The Perfect Imperfect Interior
Similarly to French icons like Brigit Bardot, whose effortless style is enviably described as ‘done-undone,’ the interiors conjured by Maddux Creative are ‘perfectly imperfect.’ After all, the trick to great style and design are one and the same — be well conceived while appearing effortless.
Bathroom, Notting Hill Project
Kitchen, Notting Hill Project
Drawing Room, Marylebone Project
‘Designing a house to live in is an involved process,’ explains Jo, one half of the dynamic Maddux duo. Adding, ‘There is a narrative that needs to be expressed: the building, the client, their possessions and obsessions.’ When approaching a new project, Jo and Scott break their creative processes down into three primary categories from which their quintessential style is forged, and a narrative emerges —think three glorious layers of spongecake. Investigation, inspiration and juxtaposition.
Library, Holland Park Project
Dining Area, Kensal Rise Project
Marie Antoinette, the literal queen of baked-goods, famously declared that, ‘Nothing is new except what has been forgotten.’ At Maddux Creative, Jo and Scott embrace this romantic notion and, therefore, are on a never-ending quest to unearth ‘what has been forgotten’ and bring the jewels buried within the grand arc of history into their exceptional designs. Pulling from the history of art, design and architecture, the duo reinvigorate perennial elements and frame them in a contemporary context. A brilliant example being the architectural details in Giorgio de Chirico’s 1916 painting Melancolia which have been subtly mirrored in the Holland Park project.
Detail, Holland Park Project
Melancolia, Giorgio de Chirico
What is synonymous, but not necessarily obvious, with extraordinary bygone design is the concept of craftsmanship. While earlier artisans simply didn’t have access to today’s technology, Maddux Creative voluntarily investigates what we can create without the use of machines and opts for handmade treasures at every turn. ‘We emphasis the importance of buying well made, considered pieces from great makers or antique dealers,’ explains Scott. Adding, ‘With antiques you’re also having a positive environmental impact while simultaneously acquiring a true heirloom piece.’
To give a space the ‘Maddux touch,’ Jo and Scott embrace the inherent uniqueness produced when master artisans are combined with bespoke design. ‘We actively seek-out the curtain makers, joiners, metalworkers and upholsterers who are willing to engage and work with us to create something that’s truly one-of-a-kind.’ After all, store-bought petite fours can never hold a candle to homemade ones.
Bathroom floor detail, Marylebone Project
Jean Cocteau mural from the church of Note Dame de France in Soho, London
From the key-lime Blob Sofa made-to-order for our Holland Park project, to the Milimeter Staircase envisioned for our Notting Hill project, a commitment to intrepid craftsmanship is evident. ‘Jo and I rarely take an easy path,’ remarks Scott with a grin, ‘We continually reinvent where we are going.’
Et voilà, the first layer of our sumptuous dessert is complete.
Drawing Room, Holland Park Project
Whilst preparing the second layer of their famous sponge, Jo points to a trio of key ingredients: art, travel and fashion. Examining the memorable Holland Park project, it’s evident that the abstract compositions of British painter Ben Nicholson are front and centre when it comes to the pair’s artistic influence —with the dining room ceiling modelled off of his famous painting June 1937. Naturally, there’s nothing quite as fabulously as having something as traditionally overlooked as one’s ceiling reflecting back a sparkling moment in art history.
Dining Room, Holland Park Project
Embroidered ball cushion inspired by South American Inca masks, Jo leGleud
‘We are also hugely inspired by fashion. It’s a language that, for the most part, our client can easily engage with,’ shares Jo. Pointing to a historic image by iconic fashion photographer Cecil Beaton; where society swans pose in asymmetrically draped Lanvin gowns. She explains, ‘We were inspired by the varying lengths of the drapery in the image which later became the basis for the wonderful curtains in the Notting Hill House project.’ Like pipping on a cake, the irregular hang of the curtains echo the source imagery beautifully. One example of many, Jo and Scott continue to look to the world of fashion for pertinent reference material and a sense of whimsy.
Drawing Room, Holland Park
Vogue models in Charles James gowns in the ornate interior of French & Co, New York,Cecil Beaton
For the final layer of our Maddux sponge cake, Scotts reflects on the power of juxtaposition, highlighting a particularly stunning bathroom — grandly named the Stanley Bathroom — that the pair designed in a recent Notting Hill project. Here, Scott underscores the contract between nature, exemplified by the marble, and order, evident in the geometrically shaped mirrors etc. ‘Made by a foundry in the midlands to our design, the mirrors are mounted in front of the windows to allow natural light to wash over the face of the user,’ explains Scott. Noting the delightful visual they create when paired with the ‘marble brilliantly brought in at the hands of our incredible installer.’
Bathroom, Notting Hill Project
Another means by which Jo and Scott utilise juxtaposition is by contrasting colours, textures, and patters within the same space. Like the best strawberry compote, the most enticing interiors incorporate the unexpected —think a splash of orange juice and a dash of nutmeg. Ingredients that should clash, but instead enliven and elevate. ‘Our Islington House expertly demonstrates the dynamism possible when the three elements are combined correctly,’ comments Jo, ‘We have the teal of the walls offset by the couple’s predominantly red art collection, as well as a variety of rich fabrics and 1950s-era pieces that contrast the Victorian architecture we reinstalled.’
Drawing Room, Islington Project
With our three layers fully baked, the result is a wholly exceptional and irreplicable delight made perfect in its imperfection. What ‘imperfection’ really means in the content of Maddux Creative is this: a space designed to exist beyond the trends of the moment that, instead of looking similar to multitudes of inane interiors that could be the film set of American Psycho, celebrate the individuality of the people who will make the space a home and honour eons of great artistic expression. A spongecake so satisfying and made so thoughtfully that Julia Child herself would be proud.