Interior designer Allegra Hicks has used a gentle palette and delicate textiles to transform this gallery-like London house into a family home
Interior designer Allegra Hicks’s quiet palette and delicate textiles have transformed this gallery-like London house into a family home
Owned by a keen art collector, this home, hidden behind an unassuming Georgian façade on a peaceful street in London’s Chelsea, is a sharpedged gallery of a property. A shimmering vision of stone, stainless steel and glass, it was created by architect Tony Fretton and has the same arresting quality as the contemporary sculptures that it houses. The task of turning this modern masterpiece into a family home was given to an interior designer with a graceful touch: Allegra Hicks.
Known for her beautiful rugs and wallhangings – she has previously won Best Fabric at the ELLE Decoration British Design Awards – Allegra has added a sense of texture to this space, smoothing its corners and bringing an unexpected feeling of being cocooned to the arching, spacious proportions. Thanks to her sensitive approach, this monumental home feels almost cosy. ‘ The biggest challenge,’ she says, ‘ was making it comfortable, suitable for even the most mundane of moments.’
The house was filled with treasures – including Anish Kapoor’s When I am Pregnant, a white belly-like sculpture that appears to stretch out of the wall in the living room – as well as enviable collections of furniture and Indian artifacts. Allegra’s task was to work with these pieces, bringing a new softness to the setting. Textiles were key, such as the silvery silk carpet from Nepal in the bedroom and the bespoke woollen rug she designed for the living area. ‘I wanted the room to be interesting from whichever direction you look at it,’ she says. Her palette is delicate, comprising greys, grey-blues and grey-yellows – carefully chosen to lighten the space without detracting from the art on display.
Lightness, transparency and harmony were Allegra’s aims, enhancing what was so exciting about this architectural house. She mirrored the steel in the fabric of the building with metal tables in floral shapes and reflected the many windows with glass-topped furniture. The result is a work of art of a different sort – a space with the grandeur of a gallery and all the comforts of home. allegrahicks.com; tonyfretton.com
Portrait Interior designer Allegra Hicks sits on the softly-hued ‘Lantern’ rug she designed specially for this house Living room The central ‘SA05’ coffee table is by Sottsass Associati for Laura Meroni, while the sofas are covered in neutral fabrics by Allegra. The sofa by Julio Katinsky is covered with a 1960s fabric by Silvia Nayla Stockist details on p269