Music and Interiors meeting each other on this incredible article. Filled with family treasures and vintage finds, Florence Welch’s first home sings its own tune as we’ll see. Decor and Style presents you today the Florence Welch’s London House.
“I went from singing at the Met ball to coming home and sleeping on a mattress in my mom’s living room,” recollects Florence Welch, explaining why, at the age of 26, she has just acquired her first home, and not a moment too soon. “I really needed to move out—my clothes had taken over my bedroom and my brother’s room! My space looked like an old lady’s brain explosion.”
Welch’s new digs in South London, a mere ten-minute walk from her mother’s residence, is a charmingly livable, small-scale Georgian house—probably originally a worker’s cottage, maybe for an employee of the gasworks that still looms at the end of the block. She chose the area not only for the proximity to Mom’s but because, she says, “the color of the gasworks is so beautiful—I wanted my living room to be that color! It’s like someone turned a smoke machine on.” Plus, she adds, in this part of the city you can round a corner and catch a glimpse of the London Eye or the flags flying high above Parliament.
The singer, who has taken a year off from touring to regroup and spend quality time in the studio, describes her new place as a sanctuary, albeit one with crooked door frames and what Welch calls “wonky” stairs. “It’s like being drunk or on a ship—I think it suits me.” To quickly make this house a home, she introduced small changes that ended up having an outsize impact: putting red-and-white bull’s-eye porcelain doorknobs on the kitchen cupboards, creating a “Renaissance corner” with prints and tapestries, and, most strikingly, devoting an entire floor to her ever-expanding clothing collection. Racks heave with vintage velvet cloaks, ermine capelets, and spangled frocks; the green paillette-embroidered Givenchy couture number with the notorious dinosaur bumps that she wore to the Grammys hangs nonchalantly on the back of a door; a dazzling Deco dressing gown becomes an impromptu curtain. (But it is not a fancy-dress party every day—there is also a cupboard full of jeans, though she draws the line at the workaday T-shirt.)
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Welch collaborated with interior designer Carolyn Benson, a family friend, to reimagine the space and source the furniture, which is mostly English and includes a vast desk in a study that is crowded with Florence ephemera: tomes on Diaghilev and Basquiat; McSweeney’s postcards; a note that reads, “You cannot burn what is already on fire”; a framed caricature of her grandfather Colin Welch, a former deputy editor at The Daily Telegraph. She is an inveterate antiquer, finding the paisley chair in the living room at a very traditional upper-crust fair in Battersea—“It was all pug dogs and tweed,” she says, laughing. (Full disclosure: After our house tour we repair to Alfies Antique Market, where Welch purchases, in less than an hour, a quartet of elaborate coats and a chiffon tea dress.)
A monumental gilt sleigh bed whose head- and footboard are covered with minuscule floral–printed fabric dominates the bedroom, where the color scheme relies heavily on a particularly British, particularly lovely shade of green halfway between celadon and eau de nil. Welch loves vinyl records, and turntables grace the surfaces of virtually every room, including what she says is her favorite refuge—the bathroom, with its old-fashioned wood-paneled tub and mirrored dressing table. Asked if a flat-screen perhaps lurks behind the custom-made scrollwork doors in the bedroom or is hiding in the living-room fireplace, she replies, “No—I don’t even have one at the moment, though I love TV! I bought a vintage seventies TV, but it overheated and blew out.”
She may captivate audiences around the globe with her mercurial charisma and powerful phrasings, but Welch claims she can still travel pretty much unmolested through her neighborhood. She is a keen cyclist, and the British firm Bobbin made a custom model for her in black and purple: “I wanted green, but they said it would be too conspicuous.” She feels she has achieved just the right level of fame—it’s fun and flattering when fans recognize her, but she insists she can still spin around these familiar streets and shop at the local supermarket without stopping traffic.
Welch confesses that she thought she might end up spending most of her nights on Mom’s floor, and while she does try to visit every Sunday, during the rest of the week she is clearly relishing her new role as master of her own house.
There’s something magical and unique on this house as you can see on this article – Florence Welch’s London House. Looking around at all the special Florence touches—the faded Masonic print under wavy old glass found in the Dallas shop Dolly Python; the saber discovered in Scotland when she followed a sword sale sign—she sighs. “There are still some moments when I get a bit spun out—it’s my first time living away. I thought it would be kind of, Where am I? But it definitely feels like home.”