Softly sculp­tural

In­te­rior de­signer Al­le­gra Hicks has used a gen­tle pal­ette and del­i­cate tex­tiles to trans­form this gallery-like Lon­don house into a fam­ily home

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News - Words PIP MCCORMAC Pho­tog­ra­phy HELENIO BARBETTA/LIV­ING IN­SIDE Styling CHIARA DAL CANTO

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

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