Sometimes, in order for your story to have a happy ending, you have to live through some drama. For interior designer Miriam Frowein, it was an exploding water tank that flooded her previous home in Chelsea and forced her and her husband – as well as their two children, Annabelle, 12, and Florentina, nine – to move in a rush.
Luckily, some friends swiftly introduced them to this property in upmarket west London. That was three years ago, and today, their new home is a beacon of positivity, with a look that’s assuredly upbeat.
‘I love the ceiling height and the Victorian volume of the spaces,’ says Miriam, who also points to the charming view through the reception room’s window to the early-gothic church across the street. For Miriam, who came to interior design after a former career as a commercial lawyer, the opportunity to stamp her style on this new home was irresistible. She studied at London’s Inchbald School of Design before launching her own studio in 2018, but her affinity with mixing colour and pattern goes back much further.
‘I was born in Germany to an interior-designer mother with Persian heritage,’ she tells us. ‘She had her own antique-rug business, so I was exposed to, and fascinated by, different materials from a young age.’
That fascination is evident everywhere you look. Colourful contemporary art (from a small work by Jeff Koons to canvases by Israeli artist Michal Rovner and Minjung Kim from Korea) and collectable pieces of furniture add personality to every corner.
‘My designs are always colourful, happy, timeless, sophisticated and unpredictable,’ says Miriam of her work. Here, that is very much true, but perhaps an even stronger driving force behind the look of this home is her love of the personal – stories and sentimentality.
Asked what her most treasured pieces are, the answer is not the coveted Saarinen ‘Tulip’ table or a particular artwork, but instead the little Line Vautrin mirror from the 1950s that her husband gave her as a 40th-birthday present, and her beloved grandmother’s engagement ring. It is one of her biggest reliefs that none of her family’s beloved photographs or trinkets were destroyed by the flood waters.
The hunt, though, is always on to find new items with meaning, and it was on a trip to Mexico that Miriam discovered the striking ceramics that now dot the tables and mantelpieces in her home.
She became so deeply entranced by the delicate craftsmanship of these pieces, hand-carved to resemble elaborate pine cones (long associated with goodwill in the local culture), that she launched another business, Objekti, with her brother-in-law, fabric brand Schumacher’s European CEO Benjamin Frowein, to sell them in the UK. Their symbolism feels perfect for this home, where care and attention shine through in every detail and good times are always on the agenda. miriamfroweininteriors.com; objekti.co.uk