— Please tell us a bit about the history of 40 Winks.
I bought the house about 14 years ago. At that point, it was completely derelict. It didn’t have a roof, floors or ceilings, but it still possessed a certain quiet and mysterious elegance. It took about two years to restore, but continues to evolve.”
— 40 Winks drawing Room
— 40 Winks is a very popular location for film and photo shoots. What was your inspiration to open the guest rooms to the public?
It was really because of this that 40 Winks was conceived. So many of the photographers, stylists and models who came to work here really loved the house and kept asking if they could come and stay. East London, where we are based, is very much the creative hub of London now, and has a vibrancy and energy it is difficult to find elsewhere… it tends to be where lots of people in fashion and the arts hang out.
In March 2009, I finally gave in and decided to open ‘40 Winks’, cheekily describing it as the world’s first ‘micro boutique hotel’. Almost immediately, we started getting some amazing press, and it just hasn’t stopped. Because it is so particular, the house seems to attract lots of really interesting guests, and it has been a fantastic experience.”
— 40 Winks kitchen
— You are a very successful interior designer or “an illusionist and conjuror” as the World of Interiors described you. What is your approach to interior design?
— 40 Winks Room Two
— How does 40 Winks fit into that philosophy?
We also organize lots of events here in London, like our famous ‘Bedtime Story Nights’ and ‘Coquette’, our glamorous afternoons for girls at Kettner’s in Soho. These are all very much about the same thing – creating lovely, magical and memorable experiences for people.”
— 40 Winks Room Two
— Please tell us a bit about the style of the guest rooms at 40 Winks.
My favorite room is probably the opium den-esque drawing room. It has a kind of naughty, understated decadence about it.
40 Winks is not a conventional hotel, and is principally aimed at people who work in fashion or the arts, or who have at least a passion for design. We have just two guest rooms (one single and one double), so can only accommodate a maximum of three guests at any one time, and the bedrooms do share a bathroom. It is definitely not going to suit everyone, nor is it meant to. What has been so amazing since we opened is to discover just how many people really love what we are doing.”