Inside an 18th-century Georgian townhouse off of London’s St. James’s Park, you’ll find a treasure trove of objects that are, well, anything but 18th century: there’s a 1970s marble table by Angelo Mangiarotti, an opal acrylic Panthella table lamp, as well as a pair of cherry red Djinn chairs that sci-fi buffs may recognize from 2001: A Space Odyssey, to name just a few. It’s wildly anachronistic yet wonderful to behold—which is just how Tobias Vernon intended it.
The interior designer and self-described “casual collector” delighted the interiors world last year when he opened a gallery-slash-shop-slash-studio-slash-hotel, 8 Holland Street, that championed modern design in Bath. Patrons, shoppers, and guests could stumble upon everything from an Eames whale, to a Noguchi lamp, to a 1950s Scandinavian textile. His goal? To take collectible 20th-century objects out of the stiff white-walled gallery or museum spaces you often encounter them in, and allow people to imagine themselves living among them.
“I wanted people to see wonderful furniture and wonderful artwork, amid great architecture, but then also it, to feel personality,” he tells Vogue. They very much did—and today, he opens his next iteration of the concept, 8 Holland Street St. James. (In addition to a smaller Kensington space, it will be Vernon’s third 8 Holland Street location.)
In 2024, they will open the upper floors as guest rooms. Unlike a typical hotel design scheme, where rooms are decorated uniformly, Vernon will infuse each with their own personality, from the wallpaper to the bedding to the objects within. “It’s about being playful,” he says. “I want people to feel like this townhouse is an interiors playground.”