I believe in setting trends, not following them. I’m not religious, but I love churches and their architecture. I hated being at university in Gloucester, but I loved being in the Cotswolds – I now realise it’s because I loved the quaintness of the cottages and the Cotswolds stone. This sense of history and tradition is also why I love London and I love New York. I don’t find modern architecture interests me in the same way.
My interior style is quite traditional. I have a lot of panelling as it adds scope and interest to the walls, then to keep a simplistic feel I’ve stuck to three main colours throughout the space (much like I’ve done with my car restorations which I keep to tan, black and silver). My last place was a lot more masculine. This time, I live with my children and my partner Steph, and our styles are quite different. She likes a clean (I jokingly say ‘clinical’) look and she’s part Greek so loves gold. Some rooms are more her, some are more me. Some we had to work on together, like the kitchen. My old house was Victorian, so I wanted to go back to that – fireplaces and modern takes on coppertop baths. Our new place is more modern but with features like dutch gables, pillars and lots of arches. I’ve tried to marry the old and new – for example we’ve added in oval-shaped Crittall doors to keep them sympathetic to the original features.
To get our new home up to scratch, I did so much research. What I’ve recommended here is not just for style, it’s for the best service and communication, which are so key. These are brands that have either surprised me in a great way or done exactly what I thought they would and confirmed their greatness.