My design London: Bethan Gray - furniture designer

Furniture designer Bethan Gray has won awards for her warm, "liveable" style and has designed for Habitat, Conran and the Design Collective at John Lewis. She opens up her little black book and reveals her favourite London hot spots
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Where I live

I came to London from Wales after graduating. My home is in Shepherd's Bush, in west London, and my studio is now at Great Western Studios. I live in a converted Victorian villa that is modern on the inside; when we moved in, it was a simple blank canvas with lots of light and huge glass doors overlooking the garden. I find the array of elegant classical Victorian houses with contemporary interiors inspirational. I love that mix of classical with modern.

Bethan Gray - portrait
Bethan Gray has won awards for her warm,"liveable" furniture and has designed for Habitat, Conran and the Design Collective at John Lewis

What I like about the area

I find the mix of people in our area vibrant and stimulating. I also like west London because there are lots of parks — and I love walking my dog, Parch, in all these open green spaces.

"The Chair" by Hans Wegner
"The Chair", Hans Wegner's 1949 iconic combination of sculptural beauty and comfort

My favourite piece of home memorabilia

I married my husband and business partner Massimo in Tuscany two years ago in Pietrasanta (Pietrasanta means holy stone). Massimo's parents live nearby. Pietrasanta is a historic and artistic town and Italy's centre for marble schools (it's where Michelangelo trained). As we were prepared for the wedding we'd pass a design shop. In the window, it had a vintage Fifties light, manufactured by Stilnovo.

At the end of the week our friends got together and bought it for us as a present. I love marble and the light has a marble base and the pole and shade are mustard yellow with a beautiful wrapped cable detail — a wonderful wedding present. The design was contemporary for its time, but it is timeless and feels like a classic now.

Favourite colours for the home

I tend to use Shrimp Pink by The Little Greene Company and Manor House Grey and Babouche, both by Farrow & Ball. I like colours, whether light or dark, to have a warmth and balance about them, and to be in harmony with other elements in the room. I love soft, matt nude pink — it is a great background for muted grey and pastel yellow. It looks wonderful combined with a grey floor and also light woods such as oak — and that's something I get really excited about — the use of natural, organic materials, such as woods and leather and marble.

Petersham Nurseries
Wonderful food and a certain elegance at Petersham Nurseries

Most coveted design object

I love everything by Hans Wegner, a master craftsman and designer who designed more than 500 chairs. One of my favourites is the iconic "The Chair" designed in 1949. It is sculptural, with refined lines and emphasises the beauty of natural wood. It's very beautiful and comfortable, too.

Most interesting new designers

The final year students I lecture at Central Saint Martins on the BA Product Design course always impress me. Every year we do a "live project". This year we are working with John Lewis for their Design Collective collection, which I have been very proud to be part of. It's going to be fascinating to see what happens.

Golborne Road
© Alamy
Golborne Road at the top of Portobello Road for a great mix of cultures, food and furniture

Where I go to escape

On a Sunday I love to escape to Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. I take my dog and walk along the river. Then I feel that I have really escaped the pressures of the week. Petersham Nurseries has such a relaxed and bohemian feel about it. The place is simple but also classic and elegant. There is wonderful food and a shop full of beautiful homeware and serveware — something I am passionate about.

My secret shop

The new Art & Design Print Room on the fourth floor at Liberty. It has a great collection of work from the best British graphic artists that Liberty is nurturing. It is so good to find work assembled together as I'm always on the look out. I love to update my husband's collection of 20th century art with modern works from my designer-maker friends or from the postcard sale at the Royal College of Art — and now from Liberty.

Art & Design Print Room at Liberty
The new Art & Design Print Room at Liberty

The best London market

Having lived in west London for the last few years I've really come to love Golborne Road at the top of Portobello Road. It has it all — a great mix of nationalities and cultures, vintage and reclaimed furniture, some modern design and a great food market.

My favourite restaurants

I love the Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell. It's a Georgian building which manages to look natural, contemporary and warm thanks to the combination of white painted brickwork, dove grey painted panelling and woodwork, a long white sharing table and copper pendants, My new collaboration, G&T will be launching at Clerkenwell Design Week, so I'll head to the Modern Pantry for a bite to eat at lunchtime.

For evenings out, I love Pizza East in Shoreditch at the moment and my favourite — a gem called Lowry & Baker — on Portobello Road.

My favourite museum

The Victoria & Albert museum. I'm inspired by the mix of traditional and contemporary. I love the "Friday Late", which is held on the last Friday in every month with special events running from 6.30pm until 10pm: live performances, cutting-edge fashion shows, debates, one-off displays and installations, special guests, bar food, guest DJs, and late-night exhibition openings.

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