2612 - Do the Bright Thing

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You would never guess, entering Tony Collett’s house in Shepherd’s Bush, that most of the London architect’s project were tasteful, clean-lined, contemporary homes in muted colours – or that once he had almost a colour-phobia. The multi-coloured, multi-textured, treasure-filled four-bedroomed Victorian home is clearly the result of a rich life spent collecting what he calls “bits of junk”, cleverly arranged in eye-catching groups on elaborate sideboards, dado rails, intricately carved tabletops or precisely placed sets of shelves against brilliantly coloured walls. It’s theatrical, dramatic, exotic – but certainly not monochrome or Classical. The family home glimmers with opulent, extravagant touches. Gold-leaf walls velvet curtains hanging in heavy swathes, marble tabletops and hand-painted murals are mixed with polished wood floors, mammoth paintings and eclectic pieces clearly put together by someone with an eye for 20th-century treasures, from groupings of Bretby, Ruskin, Moorcroft and Brumantoff ceramics and early paintings by the London antique dealer David Campion to a Gilbert & George artwork. The latter, given by the artists to Collett to celebrate his wedding to knitwear designer Julia Pines, provides the colour schemes for much of the living space: Rastafarian yellow, red, blue and green, which are repeated in cushions, throws, curtains and even on the carpet, which is a lurid, snooker-table shade. Much of it – from the clipped, ordered garden to the faux marble dining table - has been influenced by British interior designer John Stephanides, with whom Collett worked for eight years before setting up his own practice. But mostly, it’s informed by his “obsession with eclecticism: mixes of as many different forms, cultures and textures that work.” Writer lisa-g@freeuk.com

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