By Amira Hashish, photograhy by Genevieve Lutkin for the Modern House
Rosh Mahtani and Fred Rigby are a couple with all bases covered when it comes to home style. Mahtani is the founder of coveted jewellery brand Alighieri, while Rigby runs London-based furniture and interior design practice Fred Rigby Studio.
When Mahtani purchased an apartment in Clerkenwell it made perfect sense for her partner to take on the renovations. 'I moved in during lockdown and we pretty much gutted the flat. I would say that it is now very much a combination of our two aesthetics. A lot of what Fred does involves clean lines and form. I do the imperfect, rustic and fragmented,' she explains.
After many months spent revamping the space, Rigby is moving in permanently in January. Comparing the home to a gallery that juxtaposes modern and ancient, Mahtani praises her boyfriend's ability to see a space and imagine it in a completely different guise: 'Once the carcass is in I am ready with my jaggedy, crumbling artefacts and objects, but Fred is amazing at spotting where those curves, arches and linear forms will work.'
With projects ranging from the Villa Lena in Tuscany to Michelin-starred restaurant Leroy in Shoreditch, Rigby has a knack for enhancing the character in an environment while also making it liveable.
'I think it is about exploring how to maximise your surroundings, trying to forget what is in the space and just imagining it as a white box. Then turn it into your own box,' he says. 'We completely emptied Rosh's flat and cut away into the walls. All the wooden doors were turned into glass doors to maximise as much light as possible. A lot of London flats are so dark with solid doors.'
His tip to create the illusion of more space is to make storage as minimalist as possible so that it seamlessly blends in with the design. He also recommends considering the impact light will have on your colour scheme: 'I like a greige or a beige but light plays such a big part on the colours you paint walls. If you are doing paint samples, try them by the windows, opposite and on the side, because the colours look different throughout the space. We painted the same colours throughout Rosh's flat but they all look like different shades in each room.'
Mahtani loves direct sunlight, and the kitchen was designed around a beam of light that shines through the grid-style window: 'I love photography, so whenever I see an amazing beam I take my camera out and shoot it. There is the perfect spot in the kitchen.'
To create a cosy atmosphere, she loves nothing more than flickering candlelight and woody home fragrance. Rather than separating her sleep and soak space, she opted for a bath in the bedroom and it has become Mahtani's favourite place after a day in the studio. 'I like lighting lots of candles at the end of the day and having a bath behind our beautiful curvy divider. It feels quite special."'