With a stunning open-plan design and predominantly white decor, Didi Mylne‘s home is clearly not a run-of-the-mill English abode. Brought up in London until the age of 8 and raised in Massachusetts thereafter, Didi (a jewellery designer whose pieces are stocked online and in Liberty, The Cross and Trilogy) spent much of her adult life in Miami where the sunny climate, design ethos and beach lifestyle clearly influenced her decorative style. “I tried to induce some calm and serenity into our busy London lives and bring a bit of Miami to London so I would never be far from my life there,” she explains.
Didi, who lives with her husband and children in West London, having moved back to the UK in 2011, tells us all about her home…
“It was a huge project that originally was meant to take 8 months, but ended up taking 2 years! We had to gut most of the house and dig down the main living area. There was also a fire which burnt down the top floor and roof. So, eventually, we ended up rebuilding the entire house. It was drama from the beginning but we were guided by our wonderful architects, De Matos Ryan, and fantastic builder, Alex Findlater. Everything feels open and calm, which is helped by the use of Dinesen douglas fir wooden floors throughout the house, and by using grey and cream tones.”
“We actually designed the house around the art work in the kitchen. We had to make sure the wall was long enough to hang the work and consider the light and positioning of the living /dining area – it was a bit of a struggle but our architect, Angus Morrogh-Ryan from De Matos Ryan, worked wonders. White is the main colour as it’s open plan with a living/dining area and I didn’t want the eye to be drawn solely to the kitchen. I wanted it to just meld in to the whole space. Also white is the easiest colour to keep clean!”
Reproduction Tolix chair, £65, Cult Furniture; The photographs are by Italian artist, Massimo Vitali. “He is amazing,” says Didi. “His photographs are taken in 2 -3 takes only. This polyptique is taken at a beach in Italy and each photo is an individual shot. I love their 50’s feel.” Didi bought the works at Art Basel Miami but he is currently represented by London based gallery Brancolini Grimaldi. Bestlite pendant light, £179, Holloways of Ludlow.
“In Miami, we lived in a sky rise apartment on the 39th floor designed by Phillipe Stark – all open plan and lateral living, which I love. However, it is difficult to get away from staircases in london! We dug down 3 steps in the main living area in order to raise the ceiling height and put in large paned sliding doors to the garden- an attempt to replicate our floor to ceiling windows in Miami.”
“The torso sculptures are from Michel Contessa in Miami – there are only 3 pairs in the world. One day I will cast one in bronze. The art work is also by Massimo Vitali – of St Marks Square in Venice – one of my favourites! The side table is made by our friend and furniture designer James Stuart Duncan – who is based in Miami.”
“I love to have my kids around me when they’re at home and so I wanted the playroom to be by the kitchen. The kids are never too far away and can run in and out of the main living area. However, you can close off both entrances with sliding doors if it gets too noisy or messy! All my friends say it is the tidiest playroom ever – helped by built in storage where we can just chuck all the toys. The light fitting is a vintage find – with lucite rods that light up in red, blue, yellow and green – super cool and my son calls it his rocket ship light! We bought it in a vintage store in Notting Hill, although the owner has now moved back to Australia.”
“I wanted to create a 1950’s boudoir but in a contemporary style. I am still accessorizing the room, but love the cold colour of Farrow and ball ‘Blackened’ on the walls, which is warmed up by my 60’s Murano leaf chandelier bought in Paris. I also love my Maitland Smith vanity desk, again bought in Miami from Michel Contessa. Only two were made and the other was bought by Paul Smith.
I love hanging out in my bathroom, it’s a great place of relaxation for me. My bath is huge as I want to be able to bathe with the kids! I wanted to continue with the 1950’s boudoir feel from my bedroom. The design and finishes are all very modern but the Calacatta Oro marble (I was able to choose the individual slabs myself) soften the room and provide that 50’s feel.
This is my 8 year-old daughter Zia’s room. I wanted to create a room that could last until at least her early teens and not be too childish. It has a neutral back drop using Farrow & Ball’s Great White (which actually looks lilac on the walls)and we can change the hot pink and lilac accessories as she gets older.