Each room tells a story, I like merging different cultures and interests.
Achance meeting at a drinks party in Cape Town 15 years ago and discovering a shared joy of flea markets, art galleries and antique fairs set the tone for a collaborative friendship between the London-based fashion editor and designer Kim Hersov and interior designer Hubert Zandberg. Together they worked alongside to create the glamorously eclectic Notting Hill townhouse Kim shares with her artist partner Barry Reigate and their extended family – Barry’s daughter, Kim’s two sons from a previous marriage and the 8 year old son they have together.
“Doing up this house has been an act of friendship,” says San Fransisco-born Kim. Six years ago, the two of them had the task of turning a derelict Grade II-Listed building, with all the complications of planning applications and building regulations, into a chic, fully functioning family home. It has been real testament to how well they work together, such an easy flowing process, that the pair joined forces to design the recently opened west London showroom for Talitha, Kim’s popular fashion label she launched with co-founder and embroidery expert Shon Randhawa four years ago.
Hubert, who hails from South Africa, and is godfather to her son, calls Kim his “partner in crime.” If they are both in London on a Saturday, they meet for lunch and a trawl Portobello market. If there’s a new art exhibition, they go together. His stance very much echoes Kim’s: “Yes, the house tells the story of a friendship and people pick up on that energetically,” he says. “It’s important an interior is real, not a design showcase or ego trip. The outcome is successful if it truly represents the person living there.” Not surprisingly, Kim’s house became the blueprint for the Talitha showroom.
Her home, her look and her lifestyle label – beautifully embroidered pieces for the international part-Boho, part-Californian rock chick woman who loves a funky yet timeless wardrobe – are all an ode to the global traveller.
If you see a home as a rich tapestry of different moments and experiences, here you have a fine example of the many aspects and layers that make an interior personal and special. “Each room tells a story,” says Kim. “I like merging different cultures and interests.” This narrative runs through her home and design collection.
Bold understated colour forms the backdrop to pieces that have been picked up in flea markets by Kim and Hubert, knickknacks collected from Kim’s extensive travels throughout India, Africa and beyond, art work by Barry and other artist friends, pieces inherited from Kim’s beloved and stylish grandmother that have been given a makeover or are simply displayed in a contemporary way.
Furniture that came from her marital home and traditional pieces inherited from her grandmother are given a facelift. Hubert has an expertise in cleverly transforming old objects into something new and modern. An antique table in the sitting room is revamped in red lacquer, vintage textiles are used to update cushions, silver candlesticks are clustered in a surprisingly funky way, collections of shells and exotic ornaments are displayed like a cabinet of curiosities, two bamboo side-tables are upcycled to become bases for bathroom sinks and a Japanese screen is split into panels to flank the bed. It’s very much the blissful co-creation of two market-loving magpies.