to link the different spaces, and to bring in the magnificent view of the garden’
The home of British fashion editor Deborah Brett
and her film director husband Tom Edmunds is warm, welcoming and effortlessly glamorous – much like Deborah herself, who is a senior contributing editor at Red magazine and online title Wardrobe Icons, as well as a founding member of The Fashion Trust, a mentoring scheme for new British design talent.
The couple share their home with their three children – Phineas (eight), Hermione (six) and Ottilie (three) – and Beckett the cat. ‘Tom and I lived in the house quite happily for ten years before we became a family,’ Deborah says. ‘But once the children came along we needed more of an open-plan flow. We wanted a fuss-free, homely space where we could entertain, but also one where the kids could jump on the sofas, build cushion forts and play table tennis tournaments without inflicting too much damage.’ The plan to reorder the ground floor became a major project, and the couple has since extended the old basement level to the full footprint of the house and excavated a second basement level. ‘ We now have a flat for our nanny, a guest toilet, a utility room, a gym and games room, as well as the most wonderful bar and wood-panelled cinema.’
London-based South African interior designer Hubert Zandberg was commissioned to bring their ideas for the décor to life. ‘ We’ve long loved his irreverent, energetic and highly textural aesthetic,’ Deborah says. The vibrant greens used throughout were inspired by a fern-print fabric designed by fashion duo Clements Ribeiro. ‘They are dear friends of mine, and so they kindly agreed to print some extra fabric for us to upholster the armchair and footstool in the living room,’ Deborah says. This, together with the Fermoie cotton that Deborah wanted to use as curtains in the living areas, sets the tone. Hubert’s own signature style is betrayed in the mix of pieces taken from disparate design eras and genres: a 1960s Italian bamboo chair sits beside industrial shelving filled with Belgian, British and Moroccan ceramics. ‘There’s a slight retro feel to the space, but it’s held together by the predominance of natural materials,’ he says.
Hubert created different ‘experiences’ within each of the rooms of the house, to reflect their function, but they are all underpinned by the palette of green and blue. The colour experience starts in the hallway, which is defined by soft French blue wallpaper and woodwork, and becomes more intense in the kitchen-living space, where the predominant tone is forest green. The dining room is an airy pause before the dark drama of the décor in the cinema and gym on the lower basement levels. ‘ We accentuated the darkness by creating a sense of old-world charm – one of descending “below stairs” in a grand mansion.’ To this end, you’ll find vintage wooden bars in the gym, a wall of threedimensional rosewood panelling in the cinema, and a glass-backed cocktail bar. It all works wonderfully and allows for a sense of privacy without compromising the family-friendly feel. hzinteriors.com
From sea greens to swathes of oak, natural colours and textures bring calm to hectic family life in this London home, inspired by its charming English country garden
FAMILY TIME An aged oak herringbone floor by Walking on Wood flows throughout the openplan living area. The armchair and footstool are upholstered in fern fabric by Clements Ribeiro. The shelving was sourced from Clignancourt flea market, Paris, while the high-backed bamboo chair was unearthed at a market in Belgium. At the window hangs a length of pale green ‘Barmillion’ fabric by Fermoie. The green Moroccan vases on the shelving unit were picked up at Habibi Interiors. Stockist details on p245