In 2005 he set up his own company, creating a bespoke contemporary design service based on classical architecture. Past commissions include homes in Venice, private jets and yachts and rooms at The Savoy and he has designed a range for The Rug Company.
WHERE I LIVE
I have lived in Clapham Old Town for more than 20 years. There is always something interesting happening in London and this makes a great base as well as having a strong community with an amazing collection of arts-based people. A group of us, including local resident Vivienne Westwood, saved the Omnibus, a purpose-built Victorian library and Clapham landmark, as a high-end arts centre.
I live in an 18th century house with my partner Jonathon Coleman, a sculptor. I bought an apartment in the house in 1995 and over two decades have slowly acquired all but one floor of the building. My office and workroom are in a house across the road.
My home features gold-leaf cornicing, Grecian urns and mahogany inlaid tables with rich colours and deep velvets. On the walls I have my own architectural line drawings — I always have a pencil close to hand — and framed original letters from Samuel Pepys, Robert Adam and Inigo Jones.
My father (Raymond Gosling) was a member of the team who unlocked the DNA code in the Fifties, and, though my career is firmly in the arts, I am fascinated by the historic overlap of arts and science.
London in 1820 had important scientists, artists and architects and it was the intellectual friendships between them that was key to developing ideas. Information and inspiration are passed around through friendship and today that is still what London is about for me: a peer group of interesting and stimulating people.
Sourcing and collecting antiquarian books. A favourite haunt is the Bloomsbury Book Fair in the Galleon Suite at the Royal National Hotel in Bedford Way, Bloomsbury.
The Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Victoria & Albert and the British Museum are my favourites. As a child, my grandmother took me to museums and galleries and at the end would let me choose a favourite print from the museum shop — but only if I could describe in detail from memory the painting I wanted.
In general we have lost the habit of commissioning furniture, I think people think it will cost a lot more which is not the case. Some people still do it with fashion, commissioning hats or shoes or suits; but not so much furniture despite having such fine craftspeople.
In Anya Hindmarch’s Bond Street shop for example it is thrilling that she has put a workroom in full view of shoppers in the heart of London’s most expensive area. Her craftsmen are making bespoke wallets and bags, showcasing beautiful materials and quality workmanship.
To start collecting or commissioning furniture contact the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (www.furnituremkrs.co.uk}, which will supply a list of members along with details of local exhibitions. Prices don’t need to be crazy. Consider auctions too. Classical mahogany is so out of favour you can almost pick it up for nothing. Get a catalogue from Christies in South Kensington or Bonhams in Knightsbridge and take a look at what’s on offer.