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man Sam Chapman, founder of design firm Hudson & Mercer, is the undisputed hero of sexy interiors and contemporary luxury. We spoke to the man whose name is on everyone’s lips. All Sam Chapman and Hudson & Mercer photography © Philip Durrant

In an industry where the pendulum of male influence can swing from severely masculine to overtly flamboyant, Hudson & Mercer’s interiors have the discreet good looks of a well-tailored suit. At the helm is Sam Chapman. Quiet and extremely knowledgeable, he has worked with the architects, developers, agents and interior designers who have shaped the look of the capital for the last 20 years. Little that has happened in prime Central London has passed him by. Yet he doesn’t shout about his success. Instead, tucked away in a Chelsea studio, Chapman’s company has been making a name for itself amongst an informed band of development partners, landowners and private clients. 16

Drawing together a team of established architectural and interior designers, Hudson & Mercer use the influence of their global backgrounds to create a collaborative approach, offering up fresh thinking in a niche market where an obvious overspend on interiors is fast becoming the emperor’s new clothes. If the recent recession did any good at all, it has been to redress the balance between good taste and money, and allow companies like Hudson & Mercer to re-educate us on the finer matters of elegant and tasteful living, tempering the formulaic approach that many big design houses suffer from. With a healthy respect for fine design from the past, considerable time is spent scouring the globe,

sourcing and acquiring special and individual pieces, which are then married with the work of artisan designers here in the UK. This approach is ingrained in Chapman after an idyllic start in life on a West Country farm, watching his father and local artisans restore and refurbish furniture, lighting and decorative pieces, while also creating the antiques of the future in their private workshops and studios. These practices inspire Hudson & Mercer to this day, as they seek to build the story behind their interiors and the pieces that they use. Chapman believes that everything and everyone has a story to tell, and it’s worth taking the time and trouble to listen: “it makes what we do a little bit more meaningful and gives our work more relevance”, he says.

Domus Life Summer 2015  

This latest issue of Domus Life is inspired by Europe, celebrating its architecture, design, culture, spaces and people - all undeniably ent...

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