Outstanding People And Their Spaces


Photos & words by Penny Blood

David Carter, interior Designer | Stepney Green, London

David Carter, Interior Designer | Stepney Green, London

This is David Carter, an interior designer and hotelier of sorts, he runs his home, 40 Winks as a B&B, albeit the most glamorous B&B you will find anywhere on the planet and a storytelling night, Bedtime stories, an elegant gin fuelled affair.

 Do you have a favourite quote?

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead" - Oscar Wilde

What is your favourite quality in a person?

I like people who are passionate about things... unless it is something I disagree with.

If you could be anywhere else right now where would you be?

In bed with someone I love.

What was the last film you watched and loved?

Cloud Atlas.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon, or probably at any time of day.


This is Carolinda Tolstoy. Carolinda is a ceramicist with an incredible body of work. Everything in her house is in-keeping with her unique style, from the walls to the plates and dishes, right down to her shoes. Her home is so distracting. I can’t carry on a conversation without looking around the room as her work is displayed everywhere in bespoke cabinets and shelves. Everything is a gorgeous shade of fuchsia pink and purple, it’s like being in a Persian palace.

 What is your favourite past time?


If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be?

A particular Greek Island.

What quality do you most admire in a person?

Lightness of spirit.

What was the last film you watched and loved?

Django Unchained.

Do you like liquorice, Turkish delight, marmite and marzipan?

Yes, all.



This is my friend David. We went to Central Saint Martins together in London and he is one of the few who has survived and is making his living as an artist. He is the most energetic person I’ve ever met, seriously I don’t know what fuels this guy. He is so passionate about his work and ideas and he talks all the time, just try and stop him. His painting is time consuming and detailed and has gotten consistently better since I’ve known him. Like many other great artists before him, such as Barry McGee and Harmony Korine, he’s been taken under the wing of Agnes B, one of the original champions of street art before it all got cheesy as hell. His home, a giant old warehouse in High Barnet, North London, where he has lived for 7 years, is a great example of someone inflicting their personality on every bit of the space making it a truly original and inspiring place.

Tessa Farmer, Artist | Tottenham, London

Tessa Farmer is one of my favourite artists. She creates incredible installations using animal and bird skeletons, taxidermy, dead insects, leaves and branches to create either simple pieces or epic battle scenes. But it’s the tiny ‘fairies’ which look like miniature human skeletons which blow me away. They are so small yet so detailed, you can virtually see the expressions on their faces. To make the fairies, Tessa uses a particular type of plant root from her mother’s garden for the bones and bits of soil to make the skulls. The crazy thing is, that even knowing how she makes them, I find it even more mind boggling, watching her haphazardly stab a tiny piece of soil which miraculously seems to take the form of a perfect microscopic face. Her studio is full of tiny drawers labelled ‘Leps’ (butterflies), frogs, crickets and a stuffed swan covered with ants hanging to the ceiling and snake skins tanning in buckets on the floor. What’s funny is how normal the rest of her flat is.

What is your favourite character from fiction?


If you could eat anything right now what would it be?

Lindt milk chocolate. Lots of it.

What is your favourite quote?

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

What was the last film you watched and loved?

Jan Svankmajer’s Alice.

If you could be anywhere else right now where would you be?

On my honeymoon.

Marcelle Hanselaar, Artist | Pimlico, London

Marcelle Hanselaar is an artist living in London of original Dutch decent and is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. She seems to have lived many different lives according to her own rules and appears totally ageless. She has resided in her home and studio for over 30 years, a gorgeous flat perfect for a painting studio, previously inhabited by a well known sculpter.

 What is your favourite quote?

You never know how a cow catches a hare - dutch proverb)

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Being a painter.

If you could be anywhere else right now where would you be?

Mount Kailash.

 What is your favourite past time?


 What quality do you most admire in a person?


Alex Shipp, Creative Mum | Hackney Wick, East London

I used to live next door to Alex and Oliver and the first time I saw their place I thought it was the most amazing flat I’d ever been too. It used to be where a porn company stored all their films (mine was where the filming used to take place). It’s a great open plan space in an old warehouse building in East London, home to many creative people. Oliver is an Art Director, working on films, dressing the sets, so he takes the opportunity to bring back many of the props with him when the shoot is over, hence the amazing collection of stuff. He would always be coming home with something random and cool like an old record player or ventriloquist dummy. Oliver was working on a film in Guadeloupe when I took these photos, but Alex and Lyra were there to show me around. 

Which country do you think has the best food?

I like a mixed bag but where’s that Ottolenghi guy from? I love his food.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I’m living it! I could be philosophical about it but to be honest this is it, if you’d ask me a few years ago I’d have said sex, drugs & roll!

What was the last film you watched and loved?

Machete, it’s all guns and shooting things.

Where does your collection of stuff come from?

It’s mainly Oliver’s, things he picked up on different film shoots, the rest is found or bought.