Inside designer Emilia Wickstead’s stylish West London home
When Emilia Wickstead was 11, she was discovered by her mother, trapped under a collapsed wardrobe. “I was moving furniture in my bedroom,” smiles the 39-year-old fashion designer, born in Auckland and based in west London. “I was constantly moving pieces around.”
What doesn’t bother you, apparently, makes you stronger. Wickstead’s interior design ambition (not to mention its focus on women’s wardrobes) has never wavered. Before moving into the spacious, bright apartment she shares with husband Daniel, nine-year-old daughter Mercedes Amalia and seven-year-old son Gilberto in 2018 – housed in a royal red-brick mansion built at the turn of the 19th century century – she had files stuffed with references. “I had a wall in our last place to collect inspiration for our new one,” she says with a smile.
The sculptural, seamless and luxurious materiality of the Milanese apartments Wickstead grew up in from the age of 14 (before moving to London to study fashion design and marketing at Central Saint Martins) inspired its four-month renovation. “We ripped it all off,” she explains. Laminate flooring has been stripped, entryways widened, raised ceilings, palace-worthy pairs of double doors installed, walls painted in shades of Tuscan mustard, and the kitchen, two bathrooms, and foyer have entrance covered with Arabescato and Calacatta Viola marble slabs, imported with the help of family friends. “I don’t know how it happened, but it’s everywhere,” Wickstead laughs when we meet, working from home on a Friday, gesturing excitedly towards the checkerboard, Venetian-inspired marble floor of his hallway. . She walks through the entrance barefoot, a pair of low satin pointy heels tucked by her front door, polished yet totally casual in a chic 1940s-style dress of her own design. She also names Italian architect and marble fanatic Piero Portaluppi, who designed Milan’s iconic Villa Necchi Campiglio between 1932 and 1935 and clad its buildings in veined stone patchworks.
Wickstead’s refined fashion designs revel in the royalty and classicism of old world glamour, suitable for posh evenings and garden parties, and loved by aristocratic and prestigious clients, from the Princess of Wales to Zawe Ashton, the Princess Eugenie to Alexa Chung. It’s no surprise, then, that the four walls of her dining room are the only newly constructed ones in her home’s mostly interconnected floor plan. “I like to set up a room and have an intimate, separate entertaining space for having breakfast and dinner with the family,” she says, the morning light pouring through the large windows of the space. .