Carly Madhvani opens her appointment-only, at
y kids and I get up at 7:20am and
we start the day with a smoothie:
banana, strawberry, yoghurt and
chia seeds. I’m quite into that at the
moment. I’m obsessed with
my Nutribullet Pro right now, which is amazing.
Me, my daughter Skyla, 10, and son Kiva, 7, are out
the door by 8:00am and we walk the ten minutes up
Fitzjohn’s Avenue to Devonshire House School, unless
the weather is terrible. It’s co-ed, which is really useful;
just different buildings. I can then be home by 8:15am.
Carly Madhvani opens her appointment-only,
at-home showroom NW3 Interiors to talk familylife, local clients and timeless style.
Interview by Kari Colmans
I either start my day working, or if I’ve got time, I’ll
exercise before I go to a meeting. I practice Muay
Thai, the Thai kick-boxing martial arts, so
often I’ll go to my fighting club. It’s intense,
prolonged exercise, but I quite like that.
I do that three times a week with circuit or
hit training twice a week too. Often I will
go running with friends or my husband
Manish up to Primrose Hill or Regent’s Park.
Home by 10am, I then run through emails
and start thinking about my clients and where
I’m at with various projects. I just try and
cover all my bases every day: where am I going,
making sure that people are looked after. Being
a working mum, I also integrate that with stuff for the
family; booking holidays and maintaining the house as it
is also the showroom for NW3 Interiors, a personalised
interior design and procurement service. Right now we
are getting the porch done, as well as a new hallway,
so I’m managing builders, ordering bespoke furniture
calling the decorators and getting quotes.
The main two reasons for having my showroom
where I live is that I wanted my clients to see how well
furniture lasts when you buy timeless pieces, and how it
looks in a family home. I also didn’t want the burden of
having a separate retail space, because with my husband
away working most of the week, and the kids to look
after, I didn’t need the expense or pressure. In the glass
room, which is my main showroom area, the back
wall is huge. I could have painted it or hung art up,
but I mixed the two and chose to go with Fromental,
an exquisite, handmade luxury wallpaper maker.
I chose the colours that I wanted in a style that I love
which is the outdoors; so there are trees, birds and
butterflies, all hand-painted and mixed with silk and
thread. It’s a cool and bespoke way of having art
that you love, in the colours that you want.
I discovered the copper chair when I was with a friend
at a photoshoot at Champneys. Copper is supposed to
have healing properties from ancient times and I love
Pots by Takeshi Yasuda,
courtesy of Sylvester Fine Art
and Goldmark Gallery
the colour. I already had flecks of copper in the legs of
my sofa and in the thread of the wallpaper. I found the
chair online and contacted the company, Myburgh
Designs, and we got one in. It’s in five hotels across
the UK, including Lime Wood hotel and Babington
House, but it’s not been seen in a residential home
until now. It brought something to Hampstead that
had not been seen before.
My main sofa is Knoll; it’s Alpaca fabric in ivory with
copper legs. What’s special about it is the fact that you
can have different fabrics on the frame to the cushions,
which can be a nice contrast. Some of my clients
are doing red on the outside with cream cushions.
Alternatively, I’ve just done black with black for a
customer, which looked quite cool too.
In the kitchen I’ve got a beautiful Tulip table, which is
12 years old. I bought it before I had the kids. It’s so
practical. Knoll sold the highest number of Tulip tables
ever in the UK in January this year. It’s pure white
marble which was the most expensive marble at the
time. It’s one of not many stones that keep going up in
price. They’re still so popular, and part of the reason
is that you can fit your legs underneath it. And the
oval shape just suits a bay window, which many of
the houses in this area have. It comes in 21 different
top types now, so it’s just a really good one to show.
I delivered one just like this to Melanie Sykes this
morning, who is a really great local client of mine.
I am working on a number of projects right now: one
is turning a Victorian terraced house into a New York
industrial-style loft. The client wants the kitchen,
hallway and lounge to all have a kind of ‘through’
scheme. She has three kids, and one’s a baby, so we
looked at lamb’s wool rugs on statement chairs to add
loads of texture; we’ve got a feathered central pendent
light to add texture as well, because she’s got plain
painted walls. In the kitchen we’re putting copper lights
and a bespoke table; all industrial. We have chosen
chairs that are stackable and they can be used indoors
and outdoors, so that was a big tick for her.
Before starting NW3 Interiors, I worked at Spacecraft
International, who is Knoll’s biggest dealer, for 12
years. I did time in every department from marketing to
sales so I understand how all the pieces are put together
from start to finish. So that’s where my experience came
from, and I can now understand all of that process
because I have done it on such a huge scale. As well
as Knoll, I also have great relationships with Vitra,
Cassina, Fritz Hansen, Vauni, Fromental, Flos, The
Rug Company and B&B Italia, to name just a few.
I have also just been shortlisted for a Design and
Architecture award, which is so exciting.
I also did a beautiful couple of pieces for Jessica Pirès,
wife of Robert Pirès, who is a huge Arsenal football
club legend. She’s a really nice local mum and client
and she’s introduced me to other people. She bought
a classic Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise lounge and a Vauni
fire – a bioethonal fire.
Balancing interior design with running a house is
difficult but I employ people to help. It’s hard to
physically look after a home that has to be showroom
standard. Even though people know that it’s your
home, they’re not expecting to come here and for it
to be a mess. It’s all about time management, getting
people on board as much as possible, and just being
aware and not booking in too many things at once even
though it’s tempting. I just have to keep it real and then
it’s OK: perfect really, and so convenient.
My client base is almost exclusively local families who
appreciate design and want something that’s going
to last a long time. They don’t want to have to think
about the delivery and the ordering. They want to
get one sofa from one company, a dining table from
another brand, a rug from another, a lamp from
somewhere else, and I can put it all together, and then
be there on the day of delivery and instalment, making
sure everything’s exactly as it should be. I sort out
the fit, the layout, the specifications, and the fabrics.
As well as running NW3, I collect the children at
around 4:00pm around three times a week, and then I
stop work. We’ll play Scrabble or chess or Monopoly.
Two nights a week they both play football. And the
other two days that I don’t collect them they come
back and do their homework, play, or have friends
over. I always order my groceries from Ocado; I never
go to a supermarket anymore, I don’t have the time.
I also get Abel and Cole or Hello Fresh, who deliver
amazing fresh food in just the right quantities with a
recipe. I try and be as healthy as I can, but it’s always
wholesome, oragnic food. That’s so important.
I love the atmosphere around north-west London.
Sure, the period homes are great, and of course the open
spaces. But I just love the vibe of the people; they’re so
fun and creative and hard-working. Where I used to live,
they just didn’t seem to get me. I think they found me to
be too full on. Whereas around here everyone’s full on,
so if you’re crazy busy, running from here to there, that’s
standard, because everybody’s got a mad schedule. That
brings with it a certain character.
If I had to describe my brand in a few words, firstly I
would say that it’s luxurious. Another word would be
useful, but I don’t think that sounds very glamorous.
But we are useful because there are people around
here who are too busy to think about their home. If
you live in this area, you’ve got to be busy; people
are working, they’ve got high-pressured jobs, and
for somebody else to take away that practicality of
ordering, to think for them, to educate them, to help
them focus. That’s useful. And it’s a luxury. n
10 Lyndhurst Gardens, NW3