Behind the design: The home of Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway

It's 15 years since design icons Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway moved into their stunning family house that Gerardine created and the couple had partly built themselves. Here, Wayne tells ACHICA Living about the key principles that guided the design duo through the process, which has left a legacy that Wayne describes as a ‘total joy’…

Family first

When our home was being conceived, Gerardine was pregnant with our fourth (and last!) child, so family life was very much at the fore of our thinking,’ says Wayne. ‘Communal spaces where play, homework, cooking dinner and catching up on a bit of work correspondence whilst all being together led to the open plan, loft-like space that is the upstairs ‘plate’ of our house. “

[Portrait photo above by Trevor Leighton]

Adaptability is key

“The kitchen is an office, the office is a kitchen. The pool table is a cupboard; the cupboard is a pool table. The library is a hot plate. The hot plate is a design drawing board. It makes sense to ensure that every space and their features are as multi-functional as possible."

Surprise secures a smile 

"When it was no longer fit for seafaring, our old clinker built hull fishing boat became the largest, most comfy pair of sofas imaginable...and boy do they have some stories to tell."

Home is for holiday 

"We wanted a home that felt like we're in our favourite holiday destination - Australia - where indoor/outdoor living is de rigueur. Over the years, we've added a wood-fired hot tub, a pizza oven and really worked on the garden as if it were a series of rooms. The spacious summerhouse is a tranquil place to relax."

Found treasures

"This one-off piece of vintage furniture found in a Melbourne junk shop has everything a house needs - a built in stereophonic music system, a wheel-out bar and lots of storage, and the intricate carvings are full of mystery."

British design shines

"Britain is a treasure trove of talent and it's often not expensive to support this talent and bring real serendipity to your home. These lights from Paul Cocksedge are made from baked Styrofoam coffee cups."

Embracing the outside 

"To relax.'

Re-use and refine

"Disused telegraph poles that we bought in a job lot get used for sculpture, for wisteria to climb up and as the base for garden structures and as fences."

Vintage flair 

"We found the chair (pictured below) in the market and it cost £10 for a pair. What else would you expect from a couple that started off selling second-hand clothes on Camden Market and who collect and run the Vintage Festival."

[Click here for more on the Vintage Festival and vintage inspiration]

Talking points

"This giant reworking of Tretchikoffs’ The Lady of The Orient from our Land of Land of Lost Content collection (available from SurfaceView) always gets folk talking."

Light show 

"We live upstairs surrounded by glass to let light flood into our lives and that - is - luxury."

Thrift takes planning 

"Most of the house is a result of DIY and a thrifty approach. The kitchen and cupboards are all high street in disguise, the steel loos are prison stock. The whole house  - 5500 sq feet of it  - cost £340,000 to build and fit out back in 1998."

Wallpaper and a smattering of our own designs

"We don’t want to show off too much...but we are designers!"

Back for another year comes the fabulous Vintage Festival, curated by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway. The Vintage Festival is a celebration of vintage music, food, talent, design and furniture, fashion and beauty. The Vintage Festival is being held in Glasgow on the 27-28 July 2013 and you can find out how to get tickets as well as delight in all things vintage here.

Wayne Hemingway talks about design ACHICA's latest TV advert, which can you view here

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor