At home with knitwear designer Alice Byrom / Design , Fashion
At home with knitwear designer Alice Byrom

The Blake LDN founder and creative director has woven a bold yet understated colour palette into the fabric of her west London home.

The Blake LDN founder and creative director has woven a bold yet understated colour palette into the fabric of her west London home.

Clean, understated but with a contemporary edge – the design principles that define Alice Byrom’s knitwear brand Blake LDN have also guided the interior design transformation of her family home. 

Don’t assume that clean and understated means devoid of colour, though. Mood-boosting hues have been threaded throughout, with a spectrum of shades spanning deep pillar-box red to sunny mustard yellow. 

Structurally speaking, the Victorian property was in good shape when the designer moved in last year, meaning Alice’s attention could be focused on the more decorative elements. 


image_62ebe9cd45af50_74840009.jpg?ooMediaId=837 image_62ebe9e2999e29_89464079.jpg?ooMediaId=838


“Luckily, we didn’t need to do anything too drastic,” she says. “I had just had my third baby, so mentally and physically I wouldn’t have been able to cope with a huge project.”

Instead, the pared-back renovations saw a new kitchen installed and the main guest bedroom transformed into a master bathroom with walk-through wardrobe, while an en suite was turned into a dressing room. The result is a functional, vibrant family space. 

Much like the design process for Alice’s knitwear collections, tones and textures provided the starting point. “My husband and I knew pretty much what colour palette we wanted to go for in each room, but we called upon our great friend Lucy Barlow of Barlow & Barlow to help us bring everything together with fabrics.”


image_62ebebefc114b4_65163982.jpg?ooMediaId=841 image_62ebec06c84757_37545947.jpg?ooMediaId=842


The resulting finishes have been used cleverly: sometimes sparingly (the bright green-blue door frame in the dining room, painted in Edward Bulmer Verdigris), sometimes more boldly (the leafy Hedera by Sanderson wallpaper in the study). This considered approach means even the smallest of details – like the sitting room’s bright tropical cushion trims – make a statement. 

“Design inspiration can really come from anywhere,” muses Alice. “A recent visit somewhere, a colour combination, a swatch of fabric, an image or campaign from a magazine or exhibition. My eyes are constantly open to things.”

She takes the same magpie approach to sourcing furniture and objects. “I’ve found Instagram to be a good place to find things. Plus, The Sale Room for antique pieces at a fraction of the price, which I’ll then often get upholstered. I also love a local car boot – Chiswick and Barnes in particular. Some of our best vintage lights have come from there.” 




Upcycled and reclaimed pieces like the roll-top bathtub are mixed with bespoke creations, including a dining table made by Tom Marsh. The outcome? Interior design that celebrates longevity and craftsmanship, sentiments that are echoed at Blake LDN. 

Having studied at Central Saint Martins, Alice went on to work as an assistant knitwear designer at Rag & Bone in New York, before returning to London to found her label in 2012. “What my time at Rag & Bone taught me was that I loved all aspects of business, not just the design,” she says, adding that it’s the reason she also works as an art director and brand consultant.

At Blake LDN, there’s a timelessness to the collections, tempered with modernity. “It’s all about the different angles of the brand coming together; from the design, the silhouettes and the textures to the final imagery. Imagery is so important to the brand identity and is by far my favourite part of the job. The campaigns are a way of portraying, producing and styling that sense of modernity and getting exactly that message across.”


image_62ebeac11636f1_70646326.jpg?ooMediaId=839 image_62ebeacde64698_93778372.jpg?ooMediaId=840


The design process involved in bringing these visions to life can be lengthy, she explains – a chain of sketching, mood boarding, visiting yarn suppliers at Pitti Filati in Florence, liaising with factories to create prototypes – and involve an element of trial and error. 

“Good design has to encompass a lot of things,” she reflects. “It has to be thoughtful to the process, materials, people and manufacturing involved, as well as the end product being aesthetically pleasing and innovative.” Clearly, it doesn’t matter whether the product in question is an item of knitwear or the interior design of her home, for Alice the same ethos still stands. 




Alice’s London hotspots:

Go-to places for coffee, dinner and drinks? 
In Acton, either Laveli Bakery or the Italian deli – Churchfield Food Store – on Churchfield road. Basil & Tom’s for the best fruit and veg – the owners Gabby and Max are wonderful. A bit further afield, No 197 Chiswick Fire Station for weekend breakfast with the kids, Frank’s in St James for pre-dinner drinks and Bocca di Lupo in Soho for dinner. 

Shops you rely on?
Clothing-wise, Cossie & Co for swimwear, Casa Raki for summery things, The Deck for suiting and Seventy & Mochi for denim. For interiors, McIntosh & Light in Hackney, (Sally has such a good edit) and Bettina Ceramica for beautiful ceramics, started by my oldest friend. 

Favourite locales for boosting creativity?
I love the V&A – you really can’t beat it. I can get lost in there for hours.

Stay: Read.