© Anthony Crolla
My London home
I live in SW11 in what was a mews house with stables that got bombed in the war. This area was a target because it is close to Clapham Junction’s railway lines. I bought it in 1994 before I met my husband and we’ve been slowly renovating it.
The house is L-shaped with a cobblestone yard, holly oaks on the lawn, big planters of herbs and tulips and huge vines climbing up the house. We live here with our two teenage sons.
I recently bought a wee replica horse from the Ice Age exhibition at the British Museum Shop. It was a wonderful exhibition — so moving and tender. I wish more museums would do great replicas. In fact, I’m thinking of getting my favourite paintings copied to hang in the house.
Favourite decorating colours
I find Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball intriguing because it has a chameleon effect in that it seems to change in different rooms.
I used the Calm Green Limewash from Francesca’s Paints in my bedroom because it is calm, and Farrow & Ball’s London Clay in the dining room — it has a lovely, dusty bloom like bark or peach skin.
I’ve used a gold metallic in my hallway and on one side of my staircase with Slipper Satin from Farrow & Ball on the other. I have hung pictures on the Slipper Satin but kept the gold wall free — it gives a nice glow and adds something to the whole area.
However, on the subject of colour generally I find a slight ambiguity is always more interesting — is it grey or blue? Is it black or deep purple?
Most interesting new designer
In June 2012, when I was one of the judges with Caroline Bernstein of Browns at Texprint, [an annual event that promotes British textile design], we saw Carlo Volpi (carlovolpi.co.uk), a young knitwear designer. He has a very witty and clever take on street style and a proficient technique, too. We gave him the prize.
I love my neighbourhood and seem to stray less and less from it — so I’m being a bit lazy, but Northcote Road Market is always full of surprises and great food stalls, and where I discovered Archie Foal (archiefoal.com) for knitwear and clothing.
Postcard Teas, for Japanese teas and tisanes; Santa Maria Novella for bath salts (I can’t have a bath without the Pomegranate ones); Dr Harris for almond soap.
Ottolenghi online, for Middle Eastern pulses and grains; Summerill & Bishop for kitchen/dining (I long for one of its ironing boards). For shoes, Penelope Chilvers does amazing stack espadrilles, and Ten & Co’s brogues are made from interesting cloths.
Best watering hole
Upstairs at Bibendum — it hasn’t changed since it opened — is light and spacious and has the most comfortable restaurant chairs I ever sat in.
I also love Sally Clarke in Kensington Church Street. I admire the way she offers a different menu of the day, every day, so she can really concentrate on sourcing seasonal produce.
I also like Racine and Galvin’s on Baker Street, because they are quiet and constantly good; not trendy, not noisy. Good food and comfy chairs — they are a priority. I am becoming an old bag.
My own garden, the Royal Opera House, an art gallery or the Pullman seats at the Curzon cinema in Chelsea.
Then and now
I studied for a BA in textiles at Camberwell, followed by a MA in textiles at the RCA. At the moment I’m juggling several projects at the same time, this suits me as it gets my adrenaline going and my ideas can all feed off each other. Colours and motifs leap from rugs on to tiles and from wallpapers on to scarves.
I have a lovely studio with lots of metallic sliding panels from which I hang work-in-progress designs with magnets, while I might be on the drawing board doing something else.
At the moment my new weave collection has just left the roost and is available to buy. The next wallpaper collection is on the drawing board alongside new rug designs for the Rug Company, vinyl flooring and kitchen textiles.
I’ve also been working on a book for over a year, but good things need time to develop properly.