My design London: Philippa Broadhurst

Philippa Broadhurst is the designer of the 10 musician herald barges that feature in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant on the Thames. She is also art director of TV drama Downton Abbey.
The bunting is up in Philippa Broadhurst's rooftop studio at Herschel Park, near Windsor
The bunting is up in Philippa Broadhurst's rooftop studio at Herschel Park, near Windsor

WHERE I LIVE


On the edge of Herschel Park, between Slough and Eton — a Victorian pleasure park built for London commuters in 1843.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT


I have the Jubilee River and the Thames nearby, plus the glorious Eton/Windsor countryside. At the same time I can whoosh in to Paddington in 15 minutes courtesy of the fast trains.

WHAT MY HOME MEANS TO ME


It's a roof conversion with slanted ceilings and skylights. I collaborate with so many people on set each day that having my own private oasis is vital — the one place I never have to compromise.

I love Molton Brown's Yuan Zhi candles, and with those and the stars burning there's nowhere I can relax as quickly.

FAVOURITE PIECE OF HOME MEMORABILIA


It has to be my hallway of framed memorabilia. Two of my favourites are the rare Alastair Sim photo and signature and a newspaper cover I created for the series "Ashes to Ashes" that features my parents as the "Onassis wedding".

Broadhurst’s collection of memorabilia
Broadhurst’s collection of memorabilia includes a rare photograph and autograph of Fifties British actor Alastair Sim
Though I consider myself a minimalist, I love the Victorian penchant for cluttering all available wall space with pictures. My hall reminds me of all the influences that make me the person I am — I feel instantly at home.

FAVOURITE COLOURS IN THE HOME


I love the blank canvas you get by mixing different whites and greys — then the colour splashes come from books, artwork and objects you use in the space.

Right now it's from all the bunting and ribbon options strung up for the Jubilee, but next month it'll be something else, and that change keeps me interested.

I've used Crown period paints in Parchment and Aged White, and Craig&Rose 1829's Moonstone Grey.

MY SECRET SHOP


If I have a bit of time to wander in between meetings I'll head to Lambs Conduit Street — there's a great mix of independent shops.

Fossil lamp by Neil Conley
Fossil lamp by exciting new designer Neil Conley
Darkroom has a cleverly edited selection of pieces (darkroomlondon.com), and there's the Ben Pentreath shop round the corner (benpentreath.com).

MOST INTERESTING NEW DESIGNER


The Ikea Hackers website is always worth a look — Cyril Cvprince's bowls made from Ikea catalogues are visually striking as well as an amusing modern design comment.

The New Designers exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington is a must-see (newdesigners.com) — from recent years I would pick Neil Conley, particularly for his fossil lamp and oil drum vases.

FAVOURITE MUSEUM


The affectionately named "bone museum" (Natural History) was a stalwart of my childhood, and the bonus is you can hit the science museum at the same time.

And the London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell is an absolute goldmine with photos of almost every London street from the 19th century to the present day — great for researching the reality of a time and space.

Brass-faceted stove, called a Piet, by Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius
Most coveted object — a brass-faceted stove, called a Piet, by Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius

MY PLACE TO ESCAPE


Out on the water — and where better than the Thames? The first time I kayaked in central London was from Westminster Boating Base to the Houses of Parliament.

Seeing the city from the river really changes your viewpoint, especially when you're low down, and the standing waves beneath some of our bridges are almost an inner city surfer's dream (westminsterboatingbase.co.uk).

MOST COVETED DESIGN OBJECT


The light you get from flame is very special — I tend to burn about 14 candles a night — so a Piet from Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius would be perfect (cavalliusdesign.se).

It's a chimney-free stove with faceted brass reflector, finished in a retro, minimalist style. It burns ethanol fuel so there's no residue (unlike the hundreds of candles I used as a student that forced me to repaint several rooms to get my rental deposit back).

The vast glass roof of the Paul Hamyln Hall at the Royal Opera House
© Alamy
Breathtaking: the vast glass roof of the Paul Hamyln Hall at the Royal Opera House

MY FAVOURITE INTERIOR PUBLIC SPACE


I adore Art Nouveau and Deco, so the refurbished Savoy was of huge interest for me — at long last the interior lives up to the architecture. But the Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House is breath taking, with its vast glass roof (pictured) that once housed a Victorian flower market.

I must add that I do not have more money than sense. Although you can pay £200 for a ticket, you can also pay £5. Recently I took four opera virgins to La Bohème for the princely sum of £13 each — the secret is to get online just as booking opens (roh.org.uk).

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