Monday, December 26, 2011

Designers Guild is Absolutely Fabulous, Sweetie.

Eddy and Pats are at it again, in beautifully appointed digs.
Today, through the magic of the Internet, I was able to see the first episode of the highly anticipated return of Absolutely Fabulous.  The new season is set to air on BBC America January 8th, but who wants to wait that long?!  As expected, the show that lampoons, and harpoons, fashion and pop culture did not disappoint.  Fashion faux pas abound, cigarettes are perpetually lit, morally questionable situations arise, but I will not spoil it for those who have yet to see.  What I will be spoiling for you, however, is the interior design of Eddy's Holland Park townhouse. 

As usual, Eddy (played by Jennifer Saunders, who also writes the show) is our fashion victim while Patsy (Joanna Lumley) is the chic fashion editor of indeterminate age who has more vices than fingers to count them on, but Eddy's home, for the first time, is ridiculously chic and incredibly refined.  It's bold, feminine, and glamorous, but not one bit out of sync with good taste (atleast not to me).  This is a first for Eddy, who regularly redecorates to keep up with trends, but who always seems to fall short of something this undeniably elegant.

I had to watch the new episode a second time through just for the interiors.  The design was flawless, but I had seen parts of it before; something about it was incredibly familiar.  When I thought about it, it looked very much like the work of Designers Guild, the English firm established by Trisha Guild in 1970 known for bold color and riffs on historic patterns.  Think exploded florals and damasks in maroon, lime green, turquoise or pink.  I hopped over to and was able to find every wallpaper used in Eddie's townhouse, with the exception of daughter Saffron's bedroom, and even Eddy's gorgeous bedding (which is now on sale!!).

So, have a look around Eddy's new place and if you have any questions, you know who to call.  And if you don't know who to call, call me.  ;)

- Ian

Our first room on view is Eddie's bedroom, covered in Designers Guild/Christian La Croix 'Arles' fabric and 'Oxbridge' stripe wallpaper.  As usual, Eddy's bed floats in the room, meaning it does not touch any one wall but rather acts as an island.  The bed is a black lacquer four poster style, flanked with black acrylic Kartel Bourgie lamps.  The bedding is 'Darly' by Designers Guild, a printed cotton sateen with feather-y French scrolls and painterly floral motifs.  Above the Victorian fire place hangs a Japanese screen depicting a gnarled tree on a gold leaf background; a nice foil to the rest of the wall composition.  Also, it should be known that one of the earliest fashion obsession for Eddy was La Croix, so it's very fitting that her boudoir is covered in his patterns. 

'Darly' bedding from Designers Guild.

Behind Eddy's bed is a wall mural called 'Forum', also by Designers Guild/La Croix.  I love how dark and sexy Eddy's bedroom has become.  Earlier incarnations were gauzy and monastically white.  There's a new maturity to Eddy's interiors now.

Eddy's kitchen also got an over haul, but no wallpaper.  As with most homes, the kitchen is where all the action takes place, so hers is a large open space with a garden view sink, a large table, and split height island (an idea I love) and a large range.  Logistically, having the range so far from the sink and fridge doesn't make sense, but for looks it's marvelous.  I j'adore the horizontal pine wall cladding, and that green-gray paint used on the cabinetry.

Looking toward the range in the kitchen.  Love that double height island and the way the pine has spread to become part of the range hood.  The kitchen is below street level; the stairs lead to foyer.

Looking toward the sink wall.  I like the floating shelf over the subway time wall, and how the tile runs all the way to the ceiling.  It's a very old style treatment for tile, if we think back historically to great service kitchens found in hotels and country houses.  Also like the idea of the missmatched enamel metal chairs. 

Behind Eddy is an open, free standing armoire, painted in the same green as the built in cabinets.  Behind that is a service hall lined with three frosted wine coolers, each packed with champagne.  This hall also led to Eddy's ill fated panic room.  To the right of the coolers is the door to the back garden.

The next room featured is the foyer, a double height space papered with more 'Oxbridge' stripe and also a grayscale floral called 'Mehsama'.  In earlier seasons this room was a hectic catch all of ethnic artifacts and furniture. Now it's a restrained nearly Georgian space, minimally furnished with emphasis on architectural detail.  I love the black doors with white trim, as well as the silver cast iron railings; so elegant and dramatic. I also like how they have split the paper patterns, with the stripe continuing down the stairs and the floral on the wall.

Down stairs, the walls return to white with dark floors, light carpeting and a stunning theatrical floral arrangement.  This profile will be seen again in Eddie's living room, and it's not especially subtle.  You can also make out an Art Deco style console beneath the upper stair run.  I am absolutely mad for this foyer!  It's really some wonderful to behold.

The final room we are re-introduced to is Eddy's Living Room, decorated in bold red and black with white walls.  The classical urns are placed before an other wall mural by Designers Guild, this time it's 'Ornamental Garden', which depicts Old Master style florals in urns on a black ground.  In previous seasons, the location was home to Saddam Hussein's feet, remnants of the fallen statue that was a by product of his demise.  The airplane wing desk is a hold over from a past series, first used in the Living Room when Eddy had to downsize her PR company.  It's an incredible piece.  Also a very nice use of slat blinds, they reinforce the architecture of the room without having an overbearing presence.

The Living Room, looking toward the over-sized Georgian fireplace. I am crazy for this feature!  I love that it's matte black, to match the doors throughout, and I also like how they have inserted a gas burning chrome cube to act as the 'fire' (if you look, you can see Eddy's shoes reflected in it).  The scale of the installation is marvelous.  You can also see the button tufted stain screen, which is a very feminine touch and also a nice contrast to the visual weight of the mantle.  I'm also a fan of the over sized candle sticks and lamps, and the minimal number of accessories.  There's plenty to look at, but it's not a load of twiddly little things.  All the accessories are high impact and large, reducing the visual clutter in the interior.