Fashion designer Donna Ida opens up her bright, beautiful home

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.

Donna’s dogs Julio (in her hand), Fernando (left) and Eduardo have their pick of luxe seating – including a Mongolian lambswool bench by Jonathan Adler (uk.jonathanadler.com). ‘They rule the roost,’ Donna says. Find similar alphabet cushions at Etsy (etsy.com). Image: Megan Taylor

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.

The kitchen is a double-height space tiled in glossy white, brightened with shades of aqua. Donna banished wall-hung cabinets: ‘They can make a space feel cluttered and I wanted it to be as un-kitcheny as possible.’ The stools were bought on Ebay (ebay.co.uk). Image: Megan Taylor

‘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.

Acidic brights add zesty freshness to a corner of the kitchen. Orchid (orchidfurniture.co.uk) does a similar lacquered yellow chest. See LSA International’s tall glass bonbon jars (amara.com). Image: Megan Taylor

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.

The dining area is presided over by Chris Levine’s atmospheric portrait of the Queen. London Cows (londoncows.co.uk) sells a similar printed cowhide. Sweetpea & Willow (sweetpeaandwillow.com) stocks a similar drinks trolley. Image: Megan Taylor

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.

In the living room, a sofa from Sofa.com is upholstered in Designers Guild pink velvet and partnered with a frilly Lola ottoman by Anne Kyyrö Quinn (annekyyroquinn.com), which Donna tracked down after seeing it on Sex and the City. ‘I love gold, colour and crisp white on black. Sometimes I wonder if I’m dressing to match my house or the other way round!’ says Donna. Image: Megan Taylor

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 bedside cabinet is from Oka (oka.com), repainted in ice-cream pink for a Donna twist. The bed is from Made (made.com) and the lamp is Andrew Martin (andrewmartin.co.uk). Image: Megan Taylor

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