‘My de­sign has a cer­tain the­atri­cal­ity’

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

me be­cause they want some­thing dif­fer­ent. My de­sign has a cer­tain the­atri­cal­ity and play­ful­ness. It tells a story,” he says.

De­spite the down-to-earth lo­ca­tion, off the usual beaten track for A-list ac­tresses and su­per­mod­els, Carter’s house has hosted an ex­tra­or­di­nary num­ber of fa­mous names. He­len Mir­ren and Or­lando Bloom are among a long list of ac­tors to have filmed there, Emeli Sandé and Paloma Faith are some of the many to have shot mu­sic videos in the house, and hun­dreds of fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phers have helped it grace front cov­ers all over the world. Many other vis­i­tors pass through its the­atri­cal cor­ri­dors for monthly event nights, in­clud­ing Bed­time Story Nights that see them spilling out on to the pave­ments in their py­ja­mas.

Also known as the “mi­cro bou­tique ho­tel” 40 Winks (40winks.org), this quirky three-bed­room house, built in 1717, is one of the old­est in Lon­don. When Carter bought it 20 years ago, for £149,999 from the Spi­tal­fields His­toric Build­ing Trust, it was near derelict. “It had never had any heat­ing be­yond the fire­places and the only run­ning wa­ter was the rain that poured in from the roof. You could sit in the kitchen and look up to see the sky,” says Carter, whose (now ex) wife was preg­nant with their first child at the time. He spent two years and huge sums ren­o­vat­ing the ruin, partly fi­nanced by a grant from the Her­itage Trust.

“In the Six­ties, the house was used as a laun­derette, and after that sim­ply for stor­age, so much of the orig­i­nal pan­elling and stair­cases sur­vived. The East End was never a fash­ion­able place to live, so houses in this area avoided mod­erni­sa­tion in the Fifties and Six­ties that saw peo­ple rip­ping out all the orig­i­nal fea­tures,” says Carter. He pre­served and re­stored what he could and turned the rest into the most ex­otic of fam­ily homes.

He com­mis­sioned Timna Wool­lard, the dec­o­ra­tive painter – whose chi­nois­erie de­signs can be seen on the walls of The Wolse­ley – to paint his kitchen in the late Re­nais­sance style of Rome’s Palazzo Sac­chetti. The mood­ily cloudy sky on the ceil­ing is also echoed in the mu­sic room higher up the build­ing, adorned with a chan­de­lier made from

The house in Bow was com­pletely re­stored, main; the op­u­lent bath­room with gold walls, be­low

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