When Sarah Miller first looked round the five-floor Regent’s Park townhouse she would go on to buy, she had the nagging sensation she’d been there before. ‘It turned out it had been Jasper Conran’s house,’ she recalls, ‘and I’d been to some amazing parties here in the 1980s.’
By 1998, however, when Miller moved in with her husband Deyan Sudjic, the director of the Design Museum, and daughter Olivia, the only vestiges of Conran’s tenure were two reclaimed fireplaces. Renovations were project-managed by interior designer Catherine Pawson, the wife of minimalist architect John Pawson. ‘We took out the double doors in the first floor living room and put down the Dinesen flooring,’ explains Miller. ‘It’s Douglas fir and gets a bit marked, but it’s beautiful when the sun’s on it.’
Miller’s home is full of art and design. The emphasis is on contemporary pieces: a drawing by Antony Gormley, a Charles Eames lounge chair, a Le Corbusier print. Her father, the architect John Miller, has been a key influence. ‘He was professor of architecture at the Royal College of Art and my stepmother [Su Rogers] taught at the Architectural Association, so I grew up in that milieu,’ she says.
Miller has recently set up her own company, consulting on brands across several platforms. Ironically, as an award-winning former editor of Condé Nast Traveller, she is now travelling more than before. ‘After years of sending writers off on trips, I’m really enjoying travelling myself,’ she says. ‘But home is definitely my sanctuary.’
Gerrit Rietveld chair
The Gerrit Rietveld chair is such a classic. It’s interesting to think that Mondrian was painting at the same time and he now sells for a fortune, but Rietveld has yet to reach those prices.
Henry Moore lithograph
The Henry Moore lithograph reminds me of my stepmother’s parents, [art collectors] Marcus and Rene Brumwell. They had an amazing house in Feock in Cornwall that Su’s first husband, Richard Rogers, designed for them. It had a gallery of modern art.
Zaha Hadid centrepiece for Alessi
Zaha Hadid made this [Niche modular centrepiece] for Alessi and gave one to Deyan and me. In our haste to get it out we mixed the pieces up and have never quite been able to put them back as they should be.
Motorcycle by Javier Mariscal
Daniel Weil clock
I bought this fantastic Daniel Weil clock for Deyan’s birthday. When my father was teaching at the RCA in the 1970s I had a summer job in the Technical Library and this amazing Argentinian came in. He went on to become a great designer and recently had an exhibition at the Design Museum. I love it – it’s craftsmanship, design and fun.
Ron Arad paintitaints
These Paintitaints [metal sculptures] are by Ron Arad. They have a lovely tactile quality, they look as light as a feather but they are incredibly heavy. Ron is a brilliant designer and artist and sometimes the boundaries are blurred.
Shiro Kuramata acrylic vase
I bought this Shiro Kuramata acrylic vase as a wedding anniversary present for Deyan from the Brussels art dealer Xavier Hufkens. I usually put a single gerbera in it.
Perry Ogden photograph
I bought the Perry Ogden photograph of Francis Bacon’s studio at an auction I staged for the victims of the tsunami when I was at Traveller. We raised a quarter of a million pounds. The pinks, reds and electric blues are so joyful and the hint of the Thonet chair reminds me of my childhood, because we had one in the kitchen.
James Irvine sofa-bed
This James Irvine sofa-bed amuses me because I could never figure out how to make it work and I would use that as an excuse to call Irvine in Milan and have a gossip. He worked with Ettore Sottsass at the Memphis Group. He was a wonderful man.