My design London: Sophie Conran

Cook, author and interior designer Sophie Conran is the daughter of designer Sir Terence Conran and food writer Caroline Conran.
Leaving school at 17, she joined the fashion team at her brother Jasper’s studio. She worked as a buyer for The Conran Shop and designed kitchen, glass and tableware ranges for Portmeirion. Today she has her own online shop and has launched a new range of homeware, including handprinted tablecloths, fabric lampshades, glass, baskets and candles. Visit sophieconran.com.

Where I live and why I live there
I live in Bayswater in a beautiful garden square. It’s a fourth- and fifth-floor flat with big rooms, so I can look out over trees. It was quite dodgy when I first bought here 28 years ago, with lots of brothels, gambling dens and kerb crawling. Now that everyone realises it’s close to the West End and Hyde Park, it is a popular area. The luxury Lancasters apartments are next door and Cleveland Square is full of international people, so it’s quite a cross-cultural place with lots of families.

Inside my home 
My flat was a series of bedsits, so I restored the rooms to their original proportions and put in the bathroom and the kitchen. I created an extension when my son, Felix, was 10 and my daughter, Coco, was eight, then I went into the loft to create a small space for Felix. I also started my own business in the flat, then bought a little tiny adjacent studio flat next door and knocked through the wall. It was great when the kids were little because I could work, then go to make them supper and help with homework. But a year ago I finally moved out to another office, and it’s lovely, quite liberating.
 
My dream property
I don’t have a garden and I love gardening, so I rent a place in the country with a big garden. I’d love a London garden to potter in, deadheading roses. There’s a lovely street called Dawson Place in Notting Hill that has beautiful buildings. So one of those, or Holland Park, which has houses frothing with roses. 

Favourite colours and textures
My flat is vibrant. It’s completely coral in the hall, the kitchen is bright pink, then my bedroom and the sitting room are quite neutral. I think it is quite modernist to use colour. If you think of people such as Paul Klee or Sonia Delaunay, they used bright, strong colours.
 
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Favourite artist: Sophie Conran is a fan of Mary Fedden’s works. The British modernist painter died in 2012, aged 96


My favourite object
I like collecting mugs and jugs. I like simple ceramic pieces. I have a lovely collection of old dairy jugs from 18th- and 19th-century dairies, and dairy bowls made out of glass.
 
Most coveted design object
I would love to have a collection of Edmund de Waal pots. They’re ethereal and other-worldly. I’d like to fill them with fruit and salads and have them on a table.

Where I escape to
My bed, actually. I try to meditate every day. I’m really bad at it because I have a really busy mind. But I have a white bedroom with gorgeous window boxes and it’s peaceful. If I have to be somewhere at 8am, I have to get up at 6am because I want to have a bath, meditate and not be hurried. My husband always brings me a cup of coffee in bed and we chat for half an hour.

Secret shop
Summerill & Bishop in Portland Road (summerillandbishop.com) is full of gorgeous linens and kitchenware.
 
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Secret shop: June Summerill and Bernadette Bishop of Summerill & Bishop in Portland Road, W11

Amazing architecture
For my stepmother’s birthday, we went on the most incredible boat trip. My father organised a tiny boat for 12 of us to have dinner on, and we went under all the London bridges. They were gorgeous — from the industrial styles to the iconic Tower Bridge. I really like all the rivets underneath many of them as well.

Cultural hotspot
The ceramics department at the V&A. The pieces are just incredible. The colours, the techniques. Yes, lock me in there and I’ll be happy.

Favourite artists
I love Mary Fedden. I also like the works of David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, Craigie Aitchison, Samuel Peploe and the other Scottish Colourists. Royal College of Art recently hosted the 20/21 International Art Fair, where all the British galleries get together.

Favourite restaurant
Quo Vadis in Dean Street, Soho. When you walk in, there’s a generous display of flowers and fruit, and head chef Jeremy Lee is welcoming. I love the way they set the dining room, the menus and all of the quirks. They’ve got a cracking cocktail list, too.

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