Annalise Fard, the new director of Harrods Home, is an energetic, no-nonsense Yorkshirewoman, imbued with the Knightsbridge store's brand. She started work there 18 years ago as a furniture clerk, before joining the company's graduate scheme and working her way up via the beauty department, to end full circle in homeware. Her mission is to turn the 135,000sq ft homeware floor into a must-visit design destination, coaxing customers with a mix of the world's top luxury brands and the work of young UK designers.
Her job takes her around the world but London is still her favourite place to shop. Here, she reveals her idea of luxury, and why Holland Park is the place to be early on Sunday mornings.
Boca do Lobo's lacquered Diamond Chocolate sideboard (bocadolobo.com)
I live in a fourth-floor, two-bedroom flat in the heart of Chiswick with my husband, Pezhman Fard, who is an NHS GP, and our Welsh terrier, Gwen. We married earlier this year. I like the area because it's village-y but near to the centre of town. The flat is only three years old and open plan, so it feels modern with an amazing terrace at the front and lots of floor-to-ceiling glass. I love the combination of having the hum of the traffic and being up in the trees.
My home style
I lead such a busy life, so I need calm at home. It's neutral greys and beiges and warm tones, with lots of texture, cashmere and velvet. Paints are from Little Greene, with a soft grey called Welcome in the hallway. Then Slate Grey and French Grey elsewhere. I'm quite minimal but love prinking cushions. I do like things to be perfect. We also collect art, one-off pieces of furniture and lovely objects.
From £3,237: reading floor lamp by Bottega Veneta
What makes for a luxury brand
It's a brand that combines craftsmanship, the finest materials, heritage and a strong design DNA — the best quality presented in the most beautiful way. Boca do Lobo is a great example. It's a traditional old Portuguese brand that has been A great luxury brand: Boca do Lobo's lacquered Diamond Chocolate sideboard (above) completely modernised in an interesting way, so that pieces of furniture or homeware can be in a room both as functional objects and works of art.
Money no object
I would absolutely adore a lamp (above) and desk from Bottega Veneta. It has all the craftsmanship of classic Bottega and is absolutely exquisite. I imagine it being in this stark white room with beautiful windows and just that on a parquet floor. But I think it would probably cost £15,000.
Favourite thing: a limited-edition typography map of London by the artist Mark Webber
My favourite thing
It's a limited-edition typography map of London by the artist Mark Webber. I saw it at The Old Cinema [a vintage store in Chiswick High Road] and fell in love with it but didn't buy it. Two days later I got home and there it was, all wrapped up as a present from my husband. I love it because it shows the whole of London including Harrods.
Favourite new designer
Furniture designer Amy Somerville is definitely one to watch. She takes classic shapes and give them a modern twist, such as her electric blue velvet sofa (below, £8,139). Her pieces are very British, beautiful and bespoke in bright, bold colours.
£8,139: electric blue velvet sofa by furniture designer Amy Somerville (amysomerville.com)
The Old Cinema in Chiswick. It covers so many eras. The last thing we bought was an old and beautifully battered wing-back Chesterfield sofa for my husband's practice offices.
The Sunday food market in Dukes Meadows, the riverside park in Chiswick. We buy cheeses and pastries, homemade beefburgers and plants for the terrace. Everything they sell is locally sourced.
I do all my thinking in the walled gardens of Chiswick House, where I love to walk with my dog. It's my dog's favourite place, too.
If we can manage to wake up by 6am and be in Holland Park by 6.30 or 7am, it's magical. There is no one else around and after a really good walk we can head off to the Nouvelle Café in Abingdon Villas for breakfast.