Arup also worked on the Opera House and the two men met during the early stages of its design, culminating in Ahm asking Utzon to design his home which he built in Harpenden, Hertfordshire from 1961-3. It was to be Utzon’s only completed project in the UK.
This low-lying Pavilion of concrete and brick unfolds to dramatically reveal floor to ceiling glass bringing the secluded, mature gardens into the classic mid-Century space. In the words of architecture critic Hugh Pearman “Probably the best Modern house in the world”.
As Ahm’s family grew, a later extension was added by Ulrik Plesner in association with Christopher Beaver Associates in 1972-4.
Now Grade II listed, from the street the house gives nothing away, dominated by its car port (and the later garage which formed part of the Plesner extension)
Ahm’s widow sold the house after his death in 2005 and it was sold again in 2016. The new owners wanted to maintain the character of the home and employed Architects Coppin Dockray to work on the interiors which have been sensitively restored. The restoration went on to win the Wallpaper* Design Award 2019 for Best Remastered Building.
Fast forward to Autumn last year and our shoot which featured Deirdre’s PLUMES, HARLEQUIN, MANDARIN, BURLESQUE and FEATHER BOUND rugs – Deirdre and Edison knew something special would unfold when they attended the shoot at the Ahm House and the finished photographs by Michael Sinclair are testament to that.
We love revealing Deirdre’s new rug designs at Maison & Objet every January but by contrast, Deirdre’s annual UK collection launch, held here in the intimacy of our Kings Road gallery, is by far the highlight of our year.
The evening gives Deirdre a chance to catch up with valued friends of the brand as well as clients old and new and introduce her carpets in person whilst guests can touch and feel the incredible quality of the finished designs, see the lustre of the silk and the true colours which are always best viewed ‘in the flesh’.
This year’s collection inspired by the hues and patterns of birds and their feathers, is a riot of colour and contrast and provoked much admiration and discussion. As did Deirdre’s first carpet artwork, UNBOUND, created in a limited edition of three and intricately handwoven in 32 colours of wool and silk.
UNBOUND was recently included in The Luxury Cave launch event at the Design Museum and was so overwhelmingly well received that Deirdre is now working on another limited-edition wall piece, more details to be revealed soon.
Flowers by Clayton at Strudwick Flowers provided the perfect backdrop to the evening’s festivities. Deirdre had requested natural arrangements with fluid forms reflecting the designs on display and Clayton fulfilled this brief perfectly, picking up the reds in both HARLEQUIN and UNBOUND on the first floor and the golden and buttery tones of GOLDEN PHEASANT and BURLESQUE on the ground floor.
This year guests enjoyed lavender cocktails selected by Edison to compliment the purple found in Deirdre’s new QUILLS rug design, Champagne and Dyson wine together with delicious canapes by Aquashard such as mushroom arancini, steak tartare and mini fish and chips. Guests were extremely well looked after by Aquashard’s John Wiltshire and his team.
The gallery, designed by Architect Timothy Hatton (pictured) comes in to its own at night and the wonderful atmosphere led to a very special evening celebrating another stellar rug collection by Deirdre.
There’s a festive feel to Edison‘s latest Interiors post.
Now that we’re in the run up to Christmas when there’s an abundance of all things sparkling and shiny in homes and shops across the land, what better opportunity to talk about two of my favourite interior design elements – GOLD and SILVER.
GOLD is immediately associated with luxury, particularly in the world of fashion and until recently not so much with today’s modern interiors.
In recent years, there has been a definite shift back to the more traditional luxury materials, particularly when used in an understated way.
Gold remains forever warm and familiar. It’s the perfect conduit in bridging different styles and influences.
Gold is also a comforting colour and an element that, when used correctly, can make a bold statement whilst remaining perfectly refined. Gold is now being given new and exciting applications in the form of furniture, accessories and sculpture.
I’ve selected some favourite interiors which use gold in particularly inspired ways.
This traditional, ebonised oriental day bed, as featured in House Beautiful, is set against a trompe l’oeil backdrop and is brought into the 21st century by means of the highly polished gold side table and muted side lamps.
The interior of designer Alfred Von Escher’s home and office in their Italian Palazzo (above) mixes modern and vintage industrial furniture, within a classical setting. The application of gold leaf on the mouldings of the walls and ceilings are subtle highlights that brings a sense of warmth into the space.
UK based interior stylist Louisa Grey (who styled our 2015 Collection lifestyle images) is a big fan of gold. Here, she uses it in a refined way adding warmth and visual interest into a fairly monochromatic interior by way of coffee table, side table and a vertical run of gilded wall sconces.
From super sleek and polished tableware to more rustic applications, such as leafing, gold is finding it’s way back into our homes and this time, for a more appreciated stay.
SILVER on the other hand can be used in abundance and works well even in the smallest of areas or when layered.
It can be introduced into a space using a wide range of materials and finishes, from matt to polished, from chrome to aluminium, silver leaf, mirrors and crystal.
It’s not just about using the actual colour, it’s also about creating references to silver and silver tones. Silver is the perfect colour for reflecting any light source within darker areas.
In this Hollywood Regency-style interior, the silver gilt lamp base is reflected back off the wall mirror and mirrored cube side table, keeping the space light and airy even when using larger sized decorative pieces and bold contrasting colours of the side chairs.
Our ODEON design would look fantastic here, working well with this style and space.
On the silver theme, our ORIGAMI carpet is another design that comes to mind, with the use of silver-grey silk panels against the richer aubergine wool background, it harps back to a bygone age of 1940’s glamour.
If you’re still undecided on whether to introduce silver or gold into your space, then why not consider using both?
It’s all about clever interpretation and here is a fine, functional, as well as sculptural example.
A modern classic vintage coffee table by Romeo Rega circa 1970s – it’s timeless, modern and elegant, just like silver and gold…