Alexandra Tolstoy’s Chelsea house, decorated by Daniel Slowik and Emma Burns of eponymous London interior decorators Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, is a vision of colour, texture and eccentricity; an English idyll created in the heart of Chelsea. Converted from two artists’ studios, which previously housed legendary modern British artists Walter Sickert and Sir William Rothenstein, the property was a brilliantly light and lofty space where Alexandra created a warm and welcoming home for her and her three children. 19th century works of art sat alongside simple but beautiful country furniture with splashes of colour and modern works. The interiors reflect that of a much loved and comfortable family home, but also reflect Alexandra’s own unique sense of style and her family heritage.
The pieces offered at Christie’s in the forthcoming sale are integral to the beauty of the house, such as the impressive and large group of botanical prints sourced by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler that surround the walls. The japanned furniture and lighting from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler are equally desirable, but it is in the quirkier, more unusual pieces where Alexandra has found most joy; interesting 19th century “silkwork paintings” and primitive models, a pair of George Smart felt pictures and a beautiful model of the Monastery of St Sergii in Russi (which Alexandra purchased from Christie’s sale Hanham Court: A Pastoral Idyll in 2010), which Daniel Slowik cleverly magnetised for display purposes. This playfulness of vision is also shown in pieces such as the primitive model of Noah’s Ark and the Linley ‘chalkboard’ height ruler; this is a home well-lived and well-loved. Categories represented include English furniture, porcelain, silver, lighting and rugs and carpets, with estimates starting from £500.