Antiques dealer Ken Bolan transformed the South Kensington residence of Peaky Blinders producer Caryn Mandabach as a glamorous gift.
As far as surprises go, there aren’t many people who would have the nerve to renovate their home while their partner was away with work. Ken Bolan, who owns the Talisman antiques emporium in Fulham, does. As soon as he had bid an airport farewell to unsuspecting Caryn Mandabach, the crew was moving in. And this was after the couple had only been living together for a few months, too.
“We totally stripped the place out,” says Bolan of the redecoration, which had a deadline of 10 days before Mandabach returned home. “I put in new flooring, I put in a kitchen, I had the whole place repainted and furniture was brought in. Caryn was completely and utterly blown away. Fortunately, she enjoyed it.”
To create a home to feel comfortable in, every corner of the 30-by-16-foot interior has been considered. From the joyful turquoise of the kitchen cabinets to the custom-built Brutalist-style staircase, the space echoes the couple’s lifestyle and taste for sculptural things. Bolan even designed a sofa for Mandabach to lie down on when she is reading scripts; this, as well as the oval dining table with a patinated bronze top and cast-concrete conical base. For him, the table is a perfect combination of function and form. “It gives me pleasure to look at,” Bolan says of the design. “It fits properly in the window and is also very useful. You can’t ask for more than that.”
It is no surprise that Mandabach also loves the transformed scheme. Bolan’s passion for sculptural objet d’art and paintings by Dada artists such as Hans Richter is catching. Seeing all the amazing pieces in the Talisman showroom must have had an effect. “We do have an agreement and it’s very simple,” says Bolan. “If Caryn doesn’t like something, she tells me and it goes. We never argue about things like that.” Thanks to an ongoing interior appraisal, next in line to be ousted is the beautiful, albeit not comfy enough, Chesterfield sofa—that is, as soon as Bolan finds a replacement that goes with the art.