Where did I come from…?

old rock n roll couple

 

painted-baby

 So this is me…your regular interiors-addict. I have been obsessed with interiors for as long as I can remember and I am talking early childhood.  Whilst many of my contemporaries were bathing their Tiny Tears dolls or Kerplunking away, I was probably making rugs for my dolls house with toilet paper. Or painting some matchboxes for modular storage.   And when my teenage besties were lying on their beds drawing hearts on posters of Simon le Bon, I was probably re-arranging and painting my bedroom for the seventh time (with paint from the garage which was unlikely to have been Elephants Breath or Juniper Ash).
A weekend job at Lucknam Park, Bath meant I was transported into a world of design, luxury and opulence, albeit to make the beds and dust the antiques, but I really did not mind a jot.  Swooshing around the tastefully co-ordinated corridors cemented in my teen-self, a love of grand scale rooms, period features and classic architecture.. and the odd celebrity.  At 17 , I went off happily to university (its entirely conincidental that I went with 400 threadcount sheets and Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries).
I used to bunk off lectures and go and stay with friends on Lotts Road in Chelsea (sorry Mum) near Bonhams and the delights of the Kings Road.  With London calling and stars in my eyes, I moved there as soon as I finished university, I trained as a fashion buyer with a well-known department store whilst living in Camden in a fabulous but often-burgled flat and hanging out in what was to become infamous bar stops of the Britpop and Indie scene.  (How we funded our lifestyles back then is something of an economic miracle, retail not being that well paid !)
timothyoulton
                                                             Timothy Oulton
Leaving the world of fashion for the heady-paced, expense-account funded jungle of ‘media’ I worked in an advertising agency, mainly because the offices were in High Street Kensington and so were my favourite shops.  The suited and booted world however didnt fulfill me and I was lucky enough to start a career in music.
islandrecords
britpop
The contemporary conversion of a period property that housed the PolyGram Island Records offices blew my tiny mind as did working in the middle of the Indie zeitgeist and the way of life that was ‘Cool Bittania’ in the ’90s.  Over the course of the next 8 years ‘working’ at various records companies, I witnessed not only the adoption of combat trousers as perfectly acceptable day-wear but also the move to minimalism and interiors for all via the medium of flat-packs, ‘Taupe’ was actually a thing (I have a coffee table book on it) and the welcome re-birth of wallpaper . I went to some beyond cool gigs, parties and award ceremonies which would struggle to be described as ‘work’ and my obsession with interiors was re-ignited.
babypainter
A swift sojourn to the world of magazines saw me working for Conde Nast selling International Vogue but the UK wasnt quite fully online and ready to be global, so I fled back to music just in time for RnB and boybands.Phew.
New bars and restaurants opened every week it seemed and to the backdrop of Michelin stars, members clubs and DJs that people actually knew the name of, we rolled around some of the most iconic rooms in the capital; Bibendum, Momos, Atlantic Bar, the Collection, Met Bar,Cafe de Paris, Harvey Nichols, Titanic, Groucho, Ministry of Sound, Quaglinos and many more that I forget but have matchboxes to remind me.  I met a husband-to-be who, as fortune would have it, worked for one of the world’s biggest drinks companies.  And (like Baby in Dirty Dancing carrying the watermelon) when you’re supplying the opening night cocktails, your name is always top of the VIP list !
So many memory snaps of great dancefloors, de-trop chandeliers and themed creative executions for launch parties have crept in and influenced the places we went on to call home. From our first flats in the Kings Road, Fulham and Chelsea by way of Soho, Camden, Kensal Green via Brick Lane and Shoreditch. From the hotels, members clubs, bars and superclubs of London, Sydney, New York, Amsterdam and Paris we have seen some things, banked some incredible memories and absorbed eclectic trends and finds that will keep us smiling when we’re so old we cant chew.
oldcouplerockingout
                                                                                     image:pinterest
Following a half-hearted stint at freelancing whilst raising the family (Boy then Girl then Wow, where-did-you-come-from?) I have moved several times with my husband/hard-rockin amigo and have decorated, renovated and practically rebuilt homes spanning many eras including a Victorian Villa, a1930s semi, a 5 storey Georgian townhouse and a railway workers cottage opposite a graveyard….and watch this space because we are getting itchy feet…
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