My Home: Amanda Wakeley, fashion designer

Black and white are always in style. But together? In a one-bed London flat? It works for Amanda Wakeley
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The Independent Online

The fashion designer Amanda Wakeley lives in Earls Court, London, with Lola, her black labrador.

I searched for months before I decided to buy this place. I employed a property finder who started with a list of hundreds of homes, before whittling it down to about 20, which we then viewed. But the home I decided to buy - this place - was in fact the home I'd been living in for about four years.

After all that looking around, I decided that what I had here was so much better than all the places the property finder was showing me, and I loved the central location. Fortunately, my landlady agreed to sell at just the right time.

I have made some rather unconventional changes. I have turned a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment into one big, luxurious, one-bed, one-bath flat. Even my architect thought I was mad. I may have narrowed my market if ever I come to sell, but I believe there are a growing number of people who appreciate this kind of luxurious living.

The first thing I did was paint all the floorboards and walls black in one half of the house, and all white in the other. It sounds dramatic, but it actually has a very calming, neutral effect.

My idea was to create a space that was a bit like living in a black-and-white photograph; I wanted the colour to come from the people within my home, not the home itself. People are often shocked when I tell them I have black walls: "How depressing!" they say. But I find it more uplifting. It was a big change from how it looked before, with pale wooden floors and bright orange walls.

I wanted something dramatic and elegant in the front room, so I commissioned this huge diamanté chandelier. Other than that, the front room is quite traditional-looking, with original features. I have a black 17th-century Ming cabinet opposite the fire. I bought it from an antiques dealer in Portobello, and it discreetly hides the television and DVD-player.

There's not a lot of other furniture in the room apart from two black two-seat suede leather sofas next to the fireplace and lit up beside two white free-standing lights by Kelly Hoppen.

I am a believer in feng shui and the healing power of crystals. My acupuncturist recommended that I get in touch with a dowser who cleared the negative energy from my flat.

I have two huge rose quartz crystals, one beside the window in the front room and one as you enter the front door, which she positioned there to keep the flow of energy running through the place. She also cleared the flat of a benign spirit who, she said, had been there for many years.

I'm into Eastern philosophy. For my work, I travel to India and China and am inspired by the way people there live so contentedly with few possessions.

Next door to the front room is the kitchen, which has just the basic appliances. I don't bother with a dishwasher. There's a huge flat free-standing granite bowl I got from India, plumbed in as a sink.

The hallway leads through to my bedroom. I love to live minimally, and although I have stacks of books, I keep them hidden beneath white blinds in the hall. I also have a small office closed away in a cupboard near the bedroom.

If you are going to live minimally, you need to have good places to put things. My rule is one thing in, one thing out; I'm always paring down. I find the process of getting rid of excess things in my life very cathartic. I know when I am about start a new collection as I start throwing things out. You really don't need to have so much stuff.

My bedroom is my sanctuary. I have a huge white and cream suede bed by Alma leather (almahome. co.uk), which also made the sofas. The floors and walls in my bedroom are all white, and on the window are six mother of pearl shells I bought from a beach hawker in Mauritius.

The bed looks on to my open-plan wet room and shower. The bathroom is the room I lavished most expense upon. In between the bed area and bathroom there is a glass wall with a plasma TV set in. Beneath it is a large clear bowl, filled with green chrysanthemums around white candles. I adore Diptyque candles, which are expensive, but the secret is not to have them burning all the time, so they last a lot longer.

From the bathroom you walk into my built-in dressing room. I have a lot of shoes kept neatly in black boxes, and a Louis Vuitton trunk set. My jerseys, jackets and shirts are in colour-co-ordinated sections.

The only loo is in my bedroom. This is how it should be. This is not Piccadilly Circus: the people I have in my home are the people I really want to be around me.

A friend brought me back some black loo-paper from Paris; he said I was the only person he knew who would appreciate it.

www.amandawakeley.com; 020-7590 9105

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