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Mad About . . .

Mad About Chloe Macintosh of made.com

31st March 2014
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Chloe Macintosh is the co-founder and creative director of made.com. She has recently finished refurbishing and photographing her London home and I was thrilled that Mad was among first to be offered the pictures.

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Constructed from two Victorian terraces knocked together, Chloe, who has a degree in architecture and spent 10 years as an associate partner at Foster + Partners in London, has created a five bedroom house with a self-contained two bedroom apartment, that was created so that her two sons would always have a place to go to. I know, don’t we all wish we’d had parents like that?

“I completely gutted the ground floor of both houses to make it as open as possible,” says Chloe. “The first and  second floor were also rebuilt while the rest of the  house remained similar in its layout. The works took
seven months which is quite quick considering the amount of work we  did. I worked with ex-colleague from Foster (the practice is called Bureau de Change).

chloe macintosh home made.com

“We were sensitive to how materials and colour were used to create a coherent identity for the house and balance between the old and new, the use of materials is what allowed us to create fluidity in the spaces.”

But the big question is how much of made.com is in her own house? Chloe admits that her design background (she also worked with Brent Hoberman at Mydeco.com) and her job at made means that she is easily bored, so her home has become a test centre for new products.

“I constantly see new samples and so take them home to try them out. My house is like a test centre for our products; it’s so important that they’re tested out in a home and lived with to really understand how to develop them.”

gold mirrors and chloe macintosh home

The next obvious question is: does she (as I’m sure I would) add to the made collection when she realises something is missing from her own house? And the answer, which is partly unsurprisingly and partly explains the success of the company is: :”I do this all the time. Quite a few products we created at the start of the business four years ago were actually designed for my house.

“Both of them ended up becoming bestsellers (Fonteyn dressing table and Abingdon sofa) I also swap things around to accommodate a new piece that I like. It’s a bit of an obsession but also a great way for us to
test new samples. I learn a lot about the products by using them in the house and this often results in amends.”

rubens chair from made.com

But collections can’t be based on need alone. I don’t really need anything for my house at the moment but that doesn’t mean I don’t want things. All the time. Chloe is the same and has evolved a rather brilliant machiavellian mother’s trick for finding inspiration.

“I get most of my inspiration from exhibitions and places. As an architect, I have been used to observing and reading spaces, textures and colours and this has stayed with me. Every couple of months, on a
Thursday night, my husband and I book ourselves in a small London hotel in St. James and we spend the next day going to the art galleries and exhibitions. I get so inspired by contemporary art;  all
the colours in my house for instance were inspired by Francis Bacon’s early paintings.”

chloe macintosh home

As such an avid collector Chloe could easily end up with more stuff than the house, or her family could cope with so she has evolved a system. “When I built the house, I was conscious of the slight contradiction
between my love for collecting things, from my travels and visiting flea markets, and a more minimalist taste inherited from my architect background and working with Norman Foster. So I decided to dedicate a
space in the house for all the objects that I have collected, which became the ‘clutter wall’ as my kids now call it. I rearrange it often, move things around. A lot of the objects from the wall also end up as props on our lifestyle shoots.”

GET THE LOOK:

Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball in the hall and Studio Green in the guest room. The sitting room floor is poured resin which has underfloor heating and is great on bare feet.

Chloe bought the gold photo frames from Lots Road auction house. As it’s a guest bathroom, they don’t have to cope with a lot of steam and damp. If you want to copy this look, tell your framer where the pictures will be going. Good ventilation will protect against damage.

 

 

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  • Lianne 31st March 2014 at 11:11 am

    Beautiful!

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