STYLIST Hannah Read-Baldrey’s love of Alice and Oz spills over at home with a mix of modern and antique which sets the scene in the author’s Wonderland-inspired property
HANNAH Read-Baldrey closes her eyes and clicks the heels of her sparkling red shoes together. She opens her eyes... to find she’s at home in Peckham, south-east London.
An author and stylist, Hannah, along with friend and co-author Christine Leech, last year published her first book, Everything Alice, with craft ideas inspired by Wonderland. The pair have just published Everything Oz, with 50 Emerald City-inspired projects such as a rainbow cake, ruby slippers and a Toto cushion.
Looking around the home Hannah shares with her husband Brendan, it is a mix of mythical characters, antique splendour and retro effects. The couple bought their ground-floor flat, part of a converted Victorian house, seven years ago, and have upgraded and extended it.
“The flat was very dark, even though some walls were painted bright pink. There was a small kitchen at the back, so the first thing we did was knock down a wall to open it up. We then extended out to create another bedroom and a dining room.”
Four years ago, the couple added a zinc-covered extension. “People always get a surprise at how much space we have when they come in.”
The kitchen now leads into the new dining room, which benefits from floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that open out into the garden. Hannah gave the kitchen a makeover, re-using the existing white units but replacing the worktop with an African oak one. “We put slate down in the kitchen and ran it through into the dining room,” she says. “I work from home and I do make a mess when doing projects, so it is great having a stone floor that I can just clean up quickly.
“The dining room is the most multi-functional room. We put in high ceilings so I can use it as a studio and for photoshoots. We shot some of the photographs for the Oz book in here.”
Hannah’s love of texture and design comes through in her choice of wall coverings, with a black flock Designers Guild wallpaper used in a niche in the dining room, silver-toned Cole & Son wallpaper in the bedroom and ‘Isobelle’, from Le Petit Palais range of Crown paint colours, in the living room.
In Hannah’s dressing room, a full-height mirror rests against a wall, as well as her mirrored dressing table and framed illustrations from the Everything Alice book. “When Brendan and I got married, five years ago, we had an Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding,” says Hannah. “That’s what gave me the idea for the first book.”
“Oz seemed like a natural progression for the second book,” she says, “because it is bright and colourful and there are so many ideas from it. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author Frank L Baum wanted to write his own version of Alice in Wonderland. Most people know the film, but the book is quite different. In the book, Dorothy’s shoes are not red – they are silver. When making the film they were doing it in Technicolor and wanted to use a strong colour.”
When it comes to home style, Hannah likes to mix things up. “My style is a mix of modern and antique, though I love 1960s stuff too. I have a G-Plan dining table and chairs, which my parents hate but I think are really cool!”
Everything Oz is published by Quadrille, £14.99, www.everythingozbook.com
Hannah also writes craft ideas for her blog www.couturecraft.blogspot.com
Hannah Read-Baldrey’s Favourite Things
What is your favourite book?
I collect antique children’s books and I have a very old one I bought on eBay but can’t read as it’s in German. It is Children’s and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm from 1881. It is beautiful, with lovely illustrations.
Do you have a favourite film?
Labyrinth. It was written by Terry Jones, a friend of my Mum’s, so it was a big film for me when growing up.
What is the favourite object in your home?
I recently bought a Pepsi drinks bottle wooden crate. It is really beautiful. I keep my glasses in it on the bar in the dining room.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
We are just back from Pissouri, in Cyprus. It has the perfect chill-out beach.
What is your favourite drink?
What is your favourite way to relax?
A really long, hot bath, if I can’t get to a spa.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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