NEW ELEGANCE #25

The former MD of Liberty of London, Ed Burstell, has used the same energetic approach he took when reviving the store to transform his mews house home.

Get the look Upcycled sofa by Ines Cole at Liberty. Painting stand from Drew Pritchard. Paintings on the wall, both by Russian artists in St Petersburg from the 1940s

The Property

A Victorian mews house in London’s Marylebone, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs, and an open plan kitchen, dining and living area on the ground floor. 

Living room

Ed’s home oozes eccentricity from the moment you step through the door. A 1930s Japanese screen illustrating an elephant is one of the first pieces he bought that cost some money. It spans six panels but here, just one third of it is on show as there wasn’t a wall that was large enough to display it.

Get the look Paintings on the wall, close to front of shot, on the left are both by Russian artists in St Petersburg from the 1940s. Red chair from Hay at Liberty. Gubi leather strap mirror hanging on the wall to the back. Above the elephant panel, a Rory Dobner illustration. Painter’s step stool with books on it.

When Ed moved in to his rented home it was freshly refurbished and painted white. He’s since introduced a pink ‘racing stripe’ to the downstairs cornicing to add interest. The back of the fireplace is painted in same pink used for the cornicing.

Get the look Mr and Mrs cushions from Liberty. Coffee table found on Golborne Road. For a similar armchair, try Graham & Green. Upcycled chaise longue by Ines Cole at Liberty. Vases on mantelpiece from the Oriental department at Liberty. Little plates to the right, high up on the wall, by Yvonne Ellen, from Liberty. Painting above mirror by Hugo Guinness. Persian rug from Liberty. Flowers from Wild at Heart.

Ed hasn’t had to go far to find fabulous things for his home as he had Liberty’s marvellous mix of old and new at his fingertips. Referring to it as one of the last great emporiums left on earth, his open plan living, kitchen and dining room brims with paintings, antique furniture and exotic finds from his travels. Colour is crucial and often comes from flowers he picks up every Thursday from Wild at Heart, ready for weekend entertaining.

Get the look Side table, music stand (and just in view, ladder on the right) all from Drew Pritchard at Liberty. Mercury glass vessel and vases on windowsill from Wilson, Stephens and Jones. Vitra Eames bird at Liberty.

Kitchen

The open plan feel of Ed’s kitchen suits his entertaining style. While he admits that he hasn’t turned on an oven since he moved to London, this space is more where he hangs out with friends having a drink before going out to eat. It’s home to one of his favourite driftwood bowls by the Scottish craftsman Tom Hopkins-Gibson who Ed discovered at one of his Open Calls for new designers at Liberty.

Instead, inside his fridge you’ll find water, Champagne, tomato ketchup and packets of tasty almonds he picks up from the Arabic stores on his walk home from work.

Get the look For a similar gloss-finish kitchen, try Ikea. Wooden bowl by Tom Hopkins-Gibson at Liberty. Chair with cushion. Arts & Craft lamp base and shade from Liberty.

Bedroom

Ed loves to throw open the doors to the Juliette balcony on a Sunday morning and read. His ‘whacky’ touches in this bedroom include wooden folding chairs hung on the wall, floating above artwork and the bed. It’s indicative of his choppy, full-on design style.

Get the Look Side table by Zoe Murphy. Chairs from Leo in NY. ‘Eyelash’ illustration found on Golborne Rd. Head bust from Kempton.

Hallway

There’s no rhyme or reason to Ed’s ‘crazy plate wall’, he just keeps adding to it as he finds new pieces and arranging as he sees fit. While he says he doesn’t have a decorating style, he likes to cover the walls.

Get the look Top left, Helen Stevens at Liberty. Fornasetti. Bulldog found in Brooklyn. Cat and Dog plates from Wilson Stephens Jones. Tanssi (foxes) by Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala at Skandium. Rory Dobner at Liberty. Small red plate from John Derian. Along the bottom, various plates bought on travels to Japan.

Front door and staircase

Ed had a bespoke salmon pink paint mixed at the local hardware store to paint the contrast cornicing, leaving the rest a simple white. He attributes his bright orange front door to having a ‘Frida Kahlo’ moment.

Get the look Antique chair and mirror. Candleholders from India.

Exterior

The urban ‘front garden’ of Ed’s well-conceived two-up, two-down mews home is a great spot to sit with a coffee and the papers in the morning when the sun is shining.

Get the look For similar outdoor chairs and table, Amazon. Big plant pots from Rosemary Livingstone.

Photography/Paul Raeside

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