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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.