Luke Edward Hall
The young British aesthete—prop stylist for Christie’s, protégé of Ben Pentreath, and founder of a line of hand-illustrated home decor—shows off his prized treasures
I’m constantly drawing lots of different things. People, plants, patterns, and rooms are my usual themes. I draw whatever pops into my head, or something I might have recently noticed. Could be a boy in a tricorn hat, could be a beautiful pink armchair. My favorite medium to illustrate with is charcoal; I love the way it’s so unpredictable—sometimes you end up with these lovely, crisp, clean lines, other times you get big, scratchy, bold ones. I have a set of watercolors [shown here] that I’ve owned since I was a boy. They’re all a bit grim now, but I can’t bear to throw them away because I love the battered, bright-red tin so much.
“The tray is vintage [by] Fornasetti, one of my ultimate design heroes. It was one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever gotten. I love the striking chariot design, although it’s often hidden beneath piles of magazines and books. The small gold plate is also a Fornasetti—it belongs to a set of eight or 10. [My boyfriend and I] have a slowly growing collection. These plates come out at our annual Christmas party, where we leave them around the house towering high with olives, fruit, and nuts.
“The Persian rug lives in our sitting room, and believe it or not, we found it in a rubbish bin just around the corner from our house. We couldn’t just leave it there. The colors were so lovely, and it was a great size! That must have been three or four years ago; to be honest, we’ve decided that its time is officially up. I will be sad to see it go, but I want to replace it with something a bit more geometric.
“I found this cover of the New Yorker on eBay, along with another one by the same illustrator, Pierre Le-Tan. His drawings are so charming. Both covers usually hang in our hallway, which is painted a very bright pea-green. My favorite color is green in its many forms. Emerald, forest, leaf, that green that isn’t quite green but isn’t quite yellow either… Green reminds me of the countryside, which I often long for.
“I buy my flowers every Friday afternoon, without fail, from the People’s Supermarket, just down the road from where I work. The shop is run by the local community and sells very good, responsibly sourced produce. I always get three bunches of pink tulips, which live in my yellow French jug. They’re the perfect sight to wake up to on a Saturday morning.
“I found A Picture Book in Colour in an excellent old shop in Dorset. I couldn’t resist the cover. It was produced by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1931, and inside you’ll find tapestries, cabinets, porcelain figures, and oil paintings. Old books tend to have much more interesting covers; they’re such special things, full of history. There’s a wonderful, almost-hidden street in the center of London that is completely made up of antiquarian bookshops. The pocket square is from Drake’s, which sells the very best ties, scarves, and pocket squares in London. Lots of them are printed with fun, colorful drawings. This one is covered in small dogs.
“The snapshot is from Venice, where I visited for the first time during a backpacking trip around Europe before I moved to London to attend university. I have boxes of old photos because I like to take a cheap disposable camera with me wherever I go. Sometimes it gets used and sometimes it doesn’t, but rather than constantly relying on one’s Instagram feed, it’s a nice way of remembering people and places. We visited again at the beginning of last year—it was extremely cold and wet, but also very quiet. The streets were dead after 7 p.m. We spent four days trawling the magnificent churches by day and the best bàcari [traditional Venetian bars] by night.
“The white-plaster sconce was made by Peter Hone. His apartment is one of the most incredible homes I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Every surface—walls, ceilings, floor—is covered with his plaster casts of busts, urns, and architectural fragments. The sconce has a twin, and they live on either side of a huge ebonized mirror in our sitting room. What we still need to find, however, is an excellent pair of things to sit on top of the sconces.
“When my boyfriend and I bought a small antique armchair for our sitting room, I decided to design my own fabric for the upholstery, rather than buying off-the-shelf. I found myself drawing tigers over and over again—white tigers seemed to work well against a colorful background. That’s how my first motif was created.”