I first became aware of Alexandra Robinson's talents when Guy Tobin's (Antique Dealer extraordinaire) & his wife Celia (Founder of Pinxton & Co - hooks of dreams) house appeared in House & Garden in January 2018. The double-page spread of their sitting was something to behold, an actual Aladdin's Cave of antiques. All of which created an excellent composition, but there was one thing that stole my heart, it was a plaster coolie shaped shade, called the 'Wobble Light' (pictured above), which hung at the top of the picture, to be cleverly framed by the beautiful art deco blue mirror.
Once finding out that Alex made it, I started following her instantly and was introduced to her many excellent pieces & homes. So much so I have imposed twice on Alex's time to visit both her London flat and her Oxfordshire home. Both of which were so charming that I was so excited when she agreed to share pictures of them with me/ us.
Favourite Corner -
Probably my favourite corner is the chair by the fire in the country. Less about how it looks and more about how it feels, especially in winter. Although I do also love how it looks with the open armchair from Andy Gibbs at Blank Canvas Antiques with the original under cloth.
Actually, most of our little house in the country has been furnished by either pieces from Andy or Jack Brister @tradchap. Everything unupholstered, which is how I like it!
My other favourite corner, or more precisely 'nook' would have to be one of my makeshift guest rooms in the country. It leads off a larger bedroom so usually houses a small child. Its a romantic little hideaway and I hope leaves a lovely impression on young minds.
Any good things come out of lockdown? -
Lockdown has been a good time to get all the jobs done, and one of those was bringing a wall light idea to life.
The light was designed to be a little sibling to the wobble to form part of a larger lighting collection.
Fortunately, what little memory of GCSE maths I had left, paid off and the cones were drawn up to sit perpendicular with one another as a backplate and shade. The arm has been changed a number of times but I think we got there eventually. I think she’s quite a cool little lady.
Any steals? -
Towards the end of lockdown, I was doing my food shop when I noticed the bric-a-brac shop next door was open for the first time. Delighted by the idea of walking into an actual shop, looking at a whole lot of appealing tat, I stumbled across this wonderfully comfortable farmhouse chair for £25 (see below)! I couldn't believe how undervalued it had been and brought it home to meet its other furniture friends in my kitchen. One of my patchwork cushions (another lockdown hobby) now sits on it, and they look like old friends already.
A Fun Project? -
A fun project was creating my children's bedroom. We live in a reasonably tight space in London, and when I had number 3 on the way, I had to rethink our space a bit, and so their oak bunk was conceived.
I drew up the design for a carpenter, and the structure was built in a couple of days.
I added the padded boards and electrics to include lovely brass Vaughan wall lights with Pooky shades contrasting to the Ian Mankin gingham.
Its pretty cosy in there.
Several friends have now created similar bunks for their children which is the ultimate compliment.
Favourite piece? -
One of my favourite pieces is probably the new hand moulded mirrors. The mould for these was created originally in clay and pinched and squeezed to make an ultra textured surface and then cast in resin and bronze resin.
I usually work with clever craftsmen throughout the UK to realise my designs but this was particularly satisfying as I could the mould myself and be more sleeves up this time.
I don't think spaces should be too over 'interior designed' if possible. I'm not too fond of too much fuss, but you can't go wrong with loads of open bookshelves, giant antique kilim rugs and good modern art.
I think people can often get preoccupied with the effect of a room and forget that these rooms should be able to be lived in, comfortable and above all reflect their owners.
My general rules are when it comes to upholstered furniture, never go modern! I love modern and contemporary paintings, Lighting and tables but I don't think id ever choose a hard mid-century design sofa over a deep comfortable feather filled one. No spotlights in rooms other than the kitchen or the bathroom! Lamps at all times, much more flattering.
Something I learnt from my time at Christie's, always hang pictures lower than you think. The midpoint of a picture should be eye level at most. It's amazing how much better this looks and I rarely see it.