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DREAM DESIGNS

Antonia and Jamie Green - Graham & Green

11th Mar 2013

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Graham and Green, nestled in the heart of Notting Hill on Elgin Crescent just off Portobello Road, enthralls you the moment you walk in. It's littered like a treasure trove with the most incredible and luxurious array of home furnishings. Today, they have two stunning shops, four catalogues a year and an online store. When being asked how the shop was initially started and the start of her journey to source stock, Antonia recalls fond memories of Istanbul and travelling to hospitable carpet warehouses to buy kelims and rugs, wearing fur-lined boots in the freezing cold. She recalls another weekend in Beijing, where she went to a farmers market to discover a girl selling beautiful traditional Chinese lanterns. Upon conversation, Antonia found out she was the daughter of a well-known actor in the National Theatre! After all such travels and finding inspiration and treasures for her shop, she opened up the first Graham and Green shop with her friend Henrietta Green. Their original plan was to sell kitchen and basketware. "In those days, the kitchen was the first room you did up," Antonia explains. However since then Graham and Green has taken off and has diverged in to much more than just kitchen and basketware.

Graham and Green is very much a family based business, with Antonia’s son Jamie now working as the Creative Director and taking over the running of the company after Antonia retired. Antonia now just enjoys a relaxed life, still feeding her passion for traveling and cooking. Jamie loves to draw upon his love of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, whereby many of the coveted pieces in their collection today are inspired by Jamie’s own love of interior design. He and his wife Louise, the Brand Manager are avid travellers and it will be their vision and love of interior design which will ultimately shape the future of the company.

As well as the exciting new developments within the shop, Antonia and Jamie have also progressed Graham and Green’s image in a new direction. Nestled in the village of Assagao in North Goa is Casa Tota, a breath-taking Portuguese house owned by the Graham family. Casa Tota is a 150-year-old villa that's been lovingly restored and refurbished into a bright, Bollywood-dusted retreat, complete with a central courtyard and an outdoor bar that's just begging residents to throw a party. Graham and Green rent it out in its entirety, so you've got to take all three rooms, each kitted out with four-poster beds and adjoining bathrooms. The villa gets its name from the parrots in the surrounding trees, but it gets its design leanings from slightly further afield: the property was lovingly restored by Jamie Graham, who completely remodelled the space. Whitewashed throughout, the house still has the original capiz-shell shutters and big hardwood doors have been restored and mud floors replaced with yellow dyed concrete. The interior is dazzling, a wonderful fusion of chic designs with colonial Indian elegance, synonymous with the brilliant Graham and Green style we all know and love.

 

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