Luke Edward Hall, 29, and Duncan Campbell, 31, should not troubled by minimalism. Could you get away with a leopard-print carpet – even within the bed room? Or a pink lounge beside an egg-yolk corridor? The couple’s one-bedroom flat in an unlimited, Victorian brick townhouse within the scruffier reaches of Camden, north London, is a hurricane of sample, and so full of stuff you’d name the producers of Britain’s Biggest Hoarders – have been it not so artfully directed.
Prints swarm throughout partitions: Eduardo Paolozzi, Matisse, Pablo Bronstein. Chairs peep out, breathless, beneath piles of cushions and collaged patterns. Houseplants sprout bountifully. There’s not only one pair of spectacles on Hall’s bedside desk, however 5. And books, books, books, squashed into any obtainable nook: Annie Leibovitz, Cecil Beaton, Nigel Slater. Pity the soul who does the dusting. “We do rather like things,” Hall says. “We just need more surfaces.” Collecting stuff, like writing his weblog or posting on Instagram, is to Hall about reminiscence: “Everything here has a story.” Each object conveys its personal historical past, and that of him and Campbell. Their house is a scrapbook of their decade collectively.
Their flat is small – only a lounge with a built-in kitchen, a cubby-hole-cum-office off to at least one aspect, a bed room, rest room and an entrance corridor – however its excessive ceilings and the sheer quantity of stuff make it seem labyrinthine. The couple modified their lounge partitions from darkish inexperienced to pale pink a couple of months in the past. “We originally used a Pepto-Bismol pink – we wanted a bright, intense shade. But in the evenings our lamps made it look really alarming. It lasted three days before we gave up and repainted the room paler. It’s where everything happens: we cook, eat, live and work in this room. It’s the biggest and brightest, with a view of treetops.”
A look in any route takes you to 1970s Italy 1 minute and to the Aegean the subsequent. The pair are human magpies. “We have similar tastes,” Hall says, “but there are ways where we’re” – he chooses his phrases tactfully – “different.” Hall is quieter and extra painterly: “I’m going a bit Bloomsbury group, 1970s,” he admits. You may add Rex Whistler, Bright Young Things, Jean Cocteau, Ancient Greece. “You could call it a queer aesthetic,” he informed 1 interviewer. “You tend to go more art deco,” he tells Campbell, who says, “Yeah, I like a lot of 20th-century design, modern Italian architecture.” Campbell is louder and never overly keen on Hall’s penchant for Staffordshire collectible figurines. They don’t enter the flat.
Both Hall and Campbell are making names for themselves within the design world. Campbell runs Campbell-Rey with Charlotte Rey – a design company turning its hand to something from company branding to creating tables or designing a trophy for the Elton John Aids Foundation. Hall, working solo, is equally mercurial, designing for Burberry 1 minute, working with Jonathan Adler for a lodge in Palm Springs the subsequent, then creating objects akin to pink-spotted, faux-bamboo-legged tables. Hall has begun cropping up in these “celebrity” occasion photoshoots you see in magazines. Vogue called him a “wunderkind”. Both have gotten younger figureheads of “maximalism”, a return to dizzying colors, prints and playfulness in inside design, after twenty years of Ikea and muted mid-century nostalgia. You didn’t get the memo? Don’t chuck out that chintz: adore it.
The pair are, Campbell says, “old souls”; 30 years in the past, we’d have known as them Young Fogeys. It’s comprehensible from Campbell, the son of attorneys (“with an exotic side”), who grew up in Georgian Edinburgh, historical past on each road nook. Hall’s childhood, although, passed off in an 80s home in Basingstoke, dad an accountant, mum a home-maker: “Lots of concrete, roundabouts, bypasses.” Not precisely Rome. This, although, fuelled his urge for food for love, he thinks. He and his “odd friends escaped into our little bedroom universes”, solely “my universes were a bit more extreme: purple walls, with shelves of Star Wars Lego that I’d take down every week for dusting”. A Saturday job at an area National Trust home, the Vyne, opened the door to that different magical universe: the previous.
The artwork of a designer, although, is not only accumulating stuff; it’s doing one thing with it. What distinguishes Hall and Campbell from folks is the creativity with which they reassemble the previous. They are, in spite of everything, youngsters of the web: they screengrab historical past; they’re completely “on”; work and residential “bleed together”, on social media particularly. “I art-direct my life very much,” Hall says. “We don’t post pictures of us sprawled on the sofa, eating burgers,” Campbell provides.
People needs to be braver adorning their house, Hall says: “What’s the worst that can happen?”
“We get it wrong all the time,” Campbell says. “But if it doesn’t fit, throw it out.” It’s all about modifying. And if all else fails? “Storage.”
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Want to have a go at Hall and Campbell’s fashion? Try some – or all – of the next. Be courageous
Tom Dyckhoff from theguardian.com