I have been excited for this Knock Knock ever since Ceila Tobin agreed to do it. I knew that between Celia and her husband Guy (Head of Product at Rose Uniacke), their home would be Knock Knock gold. I wasn't wrong! Not only does it show off their exquisite taste and envy-making collection of furniture/art/pottery etc. It also happens to act as the perfect backdrop to Celia's superb venture - Pinxton & Co. She has managed to create a line of hooks that are not only useful but staggeringly beautiful - my favourite is The Porter (utterly unbiased opinion - of course!). Huge thank you to Celia for showing us around her wonderful Battersea home.
It is rather timely to be reflecting on my favourite things about Knowsley Road as I sit surrounded by packing boxes in preparation for our house move! After 8 years we are moving on and I have the tricky task of working out what to put into deep storage (until we find our dream country house!) and what I can’t live without for the next year and should therefore come with us to our rental round the corner. Very sadly there will certainly be no room for the glass-fronted ebonised cabinet in our kitchen which has to be my favourite large item in the house. My husband and I bought it from Lee Wright at the Battersea Decorative Antiques Fair 10 years ago. It used to house all the stock from our antique business which sold small decorative items for weddings and presents. It then became a toy cupboard and later was filled with all our glassware and crockery collected over the years. It's far nicer than having built-in cupboards and it will definitely adorn our country house when we eventually find one!
Next to the black cabinet hangs one of Pinxton & Co. hooks - The Ludovica named after my Italian niece, which shows how our hooks can be used for all manner of things, not just coats. Above it is a little picture which I once parted with and then was bought back by Guy for me. I had picked it up at a junk shop for a fiver, sold it for a tidy profit and then regretted it immediately!
Guy’s collection of blue pots is coming with us. I sometimes come home to find him tweaking the placement of them like a child playing with Lego and it makes me chuckle!
What I don’t like about the house is the sitting room - it is impossible to keep tidy and is always full of new stock coming in and out, whether it is boxes of sample hooks or things that Guy has bought. In the past month, no less than two screens have appeared. It is just not big enough for all our clutter and has no storage at all. When it’s tidy, it can look great……like when we had it photographed for House and Garden and the book Bold British Design……but as we know everything can look incredible through a lens. Actually the sitting rooms main redeeming feature is the gothic revival cabinet my parents gave us for a wedding present which is another firm favourite.
I have insisted that our Fortuny curtains weren’t sold with the house and they make me smile every time I draw them in the morning. They sing alongside our Suzani, given to us by dear friends as a wedding present and amongst our collection of nineteenth-century photographs of Ancient Rome.
Moving upstairs the girls’ bathroom is filled with very happy memories. They basically have a gallery wall above their bath - mainly pictures given to them over the years and I like to sit on the stairs by the door watching them in the bath and gazing at the pictures. The green paintwork there was used in the bathroom in our last house and I think I will always use it in every bathroom from now on. On that wall is the first painting I ever bought called ‘Mother and Child’ by Geoffrey Robinson bought from Lena Boyle Fine Art. I remember paying for it in instalments it hurt so much!
The Girls’ bedrooms are all filled with lots of objects I love, collected over the years - the Alphabet pictures bought at Kempton market, the Richard Bawden print of the Cat given to me for my 30th birthday by Guy, the hand-painted shades by my friend Romily Hay – all will be coming with us next year into the girls’ new bedroom. I think we will bring the Bennison headboards too as I adore that fabric. Above their door is the sign ‘Never Never Land’ found at Drew Pritchard and on the other side a huge Elephant's head hangs above their door and Pinxton & Co. elephant hooks obviously! Our youngest daughter, Sybil’s room is lucky enough to have a huge Sarah Graham print of a moth hanging above her cot and also some fun Nandi Bulls we bought back from Sri Lanka. On her door hangs a hook that you might recognise Charlie!
Without doubt, my Favourite room in the house is our bathroom. I love everything in it- the marble sink by James Elliot, the roll top bath painted in Charlotte's Locks by F&B, the wall lights bought while antiquing in Florence, all the pictures, all of which tell stories and the mirror saying ‘ Above Wisdom lives Knowledge’. I am going to miss lolling in that bath with a G&T - my favourite way to unwind.
Celia & Guys home features in Bold British Design by Emilio Pimentel-Reid & Sarah Hogan
& was one of my favourite features in House & Garden