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Here is a selection of beautifully crafted chocolate eggs made by top patissiers such as Pierre Hermé and Alain Ducasse, mixed up with Pysanki, Ukrainian Easter eggs, decorated with superb traditional folk designs, some of them rather primitive-looking, using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. A-Gent of Style couldn’t help thinking that some of their patterns would make terrific fabrics. Wouldn’t you agree?

Wishing my A-Gentees a happy chocolate-induced Easter.


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HOME AWAY FROM HOME: HOME HOUSE




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Serendipity finally brought A-Gent of Style to Home House last week, one of London’s most exclusive private members clubs. Not being a member, A-Gent was eager to find out for himself what the fuss was all about and most importantly to judge the interiors by himself. The teasing around him in the last few months had become almost unbearable. Not only is the exclusive establishment five minutes’ walk from where he lives, meaning he gets to walk past it on many occasions (you can see very little from outside; not from lack of trying!) but also a few friends had either been in lately or had mentioned it in conversation. So when an invitation for a business meeting came up last week (thanks Kathryn), A-Gent of Style jumped at the opportunity.

 

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Home House is where the media, fashion and creative affiliates (that’s interior desecrators too) come to relax or be entertained (they have an enviable calendar of social events and societies) and also find everything they would expect in terms of luxury, service and privacy. Home House boosts different restaurants, bars, drawing rooms, party rooms, dining rooms, a gym, spa, boardroom, outdoor fumoir, courtyard garden and last but not least elegant bedrooms and suites.


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Spread across three immaculately preserved and restored Grade I and II listed Georgian townhouses all seamlessly linked at 19, 20 and 21 on Marylebone’s elegant Portman Square, W1, Home House mixes the elegance and grandeur of the building rooted in the 18th Century with the vibrant interiors of the 21st Century courtesy of Candy & Candy and the futuristic minimalism of Zaha Hadid.


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A-Gent of Style‘s preference for N0 20 over the two other buildings decorated by Candy & Candy in a more contemporary manner less sympathetic to the original features is in sharp contrast to the magnificence of the more traditional, elegant proportions typical of neo-classicism and sumptuous décor of the various drawing rooms enwrapped in a palette of Ladurée macaroons (reminiscent of Adam’s resplendent Syon House). Call A-Gent a purist.

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Commissioned in 1773 by the notorious Elizabeth, Countess of Home, aptly known as ‘The Queen of Hell’, then in her sixties, who wanted a sophisticated ‘Pavilion’ built and designed purely for enjoyment and entertainment at N° 20 Portman Square, the “Palace of Pleasure” was designed by George III’s architect James Wyatt that same year (A-Gent of Style featured the Georgian architect a few months ago during a collaboration with Colefax & Fowler who hosted a special exhibition) but his competitor Robert Adam, one of the most celebrated architects of his day, was appointed to complete the interior of the house in the sumptuous Neo-Classical style after Wyatt had been dismissed in 1777.


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N° 20 Portman Square is acknowledged to this day as Robert Adam’s finest surviving London townhouse. The interior is conceived as a series of grand reception rooms, beginning with a typically austere hall, leading to one of the most breathtaking “tour de forces” in European architecture, Adam’s Imperial staircase, which rises through the entire height of the house to a glass dome, revealing the sky above.

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A design by Robert Adam for the main staircase at Home House in Portman Square, London. Photography of a late 18th century original in the Soane Collection at the Soane Museum, London.

 

So without further ado, A-Gent of Style would like to let you in Home House and show you what he discovered  last week during his visit of the ‘Queen of Hell”s ‘Palace of Pleasure’. A-Gent of Style didn’t have enough time to see the bedrooms and suites. Perhaps they will make it to the ‘Part 2’!


House N0 20:



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House N0 19:


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House N0 21:


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– Some photos by Home House, mostly by A-Gent of Style – 





BOOK END No10




As we are in the throes of winter, why not relax ensconced in a comfy chair, wrapped up in your favourite throw, after work or at the weekend, with a newly purchased publication selected for you this month by A-Gent of Style.

Don’t forget you can hover your cursor over each image to see the rest of the book cover or click on the image to see the cover in full in a new window.



All books are available or can be ordered from
The Bookshop at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour +44 (0) 20 7351 6854 / @theBOOKSHOPat

And if you’ve missed the previous instalments of Book End, you can catch up and see the other fantastic books A-Gent of Style selected for you over the months:Book End No1, Book End No2, Book End N03, Book End N04, Book End No5Book End No6, Book End No7, Book End N08, Book End No9

 

 

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