Images by Simon Brown
Surprisingly, Felix Conran’s colourful home feels incredibly calm. Confessing that he lives in a "hive of activity," the space itself, a former photographer's studio in East London, is anchored by the most welcoming furniture. When Felix, a prolific artist and cook, first committed to his Whitechapel flat, it was a white shell devoid of personality. Yet, barely 11 months later, it's now reimagined as a playful haven of bold colours, joyful cosiness, and floor-to-ceiling art.
"I hang art that accentuates the feeling or activity of the space,” shares Felix about using large-scale works to transform a space. “Whether that is a wonderfully energetic red painting for my ‘living/entertaining/dancing/eating’ area painted collaboratively by 3 young aspiring artists, or a calm and considered Patrick Caulfield print in the bedroom."
He looks to art as a means to amplify the shifting moods of his home and advises, "don't hang art for the sake of hanging art; it then slips into the realm of decoration and loses all meaning and respect.”
Instead, he suggests to “hang pieces you love; these works don't need to be traditionally seen as art or sculpture; you can make them such."
Although his flat includes the usual industrial suspects of Crittal windows and stripped back surfaces, it's softened by a playfully romantic silk and linen curtain.
"I will commission works like my curtain, where I set the intent and find wonderful artists to complete the vision," he says of hand-embroidered work whose feminine undertone softens the former photographer’s studio. "This is a site-specific commissioned piece by two wonderful artists Lowena Hearn and Faye Wei Wei."
It features a white silk flower made from an offcut of his younger sister Coco Coran’s wedding dress. “The silk was a way to bring the outside inside with these flowers growing through.”
Another wall in his flat feels like an invasion of colour, with a riveting painting paired alongside a marble dining table, a flush with pink and black veins that complement its kinetic brush strokes. "Quite loud, but perfect,” smiles Felix about this large-scale piece, initially commissioned for a fashion show.
Like a DJ behind the decks, he stands at the helm of his kitchen island, made from a repurposed coffee table, and mixes up flavoursome feasts when friends pile in for dishes and dancing. "Homes are transient spaces, so embrace the movement within them… I love how this space keeps evolving," he adds.
In Felix's multi-verse all this creativity, work and play is anchored by a love of colour. What impact does it have on his emotions? "Massive! I tend to colour group, so this gets amplified," he enthuses.
"My favourite piece is our Marni armchair in my bedroom, made from this fantastic Carnelian yellow shade. No matter how dark it is outside, this wonderful yellow chair is my place to relax and recharge."
Above this joyous chair hang two much-loved Patrick Caulfield prints, “I love it with the pink and the green… it’s very ‘happy-making,’” he says of his favourite artist.
Building a happy home what Felix wants most for his little family. On weekends, he explores London with his girlfriend, talented documentary producer Emily Smith, and their rescue dog, Apollo.
When this stunning trio returns home, nights feel more precious, with Felix’s moorish meals served up against a backdrop of euphoric art and warming vinyl tunes.
Effortlessly his home is an inspiring tale of art, toys, and wonderfully comforting furniture. "We know our new designs are ready when we forget they are there and just seem like part of our home.”
Story by Catherine Caines
Felix’s flat recently featured in Clever - a terrific site all about the challenges of making a space your own, from the editors of Architectural Digest. Read more about his story here.