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INTRODUCING JENNY-LYN Interiors stylist Jenny- lyn is the most discreet boutique owner in Notting Hill… Her eponymous Aladdin’s cave on All Saints Road, London W11, is a cult destination for A-list actors, models and rock stars. They pop in to source unique and alluring vintage furniture and lighting for their fashionable homes. But she refuses to name names. “I have such great, low-key relationships with my customers (and their decorators) that to reveal identities and betray confidences feels counter-intuitive” she confides, to the frustration of press everywhere. Suffice to say that a paparazzo camped outside Jenny- lyn for a week would not be disappointed … Born in Sydney, Jenny-lyn moved to London in 1994. She originally trained as a legal executive specialising in family law “but I knew that my real passion lay in interiors and fashion, so it was almost inevitable that I would eventually find a way to combine the two.” Lucky enough to find herself sharing a beautiful Chelsea apartment largely decorated with pieces from David Gill - “the man with the best eye in the world” - Jenny-lyn struck gold when she landed a job as Gill’s right hand woman. This inspirational experience transformed her life. Five years on, Jenny-lyn moved down the Fulham Road to work with Valerie Wade; responsible for buying pieces and styling interiors, she remained there until 2004. After a year of product sourcing and interiors styling for the private luxury residential market, Jenny-lyn opened her shop, sourcing and displaying stunning pieces from France, Italy and the US. Her signatures include Loop chandeliers and sought after designs by Willy Rizzo and Pierre Cardin. “I have lived around Notting Hill for many years and identified a gap in the market for a really great vintage furniture store specialising in mid 20th century design and mixing in modern furniture design. Since the advent of Edwin’s bathroom store I had nurtured a vision of All Saints Road as a hot interiors destination; it’s slightly tucked away and feels like a richly authentic local enclave. That’s now becoming a reality, with shops offering wooden floors, antiques, curtains and so on. I love the passion surrounding people’s discovery of the shop: it’s like a trade secret. This generates tremendous loyalty and word of mouth business, especially from out of town”. 80% of Jenny-lyn’s stock is vintage, and the remaining 20% consists of quirky modern pieces, cleverly curated to complement the older items. As for interior design and styling, Jenny-lyn now only gets involved with projects she can't resist. Last year’s biggest undertaking was an utterly spectacular house in Hong Kong. Asked why she accepted the eX design brief in Queen’s Gardens, London W2, she replies: “Above all, I fell madly in love with the space. It’s an exemplary property, perfectly embodying the elegance of London’s stucco Regency terraces. The private portico entrance is just spectacular, and I adored the high ceilings and the classical proportions. For the first time in my life, I walked in and knew exactly what to do. In that sense, it was the easiest job I have ever worked on.” The scheme that Jenny-Lyn devised has very broad appeal. It is simultaneously pale but warm, with a dark charcoal paint selected for the entrance, and lots of reflective surfaces to make the most of the light that streams in from the huge windows. “In my head, I visualised a banker buying the property, perhaps one half of a couple in their mid 30s with increasingly sophisticated taste. To this end, I unearthed the exquisite 1940s Italian armchairs and the wonderful c.1930s chandelier with the huge crystals - a rare treasure.” Jenny-lyn excels at sourcing. She found everything she was looking for precisely because she knows what is out there in the market at any given time and, thanks to her trade contacts, can help make a project affordable for the developer. She is particularly proud of the artworks at Queen’s Gardens that are on loan from local artist Jake Gavin. “I spent a day trying to find pictures that would work with the scheme. I knew exactly what I had in mind, I was just struggling to find it. In despair, I ran into Jake’s studio around the corner for the first time in my life and there they were: the five large, framed photographs I had been carrying around in my head!” When Jenny-lyn really can’t find what she wants, she’ll either customise or create it from scratch, frequently inspired by a vintage design. A range of Jenny-lyn furniture is in the pipeline for late 2008. “I really struggle to find good bedside tables, so that’s my first task. There’ll be a limited edition of, say, 50 pairs, all individually signed so that you don’t see them in every bedroom in Notting Hill. I’ll be using polished metals, Perspex, shagreen, interesting materials… you’ll see!”. Crucially, she plans to produce her range in the UK - “I want to keep the money in the UK economy even if it dictates a higher price point” – and is currently spending every Monday meeting with potential manufacturers Jenny-lyn is married and lives with her husband and stepdaughter on Kensington Church Street, in a beautiful home that features in the March 2008 issue of Living Etc.
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