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Frock and roll stars: At home with designers Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro

With its black styling and massive swimming pool, fashion design duo Bolongaro Trevor have a pad that's as cool as the celebrities they dress

Interview,Tessa Williams Akoto
Saturday 22 October 2011 23:52

'When we sold All Saints, we had a few different ideas of what to do," says Stuart Trevor. "One was relocating to Melbourne, Australia. Another was buying a Winnebago and driving to Japan. But when we came to thinking about moving from our home, we realised how attached we were to it, and we just couldn't do it. Also, our son, Louie, was in a critical time at his school, and we didn't want to up sticks when he seemed to be getting on so well. So we kept our home and made a lot of renovations.

"We've lived here for four years. Our previous home was a minimalist loft in Shoreditch. It was a big step moving to a four-storey, five-bedroom Victorian villa. But at the time, our family was growing. We had to find somewhere bigger, and we were set on finding a house with a bit of outdoor space. We looked at a lot of places, but the main thing that intrigued us about this house was the 80ft garden. Both Kait and I grew up in houses that had big gardens, and we wanted our kids to have that same sense of freedom to play."

"One of the luxuries we now have is a swimming pool that sits at the back of the garden next to a wooden tree house that we specially built for the kids," says Kait Bolongaro. "When we bought it online, we both thought it was just like a rather large paddling pool. But when it arrived, we realised we'd let ourselves in for something completely different. It was huge. It cost around £3,000; it must have cost us another £5,000 just to install it.

Fortunately, we had some builders working on the house at the time. They helped to put down a concrete foundation; then we put in stained wooden decking, all black, around the pool. We used it a lot two summers ago when it was roasting outside, but we're still waiting for those superhot days this year."

"Inside our home, we have used a lot of black," says Trevor. "Our bedroom is all black. We put black glass around the wardrobes, an effect I had used in our stores. The wallpaper is a black thistle trellis by Timorous Beasties, which Kait particularly liked. Both our bathrooms on the third floor and in the basement, where we also have a wet room, are completely blacked out, with slate tiles and silver radiators.

"When we moved in at first, it was terribly Sloaney-looking, but the black has counteracted that. Before it was all cream-and-purple polka dots and cornflower blue. The previous owners had done some crazy things such as covering the beautiful wooden oak doors with MDF beading, which we immediately took off. One of the first things we did was rip out the carpets to reveal pristine wooden floorboards. I'm very inspired by industrial-type interiors and that's the look we tried to create here.

"I get a lot of ideas from vintage markets. There are a few around Montpellier in France that I love to go to for antiques, vintage fabrics and even taxidermy pieces."

" We travel a lot – when the kids were younger we used to try to combine a holiday with a work trip, sourcing factories and materials," says Bolongaro. "We've picked up some unique pieces from Jaipur and Rajasthan, charcoal drawings and unusual wall hangings from Morocco."

"Although I've lived in London for most of my life, I'm still very happy with it," says Trevor. "At the time we were thinking of moving, we looked at some places in Brighton, but they were all so boring – terraced houses that felt very middle-aged. Also, working in fashion as I do, I guess it helps to be in the centre of what's going on. It's nice to be able to walk back from work and go for a drink somewhere interesting or stop for dinner at an unusual place. There's a lot of that in Hoxton. We like The Canteen and occasionally go to Les Trois Garcons.

"I'm really into music and like to listen to indie rock, and early Bowie, New Order and Roxy Music. We have a Bang & Olufsen stereo that plays the music on each floor. Although I don't play any instrument, I often think if I hadn't worked in fashion I might have been in a band. We employ a lot of people in our stores that also work in bands, and even our children's nanny is in a band, which helps, as she can help out at all times of the day and night!

"We travel a lot to Ibiza and this year I helped consult on the interior design of the Ibiza Rocks hotel, a hotel specially devoted to rock and indie music. It was interesting to have carte blanche on creating an interior that had no boundaries. With a lot of our stores we have gone for a dark, minimal look, and our home is quite low key; at the Ibiza Rocks I could afford to be slightly more experimental.

"At the moment, I'm into collecting vintage flags, children's clothes and military uniforms. The trouble is that we seem to be running out of space to store everything. But it is definitely still not worth moving to Australia for."

Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro are the husband and wife team behind the fashion label Bolongaro Trevor. Previously, they were the creative brains behind All Saints. Their new label is worn by Kings of Leon, Agyness Deyn, and Courtney Love. They live in Hoxton, east London, with their three children, Harper, Sissi and Louie.

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