My design London: Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley reveals her latest design project; discusses friend Damien Hirst's artwork, as well as her favourite restaurants and design shops in London
Liz Hurley
© Rex Features
Liz Hurley likes to balance her time between the city and the country

Where I live

Home is a south-west London townhouse, but I also have my 400-acre organic farm in Gloucestershire.

What I like about my homes

I love being on my farm because we can spend a lot of time outdoors. I wanted my son to grow up climbing trees and making dens and he can do that in Gloucestershire. My home in south-west London is on a street lined with cherry trees, which I also love, and I like to balance my time between the two places — the city and the country.

What my homes means to me

I lived out of a suitcase for 15 years and rarely spent more than a few nights in a row at home, but since having my son that has all changed. Now, home is a sanctuary where we enjoy peace and quiet — but also lots of fun; we have friends and family to stay every weekend and wherever we are the house is always full of dogs and kids.

Favourite colour

I like a neutral base, made interesting by textures and accents, with everything looking warm and easy. If you don’t have a wonderful art collection, which I don’t, then you have to find other interesting things. I have fragments of tapestry and some antique textiles that I hang on the walls. Right now, I’m loving splashes of purple using throws and cushions.
bed linen - Liz Hurley
Liz Hurley's new bed linen collection for House of Fraser includes Tobago, priced from £10 to £85

My latest design project

I’ve always been obsessed with making my own bedroom as sexy and beautiful as possible, so I jumped at the chance to design bed linen for my Home Collection at House of Fraser. We spend a third of our lives in bed, so to me it’s worth making every minute enjoyable. My initial three designs were inspired by my love of the exotic and they all have a sensual feel. Some of the patterns are taken from marble fretwork that I saw in Rajasthan.

Valerie Wade
Hurley loves the eclectic mix and unrestrained glamour of Valerie Wade's in Fulham Road

Best kept secret shop for home design

I really like Valerie Wade’s shop in Fulham Road ( She has a wonderfully eclectic mix of beautiful and glamorous things. I’ve bought a bed from her, and lamps, rugs, cushions and glassware. But probably my favourite buy from her was a set of adorable little jars, with different fruits and bumblebees on the lids, for jams and honey.

Treasured piece of memorabilia

I always buy stuff for the home when I travel and some of it works when I get back but some of it doesn’t. I am particularly drawn to textiles and to silver, and I have found some lovely pieces on my travels in India and Morocco.

Most coveted design object

I would love a huge Damien Hirst oil painting — probably one of his butterflies — though I wouldn’t say no to one of his Spot or Spin pictures either. A few of my friends have work by him and it always looks ravishing.

View from the National Portrait Gallery
The rooftop restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery has spectacular views from Whitehall to the London Eye
Actually Damien is a friend. I went to his studio and we made some mini Spin paintings together, which I kept, so I suppose you could say I have a demi-Damien Hirst.

Where I go to escape

I love the National Portrait Gallery when it’s a quiet day. It’s just off Trafalgar Square so I often drop in if I’m killing time between appointments. The collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings, drawings and sculpture. Its roof-top restaurant has spectacular views, not just of Nelson’s Column but over Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

Blakes Hotel in SW7
The bar in Blakes Hotel is tiny but has excellent service

Top night out in London

We go to the ballet and the theatre whenever we can. I only go to a few London restaurants: Le Caprice, Locanda Locatelli, China Tang at The Dorchester, Riva, Zafferanos and, if I’m in a silly mood, C London, formerly known as Cipriani, in Mayfair. I very rarely go out for lunch, but if I do I go to San Lorenzo in Kensington, or Lucio’s in Fulham Road, and I rarely set foot in the West End at night.

For an evening out, I like the bar in Blakes Hotel in SW7 — which is tiny but has excellent service. It’s the creation of designer Anouska Hempel and the bedrooms are knockout, too.

Clarence House
© Rex Features
Clarence House was built in the early 1800s by John Nash

London's most impressive building

Clarence House, which overlooks The Mall, always looks beautiful — I would like to live there, of course, but it’s the home of the Prince of Wales. What I like about it are its proportions, which look very pleasing and it shares a lovely garden with St James’s Palace. It was built in the early 1800s by John Nash and even today it manages to retain an incredible presence.

My most stylish room

I love my kitchen in the country. I converted a stable to make it and it has beautiful beams, a stone floor and an Aga, which is always warm and cosy. The dogs love the underfloor heating and I love the way the light falls from three directions. We eat at an 18th century oak table. A nice kitchen is important to me.

* Elizabeth Hurley's new Home Collection for House of Fraser is in store now.

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