Ann has a background in fashion, having studied at St Martins School of Art and later become a creative director for Europe at Ralph Lauren. Ann launched her design practice in 1997, and has completed high-profile commercial projects, from The Randolph in Oxford to the Vogue Cafe in Moscow, as well as town houses and country residences.
I want to create for my clients the one place on earth that they really want to be
Current commissions include the renovation of a Victorian house in Yorkshire, the redecoration of a Jacobean property in Suffolk and a house with medieval origins in Leicestershire. She is also working on two substantial properties in Chelsea, and a new build house in the Bahamas, although the project we are highlighting today is the recent refurbishment of a Grade II house in Notting Hill.
She says her philosophy and design style are the same: “I want to give clients a sense of peace and tranquillity, and create a home that is the one place on earth that they really want to be.”
A Serene, Art-filled townhouse by Ann Boyd
Designer Ann Boyd, who worked on the project with the architects John Langley and Charles Browne-Cole, looks around with some pleasure. ‘It was very dark before, with heavy furniture, and the staircase was at the back,’ she says. ‘There was no through view at all, so we opened it up. I wanted this house to be something the client could be proud of and where you could be comfortable in any room. I’ve been to grand houses and wondered where the owners sit.’
Anne Boyd’s cottage: A lesson of doing minimalism with warmth
The impetus to move house takes many forms. In the case of interior designer Ann Boyd, the sight of water rushing up to her first-floor window was the crucial factor. It was a July night in 2007, and the flood that encircled Tewkesbury had swept its way down to the Oxfordshire estate where she rented a cottage. ‘There were huge waves,’ she remembers. ‘There were two streams in my garden, and a sluice gate nearby, and the pressure of the flow was so strong against it that the water shot up into the air like a geyser. I really thought we were going to die.’
“We say sought-after designer with exquisite taste, turning out chic, airy interiors with a distinctive English spirit and a strong understanding of comfort. She keeps her team small and the service personal.” House&Garden and Décor&Style could not agree more.