A place to hang: Why gallerist Patrick Bourne doesn’t mind taking his work home

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The gallerist Patrick Bourne doesn't just work on New Bond Street – he lives over the shop and, whenever he can, brings his work home with him.

If we have long been a nation of shopkeepers, we also have been a nation that has lived above our shops. But few have been able to turn it into such an art form as Patrick Bourne. For Bourne is the managing director of the Fine Art Society (FAS), which has its gallery on New Bond Street in London.

Bourne's primary home is in Scotland, but since taking the FAS job eight years ago, he has also had this living space in town. He lives there part-time with his wife, Cordelia, who also works for the FAS – meaning the morning commute for both husband and wife is 20 seconds.

While the flat belongs to the society, the couple were allowed free rein to decorate. "We did a fairly rudimentary renovation about seven years ago and then four years ago we did it up more substantially," says Bourne. Though not without professional help: interior decorator Rachel Meadowes lent her eye to matching up Bourne's existing art collection to a design look.

I point out the careful matching of a bright-red artwork with a cherry-red lampshade, and while the painting is Bourne's area of expertise – it's by Melanie Comber, "one of our contemporary artists that I'm very keen on" – the discreet if distinctly matchy-matchy approach with the décor is, he acknowledges, "Rachel Meadowes being clever with co-ordinating".

Though it must be difficult to switch off at the end of the day, Bourne is used k to life and work being intertwined: "I've spent most of my career doing it – I had a gallery in Edinburgh, in the New Town, and I had a flat above that. But Cordelia isn't so used to it; although she appreciates the convenience, she would like to separate the living and the working. When I was a bachelor I didn't think about stopping – art dealing is like that, it takes over your life. But I'm having to rethink that now, and I'm glad to."

This means the couple looked to create a different feel from the gallery in their apartment, "so we could come upstairs and know we were leaving work".

That said, one of their cosiest-looking rooms – with rich crimson wallpaper – is actually used for entertaining clients: a private space to discuss paintings and host what one suspects must be terribly cultured dinner parties.

Bourne's love of all things Scottish is reflected in the works that can be seen around the flat: the landscape over the mantelpiece in the living-room is by the Scottish artist Anne Redpath, who Bourne knows well after writing a book about her. "It's a particularly good early example," he comments fondly.

Other favourites include a large, pale sculpture, by Gordon Baldwin, who was the head of ceramics at the Royal College of Art. "I absolutely adore it. I didn't know him personally, but I love it – it has a very satisfying shape." And though while most of the works in Bourne's home are his, he does get the chance to bring new FAS acquisitions upstairs, in order, as he rather charmingly puts it, to "get to know them".

"There's an EW Godwin tabl from the gallery, that will have to go back, but I'm getting to know it very well," he says. And Godwin is an important figure for the society: the eminent Victorian also designed the frontage of the now Grade II-listed building.

It has an impressive façade, indeed, and what an address: after all, not many people get to live on Bond Street. "There are very few flats, it's very quite at night, yet you're 10 minutes from Soho and lots of restaurants," he enthuses. A short stroll to Soho, a 20-second commute to work, and a take-home work portfolio of fine art... Now, that's the way to live above the shop.

The Fine Art Society is showing Emily Young: Recent Works, till 29 February

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MBDA UK Ltd: Electronic Sub-System Design Verification engineer

Flexible working, annual bonus, pension & more.: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the oppor...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Architect

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? MBDA has e...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Design Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

MBDA UK Ltd: PCB Technologies Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor