Nicky Haslam interview


Nicky Haslam has certainly had a colourful existence, not only is he known as Britain’s ultimate interior designer, he is also an artist, socialite and writer, as well as, of course, a fabulous furniture designer.  I met up with him in Notting Hill, to discuss his new collection for OKA.

How would you define the style of the new additions to the Nicky Haslam for OKA collection?

I think it makes a logical link with the earlier ‘Gothic’ collection, a subtle transition to a bolder, more ‘baroque’ style that flows easily into traditional or contemporary settings.

What’s your favourite piece from your new collection for OKA and why?

I love the Cordon Bois Armchair because, for the reasons given above, it would meld seamlessly into the slightly surreal decoration of my new London pad.  

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

 Usually from descriptions of rooms and buildings in books, and often, in ‘old’ films. 

What’s the last piece you bought for your house?

A provencial, painted, Louis XV side table found on Lilly Road….all elegant swirly legs and top. Light-hearted, but so useful. Would love to do a version for the next collection.

What’s currently on your interiors wish list?

I’ve just had a flood at my house in the country, so a replacement carpet for the dining room is top of the agenda.

What’s your favourite piece/range from the whole OKA collection (new or old) and why?

 Boy, I’m spoiled for choice here. But one always needs somewhere to stash the ephemera we collect, so the OKA leather trunks are a boon….the trays too

What colour prominently features in your home?

Whites, coffee browns, terra-cotta, mauve-grey, flashes of pillar-box red.

How would you describe your home in three words?

Well laid-out, invigorating, and, I hope, unique.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Think of the corners first when planning a room.

Who do you most admire in the design industry?

The architect Mike Spink.

What one piece would you save from your home in a fire?

 My signed and dedicated Lucian Freud etching.

What would you most like to find behind the doors of The Strawberry Gothick Cabinet?

A litter of black pekinese puppies

Which interiors trend from the past do you hope never to see again?

I’m not really very good with Art Nouveau.

If you were a piece of furniture, what would you be?

An 18th Century architects desk. 

Describe your ideal dinner party

I don’t have a set formula, but I try to make every dinner party ‘ideal’. I squeeze any amount round quite a small table…. no-one minds a squash.  I never have dainty side plates, but theres probably not much room for table decs as such, what with candles, and wine, cheap as chips, and after a zonking great martini. People should wear what they feel prettiest in, and the music, v soft, is usually a CD called So Rare, lesser-known 30s and 40s songs compiled and given me by Barry Humphries. You can bring a baby panda if you want.

See more of Nicky Haslam’s collaborations with OKA here.