Colour inspires me and makes me very happy.
Pippa Small describes her London home as ‘like floating on the inside of a rainbow’, and the jeweller has decorated her two bedroom modern apartment in a palette of jewel bright colours. Pippa, who has produced jewellery collections for Tom Ford at Gucci, Phoebe Philo at Chloe and Nicole Fahri, divides her time between her life-long passion for anthropology and designing her collections. Her home is a reflection of her love for indigenous cultures and the colours they use in traditional crafts.
Pippa has worked alongside communities such as the San Bushman of the Kalahari and the Kuna in Panama, helping them research their traditional designs to develop self sufficiency and is known for her ethical approach to work. Her colourful home is filled with treasures collected on her travels around the globe and is a constant source of inspiration.
Pippa fell in love with the flat because of its sense of space and immediately set about introducing colour to the white walls and bachelor pad-style kitchen. Working with her good friend, the painter Gail Arnold, she removed black counter tops and cupboard doors, painting them instead a bright turquoise, created a new counter out of natural wood and painted the walls with countless coats of natural lime. “It was a joy to sit and dream up colours,” recalls Pippa. “We looked through books of miniature Indian paintings, plant books and at my collection of old textiles to find colours that inspired.” A carpenter made a bespoke shelving unit to house Pippa’s collection of toys from around the globe as well as a bespoke chest of drawers to organise her precious stones.
When it came to decorating the open plan sitting room, Pippa had no preconceived idea of what she wanted. Having gathered furniture, paintings and textiles from around the world, Pippa found that the brightly coloured walls provided a wonderful background for her Indian paintings while the cerise sofa became a glorious backdrop to her collection of Uzbek, Bolivian and Indian cushions. Pippa covered the floors in Turkish and Tibetan carpets and added a Gothic cabinet that has been in her family for four generations. “I realised I simply love colour,” Pippa recalls. “ I can gaze at a tone of pink or become enthralled by laying a lime green fabric near a canary yellow cushion. Colour inspires me and makes me very happy.”
On the other side of the open plan sitting room and kitchen a large farmhouse table provides a workspace for Pippa during the day and a comfortable entertaining space by night. “I can quickly sweep everything away into a cupboard and have the table set for twelve for dinner,” she says. It is overlooked by a vibrant painting by Pippa’s sister, the artist Alex Small, who uses pigments brought back from the Indian Holi festivities.
In the master bedroom Pippa painted the room a calming blue in tribute to her late mother, “She died just before I moved and somehow the bedroom with its elegant long silk curtains and aqua walls are a tribute to her.” Indeed, this is a home where memories and emotions are nurtured and celebrated through colour that inspires and delights.