My design London: Russell Pinch

Russell Pinch is an award-winning London furniture designer and the founder, with his wife, Oona Bannon, of Pinch Design.
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portrait of Russell pinch in his studio
Russell Pinch in his studio at Clapham North Art Centre ( Pinch Design)

What home means

Home means sanctuary: a place to eat and play.

Where I live

Brixton, in a small semi-detached house with Oona and our two daughters, Ada and Floris who are three and four. We've lived here for nearly 10 years. I love it because there are so many like-minded creative and entrepreneurial people around us. In our road alone there are two furniture designers, a film editor, a magazine editor and a couple of graphic designers. And because these are industries that tend to be more flexible than, say, the City, there are as many fathers as mothers at the school gates.

Favourite piece of home memorabilia

We don't have tons of stuff at home, but there is one special wall with about 30-odd frames which each contain a different thing that means something special to us. My favourite is probably a beautiful line drawing Oona did of my feet in wedding shoes on our big day (below).

Favourite home colours

Every room is painted a different colour in what I'd call calm but complex, soft neutral colours. I like Siecle and Farrow & Ball paints but most of the colours we use we have mixed ourselves — so we own a lot of paint pots!

portrait of shoes
Russell's favourite picture is a line drawing Oona did of his feet on their wedding day

Secret shop

Howe in Pimlico has a very beautiful frontage (below) in a smart part of town. I love its mix of Georgian-meets-Scandinavian objects and the fact that it's both understated and so inspiring.

It doesn't follow trends and it also has a secret fabric shop not normally open. It's just around the corner and you have to ask to go and visit it. The very nice staff will take the keys and walk you round to it. The last time I went I bought some goatskins in incredible colours like petrol blue. While not cheap, the prices aren't outrageous either.

Place I like to escape to

To Black's club in Dean Street, Soho. It's so unpolished and on a cold winter's day there's nowhere better than being in the room on the top floor, which has a huge bed-like sofa and a roaring fire. It's where Oona and I like to sit looking out of the Georgian windows when we have our company AGMs — followed by lunch, obviously.

Howe - Pimlico
Howe in Pimlico stocks a mix of Georgian and Scandinavian objects

Most interesting new design outfit

Silo is an exciting design studio formed by Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless producing, in their words, "hand-made hi-tech" products like this chair (below). It's all very experimental and sculptural, using industrial materials and processes, so that how they make the pieces is as exciting as the finished object.

Their method looks like mad professor-meets-furniture-meets-theatre and makes other manufacturing look a bit pedestrian. I really like their bookshelf made with polystyrene. It uses random pattern and highlights of colour.

Favourite restaurant

Food and design in any restaurant are inextricably linked in my mind and must always work together. The combination of food and environment at St John in Smithfield is perfectly balanced in a way that is completely symbiotic.

Silo chair
Experimental and sculptural products from Silo

Favourite museum

The Design Museum (presently on the South Bank near Tower Bridge but soon to move to Kensington) because I feel as if I've grown up with it. It's been a fixture on my landscape for so many years: my father first took me there when I was 18. Then, when I went on to my first job — as Sir Terence Conran's design assistant — I was working a couple of doors up from it, and I've done a couple of lectures there. I feel very close to it.

Best London market

Brixton Market, which has been revitalised in the best possible way because it hasn't become gentrified. Instead, it has small entrepreneurs with small budgets doing great things. It's crammed with restaurants serving fantastic food — like the fish stallholder who decided to serve oysters and champagne in the evening. Genius! All he did was put oysters on ice and serve them up on white paper plates. From a design perspective, it's exciting, too. Almost no money has been spent on the market and there's not a chain store in sight. Let's hope it stays that way.

Pinch Design

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