ELLE DECORATION // NOVEMBER 2013
Intricate textiles, bespoke designs and handcrafted pieces from across the globe embellish an all-white interior in designer Tracey Boyd’s exuberantly decorated Chelsea home and studio
Words TESSA PEARSON Photography JAKE CURTIS
When fashion designer Tracey Boyd firstset eyes on her Chelsea home ten years ago, the last inhabitant had been a dray horse... in 1820. The property had been a stable for a neighbouring pub and was near derelict when Tracey and her husband Adrian, a musician and writer, decided to purchase it. But, being a pair of resourceful creatives, the couple embraced the opportunity to put their stamp on the unusual abode and set about transforming it into a cosy, peaceful sanctuary that belies the building’s bustling location.
A decade later, the interior still features the same white painted floors, quaint country-style kitchen and rustic wood panelling that Tracey and Adrian installed in the initial renovation work. The timeless, Scandinavian-inspired scheme serves as a showcase for the couple’s ever-expanding collections of ceramics, glassware, books and art, which they’ve picked up on their travels together. ‘Being surrounded by all the things I love makes me feel content,’ says Tracey. ‘My style is quite eclectic, but I try to create order with subtle themes, curated displays and occasional vignettes.
The neutral backdrop and clean-lined furniture also offset the riot of colourful and intricately embroidered textiles that Tracey sources and creates for her fashion and homewares brand, Aboydbazaar. Born out of a combined love of design and travel, Tracey’s pieces showcase the handiwork of skilled artisans and fuse traditional techniques with her own unique aesthetic to glorious effect. ‘Whether it’s a vintage cotton Indian blanket reinvented with shell and wool embroideries, or a finely beaded, tasselled shirt that I’ve designed from scratch, I wanted to create pieces that were beautifully made but usable,’ says Tracey – a design ethos that succinctly sums up her inviting and irreverent home, too. ‘Nothing here is too precious, or put away for “best”,’ she explains. ‘If you have beautiful things then you should be able to use and enjoy them every day.’
THE VIEW FROM HERE
What do you see outside your window? A tiny garden that, this year, is crammed with daisies. Last year, it was filled with red tomatoes and giant poppies.
What’s the best thing about the area where you live? Everything you need is on the doorstep, but there are quiet spots to retreat to like the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Royal Hospital.
Describe your house in three words. Home sweet home.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home? I take off my shoes and open up all the windows to get a breeze blowing through.
What’s for dinner tonight? A lamb and artichoke stew. I put it in the oven in the morning and leave it to cook slowly all day.
How do you relax? I listen to music. I love film soundtracks – Richard Thompson’s soundtrack to Grizzly Man is a particular favourite.
What’s on your bedside table? Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography Faithfull, Christian Dior’s The Little Dictionary of Fashion and a collection of pink Hungarian and Venetian glass.
New or vintage? Both. Just look at the house – I couldn’t live without either!
Shower or bath? An extremely hot bath scented with bath salts from Santa Maria Novella. I visit the original apothecary whenever I’m in Florence.
Tea or coffee? Both. Because I work in the house I like to escape to a coffee shop occasionally, where I’ll have a cappuccino. At home I drink rooibos or lemon tea.
TRACEY’S SECRET ADDRESS BOOK
Il Convento di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli
‘A beautifully restored convent in Salento that serves as both a home and a guesthouse. It’s filled with inspiring collections of African, Aboriginal and Indian artefacts and textiles.’
Via Convento, 73030 Marittima di Diso (essentialitaly.co.uk)
A treasure trove of things that owners Jenny and Simon have produced, sourced, collected and curated. I never come home empty handed. My sister and I can spend hours here!
Bishops Yard, Main Street, Corbridge NE45 (re-foundobjects.com)
The Grey Garden
This is a gorgeous boutique and cafe in Delhi’s Hauz Khas village, which champions slow food and slow shopping. I particularly love the Indo-Japanese jewellery it sells.
A18 Hauz Khas village, New Delhi 110016 (thegreygarden.com) ED