Building foundations with Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry
While areas of the capital like Clerkenwell and Mayfair might be home to the international furniture mega brands, a leafy street in South-West London has long been drawing the design cognoscenti with its troop of independent shops and galleries. On Pimlico Road, Antiques stores are joined by bespoke furniture makers, such as Soane and Linley, and dealers of midcentury treasures like Gordon Watson and Lamberty. And the street’s gravitas continues to grow, thanks to new additions, including Coote & Bernardi, Talisman, Luke Irwin and Plus One Gallery. So, with Pimlico Road this year being named the London Design Festival’s newest design district, we feel the time is right to take you on a stroll of this burgeoning stretch of the capital, as part of our ongoing Street View series.
The stores’ festival offerings may be relatively small scale, but they are still well worth looking out for on your travels. John Coote and Gabriel Bernardi, for example, are tying in the launch party of their new retail venture with the week-long design extravaganza (17 – 25 September), and Plus One Gallery is presenting a hyperrealist retrospective of the past decade. Plus, most outlets will be throwing open their doors for a late opening on the evening of Thursday 22 September. Meanwhile, to hone in on the best that Pimlico Road has to offer, Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers and interiors director Benjamin Kempton have made a curatorial selection of the finest furnishings and artworks. Look out for the ‘Wallpaper* Selects’ tag in stores, showrooms and galleries during the festival to spot their finds.
By Apphia Michael and Bengt Åkesson
Luke Irwin's hand-knotted rugs are individually made to order in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas and in Jaipur, but it's more than just the exotic aspect that makes people clamour for his silk and wool yarn creations. Irwin also offers a full bespoke service, essentially allowing customers to commission their own designs, which can be ready in as little as 12 weeks.
22 Pimlico Road
44. 207 730 6070
Star of Channel 4's Four Rooms, Gordon Watson has lent his discerning eye and intimate knowledge of cutting-edge 20th-century art and design to the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger. The recent expansion of his gallery has also allowed Watson to showcase more of the outstanding pieces he has amassed over the years, including unique furniture by Ico Parisi and André Sornay and amazing sculptural silver and crystal objects by English designer Paul Belvoir.
28 Pimlico Road
44. 020 7259 0555
Bucking the tradition of catering to specific 'sets', this rustic-looking gastropub has garnered a clientele that covers everyone from King's Road trendies and Chelsea office workers to the older high-end crowd. Part of the Cubitt House group, which has gastropubs dotted around Belgravia and Marylebone, the popular Pimlico Road establishment also provides four bedrooms on the second floor - ideal for visitors to London who want to be within striking distance of the retail bustle of Sloane Street.
37 Pimlico Road
44. 020 7881 9844
Talisman was already an established name by the time it arrived on the Pimlico Road furniture scene thanks to its bigger sister, located on the nearby New Kings Road. Run by dealer, decorator, retailer and businessman Ken Bolan, the furniture emporium hosts an eclectic mix of mid-20th century pieces and 18th century antiques, selling everything from tables, trolleys and sideboards to clocks, barometers and quirky objets d'art.
190-192 Ebury Street
44. 30 7730 7800
Daylesford Organic's 'straight from field to fork' approach has struck a chord with the metropolitan country-loving set who graze on its smartly packaged quality farm produce. Serving a selection of seasonal food, the Pimlico Road outfit is open from breakfast through to teatime, but it really comes to life at lunch, when London's moneyed arrive in their droves to perch outside the perfectly positioned café. If a whistle stop visit is all you can manage, be sure to stock up on 'same-day' fruit and veg, delivered all the way from Daylesford's Gloucestershire farm.
44B Pimlico Road
44. 020 7881 8060
Everyone from royalty to rock stars has been known to rummage through Andrew Lamberty's Aladdin's cave of 20th century art and design. The Pimlico Road store - which opened in 1997 after Lamberty had worked up enough courage (and capital) to upgrade his business from buying and selling furniture out of the back of a van to a 2,500 sq ft premises - gives the street a welcome injection of modern gravitas.
46 Pimlico Road
44 .20 7823 5115
Lulu Lytle and Christopher Hodsoll founded Soane with the aim of combining the design of high-quality antiques with the tradition of British bespoke craftsmanship. To coincide with the London Design Festival, Soane will be presenting its first collection of fabrics - eight different designs in various colourways, all printed entirely by hand in an old Victorian mill.
50-52 Pimlico Road
44 .20 7730 6400
An extension of John Coote and Gabriel Bernardi's interior and architectural design practice, the new Coote & Bernardi shop is a perfect physical expression of the duo's classical and contemporary design sensibilities. The shop's eagerly-anticipated launch, cunningly planned to coincide with the London Design Festival, should go down a storm with in-the-know clients desperate for an instant hit of the brand's furniture and textiles collections, not to mention its edit of complementary antiques and quirky collectables.
59 Pimlico Road
44. 20 7259 0966
With two showrooms on Pimlico Road, Mark Ransom sells an eclectic range of 20th century furniture, signature antique pieces and decorative accessories, as well as showcasing contemporary art by Tim Woolcock and a selection of original Andy Warhol screen-prints. Look out for Ransom Art, the recently refurbished space at number 105, which will be unveiled as a new contemporary and modern art gallery during the festival.
62-64 Pimlico Road
44. 20 7259 0220
107 Pimlico Road
44. 20 7736 7927
With a number of publications to their name and stints on the committees of various international art fairs, Philippe Rapin and Erik Müllendorff clearly know their subject. Showcasing rare and original 20th century decorative arts - from furniture and lighting to sculpture and paintings - Gallery 88 focuses on the work of renowned American, Italian, French and Belgian designers including Paul Evans, Gio Ponti, Ado Chale and Jean Puiforcat.
86-88 Pimlico Road
44. 207 730 2728
The go-to guys for hyperrealist, abstract and surreal art, Plus One Gallery will be marking its 10-year anniversary during London Design Festival with 'Exactitude VI', an exhibition examining the hyperrealist art activity of the last decade. Included are brand new pieces by the painters and sculptors that the gallery represents - among them Paul Day, Tom Martin, Pedro Campos and BP Portrait Award Winner Craig Wylie.
89-91 Pimlico Road
44. 20 7730 7656
Whether it's a 12ft tall 18th century stone sculpture of a wild boar, a free standing stuffed giraffe or an original chimneypiece by Isaac Ware (with a modest price tag of £360,000) this treasure trove of a warehouse certainly delivers on the unusual and the surreal. Be warned however, the warren-like showroom space can be tricky to find your way around, but the reward is room after room of beautifully arranged settings. Known for its fantastic selection of antique and reproduction chimneypieces, Jamb also houses 'Hawker Antiques' - a melange of furniture, garden ornaments and lighting selected by founder Will Fisher. To tie in with the London Design Festival, the Jamb space will be playing host to designer Emily Johnson's 'Boned in England' show, which features a number of her hand-crafted bone china works.
107a Pimlico Road
44. 20 7730 2122