Home Style: 20 Questions With Brix Smith-Start

04/02/2011 15:16 | Updated 22 May 2015

Brix Smith-Start: Musician, fashion retailer, tv presenter and all-round style queen. As Gok Wan's resident designer-clad fashion foe on Gok's Clothes Roadshow, and co-owner of super-chic East London fashion boutique Start London, there isn't much that Brix doesn't know about style. She's been there, done that and bought the t-shirt - and we have little doubt that it was the most expensive one in the shop - and that it looked great. We love her, so who better to quiz about her home style?

brix smith-start; start london; 20 questions; home style; decorating tipsBrix, as chic as ever all in black, with matching dog - naturally. Photo: Courtesy of Brix Smith-Start

1. Brix, where do you call home?

Shoreditch, East London, an old converted factory

2. Your lovely dogs seem always to be nearby – do they have free rein to roam at home or are they sometimes confined to doggy barracks?

Generally they have free rein of course, what's mine is theirs. However we do have an area for time-outs!

3. A friend is popping round for a cuppa and a catch-up. Frantic tidy-up or take you as they find you?

My house is almost always pristinely tidy, so it's a case of loading a cup in a dishwasher, although I do have a chair in my bedroom that is regularly heaped with clothes that I try on and throw off.

4. What three words would you most like people to use if describing your home?

Clean, serene, stylish.

5. Apart from your own, whose is the nicest home you've ever visited and why?

Well I have to say, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis had an amazing home in Idaho. It was a lodge almost, a lodge that combined rustic with modern, and the outdoors with the indoors bringing the woods inside – it was just stunning.

6. Where do you tend to shop for your home?

My husband does all the shopping for my home and he hits the antique shops – his favourite is 20th Century antiques.

7. As a woman known for her impeccable personal style do you feel pressure to have a super-stylish home?

I don't feel pressure to have one, but I wouldn't have anything else.

8. What was the last thing you bought for your home?

I bought a vase at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

9. What's on the walls in your home?

Serious art.

10. What's the worst decorating decision you've ever made?

I've never made one – my husband would never let it happen!

11. What's the most you've ever spent on a single item of furniture?


12. What's the most amazing furniture bargain you've ever found?

My mum once bought me this when I was single – a kind of wrought iron, shabby chic metal chair with carved bunnies on it. It wasn't expensive and I love it and we have it to this day. It's the only item that we have from my past.

13. I think I can probably guess, but who do you think would win in a Home Style face-off, you or Gok Wan?

I'll leave that up to you. Since I've never been to Gok's house I can't judge it!

14. In which room at home are you happiest?

I'm a bed girl, I love my bed. I love every room in my house but I'm just so happy in bed.

15. Your East London boutique, Start London is a super-stylish space – did you have a hand in its design?

Yes, it was a collaborative effort between Philip Oakley, our shop designer and builder, my husband Philip Start and myself.

16. Clean lines or cosily cluttered?

Clean lines.

17. If forced, could you knock up a pair of curtains or a cushion cover?

With a gun at my head, yes.

18. Have you ever considered a career in interior design or has it always been fashion all the way?

I don't think interior design is my forte, although I'm seriously obsessed with interior design make-over shows.

19. Where and what would be your ultimate fantasy home and why?

A beach house made of glass and wood with an interior garden and trees growing through it, modern yet warm, and I would take it just about anywhere where the sun shines.

20. No home should be without...what?


Click here to visit Brix's online boutique, Start London.

Or visit the stores at 42-44 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QP (Womenswear) and 59 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QQ (Menswear).


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