Maddux Creative on how to use colour and craft to create a beautifully unusual home

The London-based interior design duo explain how they add character to rooms, and share four tips you can follow

maddux creative notting hill home
Ricardo Labougle

Who are they?

This Peckham studio is headed by Tennessee native Scott Maddux and Brit Jo Le Gleud, who met on a dancefloor in 1996. Maddux is an architect who spent his early career experimenting with maximalism and minimalism, which informs his current eclectic style. He started out working for interior designer Ann Boyd, with whom he restored a number of historic buildings for Forte Heritage hotels.

maddux creative portrait
Maddux Creative’s Scott Maddux and Jo Le Gleud
Maddux Creative

Le Gleud, meanwhile, is a craft expert who formerly worked as an embroiderer for fashion designer Koji Tatsuno. She has qualifications in silversmithing, tailoring and shoemaking and takes the lead in making unique pieces for Maddux Creative projects. The pair’s shared passions for craft, colour and fashion led them to establish their studio in 2011.

maddux creative neutral library holland park
An artistic plaster bas-relief mural adds interest to the neutral library in this Holland Park home
Ricardo Labougle

What’s their style?

Elegant and varied – every project is strikingly unique. Among the duo’s inspirations are neoclassical architecture and the colourful fashion of Dries Van Noten. Coaxing clients to be ‘unafraid of colour and texture’ is a core element of their process. They believe that history and modernity should coexist, and that craftsmanship is paramount.

‘We encourage all our clients to invest in “future heirlooms”: commissioning makers to create custom pieces that will stand the test of time, or scouring markets for antique pieces that have already done so,’ says Maddux. ‘We’re predominantly client-led; we don’t vapidly follow trends and our projects don’t have a repeated narrative. Each one is fresh.’

maddux creative kensal rise factory project
Maddux Creative’s Kensal Rise Factory project sees industrial details softened by rich colour and texture
Michael Sinclair

What are their recent projects?

Two very different London homes. They’ve spent five years renovating a Grade II-listed gothic revival house in Highgate, which is full of original features, such as pointed arches, quatrefoils and gargoyles. ‘Our clients, a young couple, fully embraced the history of the property, so it was easy to get enthusiastic about details,’ says Maddux.

The second project is a Marylebone pied-à-terre for a Los Angeles art-collector couple, located in a Grade II-listed mansion block. Briefed to create a ‘clean and contemporary’ look, the studio responded sensitively, adding mosaic bathroom floors that are inspired by Jean Cocteau drawings.

maddux creative notting hill bedroom
Elegant, art-inspired design in a Notting Hill townhouse refurbished by Maddux Creative
Ricardo Labougle

What are they working on?

The studio works around the world – it’s currently juggling projects in Los Angeles, Easthampton in Massachusetts and Geneva. In the Swiss city, they’re renovating a large family home that combines ‘the best features of a country house and a townhouse’, reflecting both the building’s natural surroundings and its proximity to the urban centre.

They say.... ‘We strive to go beyond superficial aesthetics to create projects with relevance, depth and warmth. It’s not only about what you see, but what you feel: the power of good design is to induce emotions.’

Expert advice

Maddux Creative share their four essential tips for creating spaces with character

1 Use contemporary, unexpected embellishment, such as timber or stone floors in intricate parquetry patterns. We have a penchant for unusual wood species and coloured marbles, but will always temper these with a more modest material, such as plaster.

    2 Don’t forget your ceilings. This forgotten plane is one of the most effective places to use dramatic colour. We almost always use a muralist to create something entirely unique to each property, applied directly to the wall or ceiling. It’s the ultimate place-making gesture.

        maddux creative ceiling fresco holland park home
        The ceiling is the focal point of the dining room in this Holland Park house
        Ricardo Labougle

        3 Be bold with colour. Painting a small, dark room in white will not make it feel bigger. Use these rooms as opportunities to express your moodier self. Whenever we use neutrals, they tend to be textured to add depth and interest.

        4 Art is one of the first things to think about. Whether you’re buying important works or decorative junk-shop pieces, make sure they have a personal resonance. Art should fill you with awe or joy – leave walls blank until you find something that does.

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