Characterising his style as a delicate blend of European tradition and universal modernism, Senior Interior Designer at LINLEY Tom Carpenter has approached interiors over the course of his career by fusing together various styles and periods into one space. Predominantly leaning towards a more traditional British approach, Tom’s travels and time abroad in Germany, the Middle East and the United States allowed him to use his nomadic heritage as a source of inspiration in his designs to create extraordinary residences. It was only a matter of time before LINLEY Interior Design services, alongside many other additions such as bespoke commissions, corporate gifts and kitchens and cabinetry, was incorporated into the brand after many requests from clients. Working closely with private and commercial clients across a range of projects, Tom and the highly skilled team offer the finest quality in British luxury design from the onset up until the final design. We had the chance to sit down with Tom and find out all there was to know about his beautiful Victorian conversion home in the heart of Parsons Green.
Where is home for you?
A Victorian conversion in Parsons Green, West London
What does your daily routine look like?
I’m a bit of fitness-freak so I normally begin my day early with a workout in the gym, a run by the river or yoga on my terrace; then mornings are (ordinarily) spent in the office, briefing the ID team and then deciphering what we have to achieve for our various clients on any given day. Our projects vary from large scale residential (we’re working on two 45,000 sq/ft country houses at the moment), to more commercial ventures – we just completed our 39th site at Claridge’s, for example. Lunch might be spent out with clients or with my Creative Director, Graham Green – we’re both foodies so we try to ensure that enough time is spent on this! Afternoons may include sourcing fabrics and / or furniture at all the usual suspects in Chelsea Harbour Design Centre or at our neighbours on the Pimlico Road. Come the evening, I’ll often pop for a drink with friends at Soho House, followed by supper at home with my boyfriend Philip.
What’s the style of your home interiors?
My home is an eclectic mix of various furniture and pieces acquired over time and “stolen” - much to my mother’s chagrin – from my family home in Sussex. Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget that our clients have so I try to re-create a look akin to our projects, but on a shoestring. I’m constantly visually inspired, whether flicking through Instagram or the latest House & Garden, or seeing an interesting edifice or decorative technique on my travels. My home is ever-evolving – and getting increasingly cluttered!
Where’s your favourite room/spot in your home and why?
My sitting room. It’s incredibly bright and sunny, with three south-facing floor-to-ceiling sash windows. The light obviously changes throughout the day and whilst it feels cool and fresh first thing, as I sip my “wake-up” espresso, by the evening it has taken on a warmer, almost amber light.
Please can you share your top tips for how our readers can easily refresh their interiors for summer?
De-clutter! As I mentioned, I’m guilty of hoarding things – all my precious bits of “junk”, collected over the years. It’s important to find time to organise these pieces and show them off to their best advantage. Also rotate collections of furniture and object; it doesn’t all need to be out all of the time. Put things away. Give things away. Edit.
You’ve got a day to spend at home with no obligations or distractions. What would we find you doing?
Put on some music, pour myself a glass of wine – depending on time! – and sit down to properly read the myriad of beautiful coffee table books I have on interior design. I’m constantly adding to my library but more often than not, I don’t have time to properly read these books on “the great and the good” of the design world. Lockdown has allowed me to spend some time selfishly immersing myself in them.
Lockdown caused everyone to spend more time at home than ever, which renewed everyone’s interest in their interiors and gardens. What design changes, if any, did you make to your home or wish you could have made to improve your home environment for this period?
It was obviously impossible to have anyone inside the house at the start of lockdown so I employed a local builder to “refresh” the front (outside) of my property. Works included a replacement porch light and door brassware, installation of a chequerboard path and some new planting – pale pink roses and white hydrangea. It’s amazing what a difference a spruced-up entrance can make!
What did you learn from spending so much time at home and what do you think we can all take away from this period?
As for many of us, I have fully embraced working remotely. Whilst nothing can ever replace face-to-face meetings - or indeed actual site visits - a huge amount can be achieved via Zoom etc. And as much as love my home, it’s also important to be able to leave it; now that things are very slowly returning to some sort of normality, it’s nice to be away for the day – or even the weekend – only to return home with added vigour.
What exciting projects are you currently working on?
As I mentioned, we are currently embroiled on two large country houses. Both are new-builds in a grand and traditional style, but at the same time very different, and reflective of their individual owners. Aside from our on-going work at Claridge’s, we are also working on homes in Jersey and St Tropez.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
A luxury yacht is on the horizon but I can’t say too much about it at this stage!
All Image Credits Tom Carpenter