Fashion designer Donna Ida’s bright, classy oasis is a world away from its former incarnation as a curry house.
Donna’s home is dotted with pastel pink, turquoise and flashes of sunshine yellow – optimistic shades that wouldn’t feel out of place in a holiday wardrobe. ‘Wearing colour makes you feel happy, so why wouldn’t you want it in your home, too? It’s a no-brainer,’ says Donna.
It’s that kind of cut-to-the-chase attitude that got Australian-born Donna where she is today, heading her own denim-based womenswear brand, with two Central London boutiques and stockists including Harvey Nichols. The house Donna shares with her husband Robert (she refers to him as Bobby Dazzler) shows off her signature wearable-glam style in a new context.
‘I gave the whole house a neutral backdrop, which means that you can focus on the fun bits – the pops of colour, flashes of pattern and gold for contrast,’ she says. Textures tend towards high-gloss hard surfaces and luxurious textiles such as plush velvet and the Mongolian lambswool bench that her trio of beloved chihuahuas make a beeline for.
The house is filled with light, the result of a renovation that turned this one-time restaurant into an airy, flowing, open-plan space. Donna painted the walls in Wood Ash, a very pale grey by Little Greene. This was a typically swift, no-nonsense decision: ‘I didn’t agonise – the colour was picked in ten minutes,’ she says.
She has an equally straightforward take on furniture. Comfort is paramount, but designer labels? She can take them or leave them. ‘I treated us to a very sleek, very expensive Italian coffee table, but we rarely use it. With three dogs in the house it’s a liability,’ she says.
Instead, she prefers to sprinkle high-end pieces among canny or customised high-street finds. And she’s not averse to a bit of bargain hunting. ‘I’ve found some gems in the Jonathan Adler warehouse sale, and who can resist a rummage in TK Maxx or HomeSense? It’s about spotting things that chime with you – and how you put everything together.’
The result is a home that feels as upbeat as Donna’s personality. ‘We’re both super-busy people, so being able to come home to a place that feels really “us” is important,’ she says. ‘Holidays are bliss, but your home should be your ultimate escape, your happy place.’
Report by Jo Leevers