Designer, style maven and author, Abigail Ahern is highly acclaimed for her trend setting designs that are synonymous with glamour, eclecticism and wit. This British stylist, interior designer, author, teacher, brand developer, seriously knows how to bring her own personal style to her projects.
I’m loving her ability to mix eclectic elements while having fun, but not going overboard, modern, but still so “unbelievable liveable”. At the centre of her characteristic world of interiors is her treasure trove of a shop, tucked onto Islington Upper Street, London. The “Atelier Abigail Ahern”, a tiny emporium in the heart of London, sells her iconic lamps amongst other whimsical and glamorous pieces, sourced from and inspired by, her travels around the world. The shop serves as the headquarters of its eponymous owners interior design service, whilst doubling up as a homewares atelier.
Mrs. Ahern is a design-nirvana with a cunning mix of carefully resourced pieces and her atelier is an interiors emporium filled with a quirky mix of objects of desire… eclectic, mischievous and eccentric, with no restraint on mixing cultures, periods and scales. A maestro at fusing bygone style with a tongue-in-cheek modern whimsy, her design works equally well uptown, downtown in the country or on the coast.
Heralded as “style spotter extraordinaire” by “The Times” newspaper, she has established her position at the front of the design trail with her original interpretational of trends, her unique sense of style and a wholly individual approach to interiors. One of her final trick is fake flowers. Forgot those greasy, dusty plastic things of yore: Ahern is famous for her realistic, sumptuous faux-blooms, which are a bestseller in the atelier!
Ahern’s covetable aesthetic, dubbed by its creator as “Alice in Wonderland-esque, colorful and tongue-in-cheek”, has gained a strong and loyal following all over the world, where she is renowned for her uncompromising taste. She has redefined the visual landscape with her cleverly mixed collections and regularly contributes to television and radio programs, magazines and newspapers. She is also taking her trailblazing design philosophy on the road, worldwide with a series of one-day courses/style surgeries! With a twist from the norm, Abigail’s alternative Design School breaks rules and creates new ones. Sharing her inside knowledge, decorating secrets, tricks & tips, Abigail shows how to create seductively stylish spaces overflowing with personality. Her approach coming from the heart of art of creating fabulous spaces, encourages everyone to be fearless in their decorating choices. Abigail demystifies, inspires and tantalizes with mischievous design ideas and unexpected tricks of the trade, certain to propel any pad into the design pages of a glossy magazine. The master classes consisted of a series of lectures interspersed with a house tour, a flower arranging demonstration by Abigail’s sister Gemma Ahern, lunch and lots and lots of coffee. The lectures are slide presentations mostly using images of other people’s houses. Visiting the house of a famous interior designer –and sharing her tricks- is not an opportunity that presents itself very often. I think that it must be fascinating to see how Abigail Ahern has implemented her own advice, the type of house she bought, the way she converted it and of course, how she decorated it. Her house is the perfect place to run her classes from –as you see her below-, ‘cause it’s like a four storey bricks and mortar real life text book, backing up her lectures with additional information and further reading.
As if Abigail’s artistic intelligence wasn’t enough, she has now extended her talents to writing. Abigail’s debut book “A Girl’s Guide to Decorating”, is a hip, practical style guide full of insider advice, cool and original ideas, fabulously glossy photography and clever tips for turning your space into a fabulous stylish pad.. and without spending a lot of money too!! With “Decorating with Style”, the designer upholds the assumption by which, style has nothing to do with money and everything to do with confidence. She goes back to basics to help the reader to determine his own style, to finally demonstrates how to take interiors to the next level, by mixing and layering different styles and eras. The guide is full of original ideas, beautiful photography, speedy and useful suggestions and easy DIY projects, that transform affordable furniture and accessories into something really stylish and unique.
Being reviewed by “The Telegraph” as “inspirational”, Abigail has secured herself a firm place in interior writing. She writes about what she knows and loves best, and it offers a real insight into interior design and Abigail as a person. She imparts her expertise on all aspects of home decoration, from the initial planning, through to the small details. Her own taste is reflected in the book, encouraging the reader to be brave with color and patterns.Abigail’s style is classic, witty and uber-luxurious. She fuses a love of vintage, with a particular attraction to the Victorian era and dark interiors, with contemporary furnishings and mood-setting color palettes. Despite this unique and recognizable aesthetic, Abigail is always on the lookout for new inspirations. Trips to the country’s vast antique fairs, from Kempton to Newark or Paris to “Merci 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais“, they fuel Abigail’s imagination and are perfect for picking up quirky furnishings. When Abigail isn’t exploring, she’s designing.. Featuring lighting initially, under the name of “Lux”.. it was a twist in tradition, with an unusual collection of animal inspired lamps, featuring tiny frou-frou shades, handmade from the finest silk taffeta in Paris.
So what is Abigail’s advice for creating a beautiful home? She swears by three fundamental top tips when it comes to decorating: “Color is the cheapest and most transformative thing you can do to a space. Lighting comes next, it’s absolutely fundamental in creating the atmosphere and mood, which are really important”, she advises. “Finally, texture and pattern are the herbs and spices of the decorating world, you need some going on in any space to make it feel intriguing and tantalizing”. When choosing a paint color the designer often takes inspiration from nature, ‘cause she thinks that “if it works outside you are pretty much guaranteed it will work inside”.. she thinks also that “..often times people play it too safe with their beige white color palettes.. yes, it can make a space appear bigger, but personally I want magic to happen when I walk through my door… I want to be seduced and tantalized by dark inky hues”..
And what about the art of decorating a house? “Only buy what you love, don’t follow trends and think outside the box a little. Whether that means playing around with scale, adding oodles of texture and pattern I find the most memorable interiors are ones that take risks”… that’s the thinking of a really trailblazing artist.
All of her fulfillments are surreal, yet all very fantastic and fabulous – something that Ahern and her team are renowned for. They love to play with scale and time periods to achieve a style that is at once outlandish and relaxed that Ahern herself succinctly describes as “a love for the unusual”. She also acclaims that “nothing is silly for the sake of being silly,” when speaking of the various “wonky” pieces of lighting, furniture, textiles and objects, handpicked by her and her team from across the globe, that sit in her studio. Looking around the studio, the creative chaos that adorns the space certainly has more is common with a gallery than a homewares store. Each piece seems to have an inescapable personality!