I may live my life with plane and train tickets stashed in the old Moroccan bowl I use as my In-Tray (I go into withdrawals if I don’t have a ticket to somewhere lurking in there), but as much as I love to travel both for work and pleasure, I love to come home. There is nothing like having your own comfortable nest, a place that’s all about you.
I believe your home should reflect your life — your hobbies, interests, family life, collections, pleasures and aspirations. I always encourage my clients to help me make their house their home. We make collections out of their possessions, paint walls their favourite colours, and frame their family photos. We blend the dining table left to them by their great-aunt with contemporary chairs and the rug they carried back from Marrakech. We re-frame and re-hang their pictures, and fill in the gaps with flea market finds, artwork from contemporary artists, vintage furniture and a few new pieces. And beautifully made curtains and blinds (even if the fabric is a dropcloth!) I don’t have a “design style”. You won’t walk into a room decorated by me and say “That’s an Adrienne Chinn interior”. I want my clients to walk into a finished room and say “This is me.”
Well, this is me. Almost everything comes from flea markets, ebay, Morocco, new artists, and hand-me-downs from friends and family. I can remember the story behind every find and purchase: the 1960s Lloyd Loom chair my ex-boyfriend and I carried back on the train from Norfolk, the Moroccan rugs I squashed into my suitcase in Marrakech, the Art Deco dog sculpture that the young French guy I bought it from at a London antiques fair lugged over from Paris (it weighs a ton) and I lugged from Battersea to Balham by foot, bus and train. The pair of late 19th century photographs of geishas in their original hand-lacquered frames I found, coated in dust, at the back of an antiques barn. The enormous original 1920s print of the dancer Lydia Fedowa I saw on the wall of the Battersea Art Fair and immediately fell in love with, arranging to pay for her in installments over a 6-month period. All of these possessions are part of my story. My home is small, eclectic and a bit cluttered (I admit). It is my place to manifest my loves, as odd and disparate as they may be. And in my home, as in your home, that is as it should be.