house music
Livingetc India|October 2020
house music
Developer John Hitchcox puts the soul back into his home, where Jimi Hendrix used to live
Susan Springate

LIVING AREA

‘I think open-plan living really helps to make a happy home. I love that my whole family can all be in the same space together but doing our own thing,’ says John. Sofas, B&B Italia. Tan Egg chair, Arne Jacobsen. Gold-leaf artwork (on back wall) by Marco Grassi.

HOME PROFILE THE OWNERS

John Hitchcox, founder of design company Yoo, and his wife Phoebe, a former head of communications at PR firm Bell Pottinger, and their son Marley, three. John’s daughter Lily, 15, and Phoebe’s son Cameron, 17, also live here.

THE PROPERTY

A Victorian villa in west London. On the ground floor are a kitchen, dining and living area, piano room and cloakroom. In the basement is a flexible living area with pool, music studio and utility room. On the first floor is the master suite. On the second floor are four bedrooms, shower room and bathroom.

KITCHEN

‘Neither of us cooks much but we entertain a lot so we needed it to be practical and in keeping with the space,’ says Phoebe. ‘I am very organised so I love that everything has its place, behind closed doors.’ Melt Mini light is by Tom Dixon.

for a property tycoon – and one who is behind the massive project to turn Olympia, London into a world-leading cultural district – John Hitchcox is surprisingly low-key. He cycles to work and has lived in the same house for 20 years. Granted, the five-bedroom Victorian villa is in a desirable part of west London but, in essence, it’s a family home. ‘I see home as the most important place in your life – so you need to feel comfortable there,’ says John.

‘When I saw this house, I bought it within a week. I loved the area but when I discovered Jimi Hendrix had written Purple Haze when he was living here in 1967, it felt like serendipity: it gave the house soul. I am a major music buff and in the world of rock, Hendrix is a god.’

However, the stars were not aligned at the outset; just after its first renovation the house burnt down. ‘A tear was shed but fire is a cleanser so I console myself that any negative vibes were wiped out.’

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October 2020