I’m a bit of a hippy and I love to be surrounded by things that I’ve picked up on travels, that have been given to me, and that hold some nice memories.
Showing us around her East London home, the fashion desinger Ally Capellino describes it as “a work in progress” and likens decorating to designing her collections. “I’m lucky enough to be in a job where visual stimulation is part of my research and so it is something that’s always feeding me.” The most important thing to Ally is that the objects she brings home have meaning and are connected to people and places she loves.
“I don’t shop for anything, I’m a complete impulse buyer. All our cushions had fallen to pieces, but I didn’t see anything to connect with, then my son and his girlfriend bought some whacko fabric in Dalston market and made me some for my birthday. I don’t know how well they go, but they have a story and a link to something important, so they work,” she says.
Well known for her use of durable, utilitarian, yet beautiful materials for her leather bags and accessories, Ally’s home reflects her simple pared back aesthetic. A huge wooden table, which used to be the counter top from her Wardour Street shop, takes centre stage in the large first floor kitchen. “Now it slides around on some old Habitat trestles, but we can get up to about twenty people around it and it’s a lovely piece of very heavy oak,” says Ally, who loves sitting around the large table with friends and family when she is not at work.
When she first moved in, the basement had just two huge rooms, which Ally describes as “dreary” to which she added en suite bathrooms, creating peaceful bedrooms for her and her children overlooking the large garden with its fruit trees and flowering shrubs. Her own bedroom is decorated in a simple style, with a Buddhist monk’s orange habit finding new life as a colourful bed spread, while her bathroom is decorated with bright yellow tiles, both colours that feature heavily in her collections.
“I’m a bit of a hippy I suppose and I love to be surrounded by things that I’ve picked up on travels, that have been given to me, and that hold some nice memories.”