AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE

Where art meets stylish casual living

AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
02/11/2016 Véronique Le Fort
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE

Lucrezia and Jean-Baptiste have jobs that we can seriously be jealous of. She works at the amazing Victoria & Albert Museum and he founded ELX Art that specialises in partnering businesses with arts. Originally from Florence, she arrived in London eight years ago to complete her studies and never left. He is French and lived in various places: US, Geneva, Paris and eventually London. They have built their nest in an apartment situated on the top floor of a Victorian house in Earl’s Court, West London. Throughout the years they have managed to create a very welcoming home by surrounding themselves with unique objects they genuinely love. JB has a great eye when it comes to arts and applies the same demanding filter when it comes to furniture. On her side, Lu softens the masculinity by bringing softer touches and transforms the lot in a warm atmosphere. The result feels very special and looks beautiful.

AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE

JB and Lu, could you tell us what you do?

Lu

I work in the development department of the Victoria & Albert museum. I am very lucky as I get to work closely with the curators and learn a lot about the various areas of the museum’s collection.

JB

I set up and run ELX Art, an art consultancy which partners artists up with businesses. I represent painters, illustrators, sculptors, designers, and coders. Together we develop art for space, for products or for media for different companies.

When did you move to London?

Lu

I moved here eight years ago to do a master on Hinduism. I had the opportunity to work for a charity right afterwards called Chain of Hope which was a fantastic experience and made me stay in London ever since!

JB

I arrived here in 2006. I was working in Paris but didn’t like it so much as it was quite an introverted city. I’m French so I’m allowed so say that! So I came to London and really fell in love with the city. I bought this flat in 2010 and called it home.

When you bought this flat, there was only one level if I am right?

JB

True, when I bought this flat it was a small one. I decided to extend it and we built one more floor up. It was interesting because it is a conservation area so very tricky in terms of planning permission. There were a lot of rules to respect to extend the flat. For instance, I had to use the same sash windows and same roofing as everyone else living on this street. It was quite painful but it does look good.

The first floor actually does not feel like an extension but looks like it has always been there.

JB

It was quite funny because the brick wall was actually the most difficult element. At the beginning the builders refused to do a brick wall simply because it would not fit in their opinion! Eventually I managed to convince them and that was quite a big win. The wall is made of original London stock bricks which have these beautiful colours.

AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE

How would you describe the style of our interior? What did you want for it?

JB

It is probably a question for me as Lu would have done it differently. But it was a guy’s flat to begin with! (Big laugh from Lu)

I wanted to have a big open plan space upstairs to have parties or people coming over. I’ve always liked street art and how it linked to commercial culture so I picked furniture and objects that had a link between urban culture and home. That’s how I got the Shepard Fairey’s representation of Berlin. I also got this Togo couch from Ligne Roset that we actually bought in an antique fair in Bath. Overall, it is really a bit of an eclectic mix that I picked in places I have been to.

Lu

I love it up here, JB did a great job. My only issue is the lack of storage. That is what I would have done differently.

It is very welcoming and feels like a home.

Lu

JB is really good at choosing the right objects. He doesn’t buy anything unless he really likes it. Whereas I am impatient so I tend to go for quick, affordable fixes. It works because he has taken the time to source the right things.

Where do you go if you’re looking for a piece of furniture?

JB

We fell in love with a store that is at the very top of Bricklane called Unto this last. The coffee table is from there and has been slightly custom made as we wanted it to be lower than what it was originally. There are also a lot of small antiques shop in East London like Atomics antiques that are fantastic.

Lu

Because I am slightly obsessed with storage solutions and as I said I like to find solutions quickly, my go-to places are high-street stores such as Habitat, John Lewis or Ikea.

What is your favourite object?

JB

I like this lamp because my best friend gave it to me when I was about 18. I’m not quite sure where he found it, quite possibly in the street! I upkept it and bought abat-jour and bulbs.

Lu

For me it is the blue armchair by Sifola Sposato Architects that a family friend designed for us recently and had made by an artisan in Naples. It was made at the right size so that it could come up the stairs. It is beautiful and so confortable. 

Big question: what do you have on your walls?

JB

The first piece of art I bought was the picture of a parking lot in Korea. After that I got a piece from a partnership between street artists Hush and Dan Baldwin that I found in at the Zero Cool Gallery in Newcastle. I also have a print from Irish street artist Conor Harrington. He paints very beautiful characters in grand environments. The street art I collect has no graffiti relevance. It is much more about artistic practice. In my view they are painters in their own right. I also have a piece from Australian artist Antony Lister who has been in jail more that he painted probably! Then came the Shepard Fairey at Stolen Space Gallery in London. The red painting is from one of the ELX artist called Jacob Wolff.

Lu

Everything that has more of a sculptural touch is coming from my side! We received the sculpture Inner View_III by Caroline Ramersdorfer for our wedding. It is made of a series of marble slates and when you look into it from the front, it creates a beautiful perspective. We also have a concrete sculpture by a young artist, Amanda Moström, who graduated from City & Guilds of London Art School, where I used to work. I love paintings but I get even more taken by sculpture as it calls to more senses.

AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE

What are your secret spots in London and Geneva?

Lu

Pentolina is our little secret cute restaurant near Olympia. It is my favourite Italian in London. I like St John in Farringdon to have a drink and little plates.

JB

I love East London. It has changed a lot but I still really like it. There is a lovely breakfast place that does egg with sage on Arnold circus called Leila’s Shop. There is one place that is nuts towards Lewisham called Aladdin’s cave. It is a pile of weird and wonderful stuff! In London you just need to walk down the streets to find great little places.

In Geneva I love walking around les Pâquis as there are great little bars and shops. And I like going to Bains des Pâquis to have a fondue! I like the Omnibus restaurant in Jonction. The BFM always makes me dream and then the old town is charming. You always bump into somebody you know. The MAMCO is fantastic and I also make sure to be in Geneva during the Electron festival!

AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE
AT HOME WITH LUCREZIA & JEAN-BAPTISTE