My design London: Sadie Frost

Actress and designer Sadie Frost shares her favourite homeware and design shops in London.
Sadie Frost
Sadie Frost in a penthouse kitchen she has designed for the Streamlight apartment block in Docklands

Where I live

Camden, the area where I was raised and have lived all of my life, in a semi-detached Victorian house with a welcoming, cosy atmosphere.

What I like about Camden

I am surrounded by great parks, such as Hampstead Heath, Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, all with great landscapes. Or there is the Regent's Canal, where I like taking the children to visit the barges. I can also walk to Maida Vale and relax in the lovely coffee shops there.

What my house means to me

It is a place for my family and friends to feel comfortable. I grew up in a very warm environment — my mum would welcome everyone into our home. She would never lock the front door and all the local children and neighbours would come in. Mine is an open house, too. It makes me feel like a better person if I can make my home a friendly place and I use candles, incense and music to bring it to life. My friends enjoy coming round for a sandwich.

David Vaughan portrait
A portrait of John Lennon by Sadie's father David Vaughan

Most precious design object

Any item from my art collection. My father, David Vaughan, was a psychedelic pop artist so I have collected a lot of works that remind me of him. I have pieces that he did in the Sixties, when he was commissioned by bands including the Beatles.

He influenced many of today's modern artists. So I also collect a lot of pieces from artists that aren't necessarily well known but were inspired by him. A place to hunt for great artwork is Nelly Duff in east London.

I also love anything by Banksy, Peter Blake or Gerald Laing. Last November I bought an amazing Jean Harlow screenprint, with platinum leaf and silver-dollar foil, by Gerald Laing at an exhibition at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (prints available for £3,000, 0191 232 7389, He passed away two days before the show but had wanted it to carry on with all his family and friends in attendance. I have been collecting his art for about 20 years.

Favourite colours for my rooms

For most rooms, I start with a neutral cream or beige for the walls but then I add brighter accessories and furniture. My bedroom has a different look, though. It is painted aubergine. My mum used the colour a lot in the Seventies and I have adopted it since. It makes for a really boudoir, sexy and relaxing setting.

Tann Rokka
Tann Rokka's furniture shop in Primrose Hill

Hidden gem for home design

A shop on Primrose Hill Bridge called Tann Rokka. It is where I like to buy most of my furniture. It's ideal if you are looking for something special.

For example, I wanted a sofa that I could have a snooze on with the kids and the dogs. The shop helped me find the perfect colour, fabric and cushions. It does lovely lighting, great little chandeliers and cabinets, too.

Where I go to escape

When I have had a manic time, I love going to stay in London hotels. I take loads of work with me and do four or five hours writing without any distractions. A favourite is the Andaz Hotel, which overlooks Liverpool Street station. It is a beautiful red-brick Victorian building but with a modern interior. There is one room with a particularly good view — you can watch everyone meeting under the station clock.

Then there's the boutique Sanderson on Berners Street, W1, designed by Philippe Starck. It is right in the centre of London. I can go to Debenhams nearby, to work on my Floozie fashion range. I also love the Gothic Revival of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

If I want to go for dinner somewhere close to my home, there's the Greek restaurant Lemonia on Regent's Park Road.


The best market

Broadway Market in east London has lovely food and great vintage and retro items. It also has a real heart to it. There are some brilliant people that work there who do amazing designs.

Look out for a great girl called Jessie Chorley. She specialises in hand embroidery as a form of drawing, as well as appliqué and collage. She makes one-off clothing and produces book illustrations and homeware pieces. I love her pyjamas because she puts photographs into the fabric.

They make great gifts for friends as you can get a picture sewn into the back pocket, or hide little messages in pockets. Another amazing discovery I found at Broadway is a stall that sells every kind of mushroom.

Buildings I treasure

For its Art Deco grandeur, I always used to say the Hoover Building on the A40 in Perivale, west London, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. But now a favourite is the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. It began life in 1846 as a steam engine repair shed. These days, the space is used so well as a cultural venue. My dad used to work at the Roundhouse when I was a child so it also has a huge heritage for me.

An interesting new designer

A friend of mine called James Small is doing really well now. I went to his London Fashion Week show recently. For his menswear collections he mixes classic tailoring with contemporary design.

My latest London design project

Over the last few years my career has been quite varied, from acting to writing and fashion design. I like the challenge of doing lots of different things. So when I was approached to design the kitchens in the penthouses of the Streamlight apartment block in Docklands, I thought it would make an interesting design challenge. I didn't want the kitchens to look intimidating, or masculine or feminine, just a neutral space, with neutral colours. I liked working for a project that puts a lot of the profit back into assisted housing, helping people who want to get on the property ladder.

The living space in my own kitchen is open plan and very uncluttered. I love being able to cook and talk while the children do their homework. The kitchen is at the heart of every family home so I kept this in mind during the Streamlight design process. I am a vegetarian so I wanted to have space for lots of steam-cooking appliances.

I also took the view into consideration. From the penthouses, you can see the Thames, barges, trains and buses, old and new buildings and the Olympic site.

For more about Streamlight call Hamptons on 020 7758 8457 (

Sadie's fashion lines can be viewed at

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