We talk to Victoria von Westenolz about antique furniture, lighting and classical English interiors…
Victoria von Westenholz works with her father Piers, a renowned antiques dealer specialising in furnishing English country houses. Based in Hertfordshire, Westenholz Antiques and Interior Decoration also provides an appointment-only interior design service creating gorgeous, classical rooms with the accent on the sumptuous and the traditional. We caught up with Victoria for an exclusive Q&A…
How did you get started in antiques - and as an interior designer?
My father Piers is an interior decorator and antique dealer so for as long as I can remember furniture and antiques have been a huge part of my life. He was always selling and moving pieces around our house so it was hard to avoid! He had a shop on the Pimlico Road for 30 years that I would run around in as a child. I later worked at Christies in the House Sales department where I was lucky enough to learn a great deal about furniture within interiors and visit some incredible houses.
How would you describe your interior design style?
I like to use colour and pattern to create comfortable, classical homes. I am a traditionalist at heart and I love using fabrics and lighting to design rooms that people never want to leave.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
How does lighting play a part in your interiors?
I have a real dislike for the harshness of spotlights anywhere but the kitchen. With all my projects I look to light the house with lamps and wall lights to create warm light. Good lighting and lamps create little pockets of interest and provide points of focus, which is particularly important in larger rooms.
Which recent project are you particularly proud of?
I have just finished a wonderful farmhouse in Shropshire that had been derelict for three years and unchanged since the 1970’s. It is totally unrecognisable. I stayed there recently and it was incredibly satisfying seeing the owner so happy there and knowing what state it was in 8 months ago. The before and after pictures are extraordinary.
Shropshire farmhouse kitchen. Image: Westenholz Antiques and Interior Decoration
Shropshire farmhouse sitting room - complete with a couple of Pooky Galore floor lamps. Image: Westenholz Antiques and Interior Decoration
Do you have a particular favourite corner or room (in your home or anywhere) that you feel is 'all your own'?
There is a Howard and Son armchair at home in Hertfordshire near the fire and a bookcase full of design books. When I can escape from my children I love to sit and read these books from over the years. It has an Anglepoise lamp on the table next to it.
Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light or lampshade - and if so why do you like it?