And serves as proof that bright blue walls can pair with crumbling antiques.
Like most who possess a visually-oriented eye, Martin Waller doesn’t believe in design in a vacuum. Nestled in London’s Holland Park neighborhood, his flat is a treasure trove of the world’s aesthetic wonders. African mudcloth, Andean blankets, and Asian ikat. But unlike the traditional antique housing, Waller’s is framed in the rainbow’s most saturated hues—electric blue and marigold yellow. “Color is the great luxury of our age. For almost all human history, it’s been incredibly expensive,” he says. “So there’s no excuse for not using it somewhere.”
His stuff is old, but his presentation is new. The man behind esteemed interior design Andrew Martin, Waller is not pigeonholed by one singular aesthetic inclination. His eccentric living room houses a gallery of antique art hung upon lived-in grass cloth behind a seemingly unfitting stark white sofa—almost akin to an unfinished muslin—that contradicts the dusty color palette. And why not allow an ancient Indian carving to take the place of a headboard? “Homes should represent the story of your life and there’s always space for an artefact that defines a moment,” he says.
“Mixing all these random things seems haphazard (my kids certainly think so) but I like to pretend there’s some logic.” That just-the-right amount-of-wrong approach combined with a museum-like curation of objets makes for a fascinating result. Below, Waller walks us through his approach to curating his own flat as a testament to his worldly travels and reveals the story of a secret resident courtesy of one of his children.
Photo: Courtesy of Dominic Blackmore
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