Can you tell us about the project?
This Venetian canal-side palazzo is a very special house that is steeped in history and which, like Venice itself, has evolved and changed over time. My scheme for the house reflects these changes and whilst the first floor pays homage to the traditional grandeur of Venetian homes the apartment on the upper floors is altogether more modern.
The lower floor features rich colour throughout, can you explain the ideas behind the use of colour here?
Grand Venetian houses traditionally featured opulent interiors, full of rich, dark colours, incredible textiles and embroideries, and other treasures that were the product of Venice’s unique position at the centre of trade between east and west. Rooms were often gloomy with curtains drawn. I have played with that tradition here in the lower sitting room by using the same rich teal colour on the walls, the floor and the sofa and highlighting it only with gold. It’s a technique that only really works in a darker room such as this and only when other colours are kept to a minimum.
In contrast on the upper floors the palette is very stripped back, very disciplined, can you tell us about that?
Upstairs things are very different with a predominantly white or neutral colour scheme throughout. There are notes of colour – for example the Venetian Red used in the family sitting room – but the overall feel is very light, bright and easy to live with.
Can you tell us about the mural in the dining room?
This fabulous mural was created by photographing an existing painting and blowing the image up to fit the wall (wallpaper could be used in the same way). It provides a dramatic backdrop and a good counterpoint to the relatively simply furnished dining room.
I also want to mention the chic black candles that we’ve used in our beautiful new Hermia Chandelier. They’re a fantastic new innovation – wirelessly operated, battery powered candles that you can switch on and off with a small remote control. Perfect for creating the incomparable atmosphere of candlelight with none of the hassle (or associated fire-risk!) They’re particularly ideal in a chandelier such as this.
How did the scheme for the Master Bedroom come together?
My starting point was our Zamindar Four Poster bed, which is a fantastic example of a traditional form with a modern twist. I love the studded detailing and have repeated this motif with the tables at the foot of the bed and the chest of drawers. I wanted the room to be more about texture and luxurious fabrics than about colour so there are tactile sheepskin rugs on the floor and a faux fur throw on the bed. Appliquéd curtains and embroidered cushions in neutral colours add a further layer of interest. A useful tip if you don’t have a dressing table is to take a cheap and functional table and drape a bedspread over it, that is what I’ve done here and it works beautifully in this scheme.