Designer, cook and author Sophie Conran guides us around the homes that have made her, starting with the London home she shares with her husband Nick and her two children, Coco and Felix
Where do you live and why?
I live in Bayswater in central London in a flat I bought when I was 20. It is fantastically convenient, so I’ve never needed to move. We don’t have a garden, but I look out over a garden square and I have window boxes!
What’s the first thing that you did to your home when you moved in?
I bought an Aga. That was top of my wish list and I am sitting next to it now!
Describe your front door…
I live in a flat on the top floor of a stucco fronted door. It looks like a wedding cake! The front door is large with small panes of glass all around. It is a double door with rivets on it, with big door handles and lots of panels. It’s painted in black gloss.
What are some of the most memorable things which have happened in your home?
Lots of amazing things. I started my business here, I wrote my pie book, my daughter Coco was born in my bedroom and my husband Nick also started his business here. Both my kids, Coco and Felix, have grown up laughing, growing and evolving here… and creating things!
In many ways it was an idyllic childhood. I particularly loved the vegetable garden and flower garden. There were rivers, woods and lots of freedom.”
What was your childhood home like?
My parents bought a house in the country that was an old school when I was six or seven. When they bought it it was in a state of disrepair, so we grew up on a building site, which I enjoyed immensely! There were walled gardens filled with Christmas trees, so I grew up with a background of reinvigoration. It is a big 18th century manor house in Berkshire overlooking the River Kennet. In many ways it was an idyllic childhood. I particularly loved the vegetable garden and flower garden. There were rivers, woods and lots of freedom. My Dad [legendary designer and retailer Sir Terence Conran] ran his business from there so there were always interesting people coming and going , and my Mum was writing her cookery books. We had dogs, cats, chickens, geese… the list goes on!
If the objects in your home could speak, which would have the best story to tell?
Probably the kitchen table. I have done a lot of my work with Portmeirion around the kitchen table over cups of tea! Lots of my design and creative process is done here, I write recipes here and I’ve watched my kids grow up around this table.
What’s on your bedside table?
A new Roberts radio (which is linked to Spotify) so I can wake up to classical music and I have lots of books. I love my Japanese mirror with drawers in it with photographs of the kids in and drawings they have done. A bunch of flowers. There is also a tiny sculpture of a woman from India who dances, some Netsuke chickens and a little flock of African Guinea Fowl sculptures, which are 5cm tall.
Home is a place of peace and creativity, and it is where all the good stuff happens”
What makes your house a home?
My family. Then my friends, my housekeeper, my things and my plants – they all bring me so much comfort. It is my lovely husband, it is a place of peace and creativity, and it is where all the good stuff happens.
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