MASTER of the home makeover

Surrey Life|June 2020

MASTER of the home makeover
Flamboyant design doyen Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s stamp is emblazoned on countless high-end homes and enterprises, including Richmond Theatre and many a Surrey abode. Angela Sara West chats exclusively with one of Britain’s best-loved interior designers about success, sustainability, and how to create a beautiful home this spring/summer season
Angela Sara West

Spring has sprung and sees many of us revamping our homes. Looking to make a style statement? With more British homes containing an LLB product than any other designer brand, look no further than Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen for inspiration.

TV programmes including BBC’s Changing Rooms and DIY SOS have brought this much-loved personality’s eminently elegant looks to Surrey, a county which he “adores”. Responsible for Richmond Theatre foyer’s remarkable roundel and ceiling frieze (his first-ever commission), the then little-known designer passionately painted the theatre’s witty, symbolic history on the entrance vestibule’s ceiling during a major multi-million-pound late 1980s makeover under famous British set-and costume designer Carl Toms, who was renowned for styling the investiture of Lord Snowdon and the Prince of Wales.

Adorned by a glistening chandelier, Laurence’s surrounding celestial painting honouring the theatre’s designer, famous architect Frank Matcham, steals the show. His delightful depiction of Richmond welcoming the theatre is accompanied by a detailed display of Father Time’s banishment from it, boasting nymphs and cherubs assisting Pallas Athene in his expulsion. Demonstrating divine intervention on a colossal scale, the exquisitely painted stage curtain also comes courtesy of Laurence’s very own palette. This debut assignment also heralds his first wallpaper designs.

Twenty-five years on from the TV programme which turned velvet-and-purple-loving Laurence into a creative superstar, the in-demand designer continues to make waves in the design world. With showstopping concepts ensuring establishments are sexy and luxurious, he’s still shocking and inspiring the nation through his elegantly executed, elaborate overhauls and outlandish OTT creations.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

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June 2020