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To say Max Hurd's home is a reflection of the man himself would be an understatement. There are homes styled to match their owner's tastes and then there is this, a home that feels like it was perfectly translated from its owner's imagination into the very real space that we had the opportunity to visit.

Max Hurd is a creative consultant, amongst his many other talents and interests. For the first in our "At Home With" series, Max invited us into his vibrant London home to discuss everything from interior design to what essentials he travels with to feel at home wherever he goes.

New & Lingwood: Introduce us to your house. How did you come to live in it? How long have you been here and what did you want from the space?

Max Hurd: I’ve been living in this house for the best part of three years now, which most people don’t tend to believe when they walk in due to the sheer volume of stuff I’ve managed to accumulate in quite a short period of time. The real answer is I had most of this stuff before, I just lived in very very cramped quarters. I fell in love with this house the minute I walked in for quite a ridiculous reason, which is that it had a hallway long enough to house my favourite favourite painting of all time, which used to hang in my childhood house in Brazil. It’s an incredibly long painting, which made it quite difficult to find a home for. So when I walked into this house and saw the long hallway, I knew straight away it was the right place for me. It was also exactly what I wanted, which was a sort of Victorian workman’s cottage; very cute, very dainty, very British. I knew it was the perfect canvas to creatively explode, which I subsequently did using every ounce of creativity I had and also by drafting in my friend, Benedict Foley, to help me along the way.

The house itself is somewhat mad. It’s often been described as Marie Antoinette meets Oscar Wilde by way of a Brazillian bordello, which I think is a pretty accurate way of describing the aesthetic we’ve got going here. The vibe I wanted is very traditionally British but with that specifically British thing of being quite tongue-in-cheek. It is playful without being silly I hope, and a lot of the design choices we made in the house are inspired by very old-school and traditional interior design techniques but we subverted them by using fun colours and playful textures and playful fabrics. So it’s kind of contemporary and modern without being overwhelming or silly. In my opinion anyway. I can imagine it’s not to everyone’s tastes, but it’s where I feel most at home and most comfortable and ironically most relaxed, bearing in mind it’s not NOT a visual assault.

N&L: When did the house start feeling properly like home to you? Or does it still feel like a work in progress?

Max: I’m an Art Director and a Creative Consultant by trade, which means a lot of my time is spent imagining and envisaging what could be. I’ve always had a very powerful imagination, much to my detriment as a child, but what that means is I can imagine things as they are going to be from the get-go. I don’t need to see it realised for it to be real. So, the house was decorated the minute I walked in, it’s just no one else could see it. Only I could. So it felt like home straight away.

I think the real truth of the matter is the first time you sleep somewhere is when it feels like home; the first time you have friends around; the first time you have family around. It’s not so much about the things. The things don’t make the house, it’s having a space of your own. That’s what makes a home.

N&L: What's a key memory or moment you've had in this space that you feel captures the energy of it?

Max: I think bringing Vronsky home as a kitten was for me a real era-starter where I was in my space, the house was finished, the house was decorated and in came this little bundle of fluff that was completely my own responsibility. He’s my first pet and so that was quite a key moment for me where I was suddenly like: “Oh my god, I’m a grownup now. I’m in my own house and I have my own pet and I have my own responsibilities.” That might shock some people to know how old I am and I’ve only just reached that stage of maturity. But I do think he completed the little world I created for myself in this house.

N&L: What do you do to feel at home, anywhere? 

Max: I’m a voracious reader as you’ll be able to tell if you step foot in this house. There’s books everywhere. I always travel with books, much to the horror of my back, as I lug whatever tomes I’m carrying at the time around with me. So I do tend to carry a lot of books with me. I travel a lot for work so that’s not something that necessarily disorients me. I think we’re also very fortunate that we all travel everywhere with our mobile phones which is a very easy connection to home. I think also bringing your own products, bringing your own clothes, those are all little bits and pieces that make you feel like yourself wherever you are.


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