From classic influences, fine materials and muted colours to the subtle glamour, Louise Bradley’s eponymous business has been fashioning luxurious interiors for a discerning international clientele for 30 years now.
When you step inside one of her two showrooms—located in London’s two most prestigious areas Knightsbridge and Chelsea—you would be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped into a magazine spread. Not a detail has been spared amongst the plush velvety fabrics, regal-like tassels and intricate detailing that lends each piece that je ne sais quoi.
Here, Louise‚ who lives with her two miniature dachshunds Marni and Bebe and her cheeky cockatoo Rosie in a Knightsbridge apartment during the week and a Hertfordshire cottage at the weekend, talks to us about her life at home, go-to classics and favourite shopping destinations.
What was your journey into interior design?
I have always loved interiors. In 1991 I started my business, initially opening a shop on Walton Street. The business has just grown over the years and we now have a substantial design side, working with clients around the world, as well as the showrooms with our extensive range of furniture and accessories. Initially I bought items for the specific projects that I was involved with, but gradually I started designing bespoke furniture for each project and then the demand for the furniture and accessories inspired me to develop my own range. I add new items twice each year.
Tell us about your style at home
My style at home is relaxed. I used a neutral palette, which is a great backdrop for my collection of pieces that I love, and there are lots! I guess my signature style runs through my homes, a fusion of classic and contemporary.
What does your home mean to you?
My home is a sanctuary. I like the space to be ordered so I always get a sense of calm when I walk in the door. I love to cook but sadly I don’t do enough of it and I love a nice garden—I have a great gardener who understands what I like. I also enjoy having friends over for lunch at the weekend in the country and my teenage nieces sometimes stay with me in London, which is always great fun.
Can you talk us through what your home is like?
My London home has all the essentials cleverly arranged over three floors. I have a great drawing room that is wonderful for entertaining and also nice to spend time alone in without being too large. The kitchen is an eat-in kitchen that leads out onto a rooftop terrace that looks out over London. I have a master bedroom and dressing room with an additional guest room.
You’re renowned for your transitional style which you’ve mastered over 20+ years in the industry. What is it about the style that still thrills you for your own home?
The classic contemporary style is both versatile and elegant, and a pleasure to be surrounded by every day. What I love in particular about this style is that it’s abundant with textures, patterns and materiality; with broad yet muted colour palettes, you can always be playful with unusual surface finishes, adding unique details to the bespoke furniture pieces [and] not forgetting the lighting! It’s vibrant and neutral at the same time, creating the perfect ambience for a relaxed and comfortable home.
So, if we were having lunch at Chez Bradley, what could be expected? What’s on the table, the menu and the agenda?
During the summer I love to entertain in my garden room. I designed the space to be multi-purpose so the console we designed for the space unfolds to become a dining table, I have the doors to the terrace open wide and the scent of the jasmine when it blossoms fills the space. I like to dress the table with natural linens (vintage, if possible) combined with rustic ceramics and an earthy centrepiece, layering foliage of varying textures. On the menu would be one of my favourite summer lunch dishes: a simple Madeline Shaw Recipe of Roasted Apricot Chicken. As for the agenda, just spending time with friends and family, listening to their stories and updates is nurturing for all.
What is your most prized possession at home?
I value my dogs the same as most dog lovers do. They are always happy to see you and offer unconditional love. Material things can always be replaced but I do have some artworks I would be sad to lose.
What are some of your favourite artwork mediums or styles to use in a home?
There are so many—often depending on the space, its ambience and the mood I want to create. I’m a huge fan of Gino Hollander’s expressive paintings which combine oil paints with ink. I love abstract art too, where the emotion is communicated through the brushstrokes, their energy and the movement of paint through the canvas. Smaller, quick sketches have their own unique charm too, often so simple, but impactful in an interior.
And, lastly, what does living beautifully mean to you?
Living beautifully for me is having a measured work/life balance, having the time to enjoy family and friends, living mindfully and appreciating the natural world and all its magical beauty.
My surroundings are so very important to me, hence my passion for interiors. I love creating beautiful spaces that have special pieces that you have collected over the years and remind you of special moments. Understanding what makes you happy and creating the environment that reflects that around you, whether that be through your home, your relationships or just your simple daily routines. Small details, such as your first morning coffee in a beautiful ceramic coffee cup to the memory filled artwork on the walls, all have a place in living beautifully.
Another great pleasure in my life is spending time outside, surrounded by nature, walking my miniature dachshunds with friends—really simple but beautiful.