Abigail Ahern Masterclass
For those that don’t know, Abigail Ahern is currently taking over the design world. She is responsible for the continuing conversion to ‘the dark side’ with her love of dark, edgy yet beautifully sumptuous interiors. Think boho/eclectic/rock n roll luxury all rolled into one. With some simple rules to adhere to - or else it’s jail, if she were Prime Minister! – her Masterclass will offer you the tools to liberate your own darkside longings without turning your living room into a gloomy, lightless cave! She is proudly ripping up the design rulebook and instigating a revolution that has escalated to become one of the biggest design trends in years. Hosted by Abigail herself, who had just completed a 30 hour day overseeing the installation of her new outlet at Selfridges, the venue was her stunning East London home which stood out before I had even reached the front door. Doors, walls, windows and stairs all painted black!
In fact, walking into her home actually felt very familiar because if you are to do a search for ‘black walls’ or ‘dark paint’ or similar on Pinterest for example, the majority of images returned are either of Abigail’s house or places she has styled. Her own home is a stunningly converted Victorian terraced house with most of the back wall replaced with glass and a split level allowing you to gaze down at the seductively cosy snug created on the lower floor. As expected, not only the walls are painted black or grey or deep burgundy but the ceilings, skirtings, cornicing, banisters…. However, through layering of different textures, printed rugs, blasts of colour from ceramics and ornaments, plants, chandeliers, walls full of statement art and lighting, lighting everywhere, the house is comforting, cocooning, stylish. There is so much to look at and essentially that is Abigail’s biggest teaching tip – paint out the background so it becomes recessed and everything else you display stands out.
I don’t want to give away too many of the very insightful tips she shared with us but I would encourage anyone to attend who has a yearning to paint a wall/room/entire house ‘Hague Blue’ or ‘Railings’ but is not feeling quite brave enough, and also anyone with an interest in how to style your own home and what elements are essential.
Ultimately, Abigail advised us to design from the heart and not the head. If you love something then use it, ignore the rules and do what you feel. The end result will reflect a home that is loved and that is what makes it look good.