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 No12



 
Spring is officially amongst us, it’s time for a re-naissance and spring cleaning is in order, in the house and in life.

Here is A-Gent of Style‘s selection of the latest publications that have piqued his interest recently.


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, Book End No10, Book End N011.


Happy reading!




PAD PARIS 2014





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Nothing would make A-Gent of Style happier today than being instantly transported to the City of Light to attend the preview of this year’s new iteration of
the Pavilion of Art and Design, more familiarly known now as the PAD, returning to the Jardin des Tuileries and now in its 18th edition.

A-Gent of Style, a customary enthusiast of the Paris and also London fair for the last five years (you can see a couple of his previous features here and here) had to break his own-made tradition this spring as he has been invited by KLC School of Design, of which he is an alumnus, to give a few lectures at the end of this week, a great honour and privilege he could not possibly refrain from accepting.


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PAD, pioneering event for Art and Design aficionados and collectors, has been reinventing for almost the past two decades the Cabinet d’Amateur and the notion of eclecticism, anticipating the aesthetic aspirations of its time. Season after season, it offers an intimate cocoon to those who have made decorative arts and design the core of their collection, driven by passion and heritage.

 
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Every edition evolves in aim to create an unprecedented dialogue between modern art, historical and contemporary design and jewellry. This year will give greater room to Primitive Art, and will highlight the vitality of raising such perspectives. The engaging aspect of PAD is its invitation to enter a personal collection, conceived by a selection of seventy-five local and international art dealers – all of whom are leaders in their fields, eager to address each passionate collector in a unique manner. In this salon, mind is enlivened and imagination is exhilarated, as entering a place where the contemporary taste for 20th and 21st century decorative art is born.

 


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This year again, the PAD Prize Jury will select from among the exhibitors the Award-Winning stand, Award-Winning Design Piece and Award-Winning 20th Century Decorative Art Piece. Each Award acknowledges the display and curatorial signature of the galleries’ booths and vignettes, as well as the quality and innovation of the works brought to the fair.

The Selection Committee, comprised of renowned art dealers, including some of A-Gent of Style‘s favourites such as Jacques Lacoste, Mathieu Richard, Chahan, Dansk Møbelkunst, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Gallery 88, Yves Gastou and Rossella Colombari is responsible for the examination of each new candidacy at the fair according to the high standards for which the PAD has become known.


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Since the PAD won’t open its doors to the public until tomorrow and his mole in Paris is not available today, A-Gent of Style sadly could not show you on time for today’s feature the stunning stands and seductive vignettes of this year’s sophisticated fair but in the meanwhile here is his selection of some of the wondrous objets on show ready to dazzle the connoisseurs during its four-day run.

And as usual, don’t hesitate to get in touch with A-Gent of Style at fabricebana@gmail.com if you want to get some information about any piece.



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– Photos by PAD and AD France –







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