Dutch model Lara Stone chops vegetables in the kitchen of her Hampstead home. The French doors to her lavender-infused garden are open, the room floods with sunlight while the sounds of jazz fill the air. Fresh-faced, casual in jeans and a stone-washed T-shirt, her hair pulled into a ponytail – it’s a rare glimpse of the supermodel figure formed on the catwalk that debuted for Givenchy in 2006, or the covers of major magazines. She’s been shinning since 2007. She lights up her famous gap-toothed smile while her real estate developer husband, 41-year-old David Griffson, serves coffee at the kitchen table.
The couple bought their Victorian home in the leafy enclave of London in 2020. They spent time stripping it of its bones and revising the design, before moving in with and with Stone’s nine-year-old son Alfred (from a previous marriage to David Williams). Two cats in 2021 – they got married in the same year, having met in 2018.
Their neighborhood revolves around the Heath, a green lung intertwined with forests, hills, and natural bathing ponds that distribute a serene atmosphere of comfort among the surrounding streets. The family has already thrown itself into local life. Stone and her son now share a new hobby: wild swimming. “It’s addictive,” she says of the feeling of exhilaration she derives from the famous pool bathing ritual.
The house is their happy place, and a billboard for Grievson’s real estate design firm, Coburn. He’s been designing high-end spaces for 20 years, honing his skills at developer Londonewcastle, and now providing service from design to construction and, if their client desires it, from furnishings to art. “Lara and Alf were two of my clients here,” the designer says, as he posts a stack of floor plans across the kitchen table and mentions the many hours he spent thinking about the sketches. The four floors of the house were divided into self-contained apartments by the previous owners, so the project had to open up into a series of airy spaces with vintage finds, collectibles and splashes of color.
“Lara has a lot of input,” says Griffson, pointing to the orange kettle on the stove—one of the 38-year-old’s “homage” to her Dutch roots. “We also have a big orange sofa — and an orange car.”
We are seated at a large wooden table that Grievson salvaged from an accountant’s office—beautifully restored with age, suggesting a salvaged piece of a slowly decaying farmhouse rather than a slick urban center. Brigitte Bardot watches the proceedings from one side of the table, her image immortalized in a black and white photograph (“Most people think it’s Lara,” Griffson notes to the actress whose extraordinary form has been compared to Stone since the beginning of her career) and on the other side is George III’s wood cabinet Mahogany, sourced from Cloverleaf Home Interiors, is filled with the couple’s copper and glassware. “I’ve always loved brown furniture – I think it will be back,” griffson smiles.
The old and the new are placed side by side. Used Grievson containers complement the modern kitchen with its quartz-clad island and storage wall. It shouldn’t work, but it does. “I think this comes from years of showcasing clothes,” says Griffson, who laughs out loud at the mention of two metallic robots sitting atop a closet. His many travels are immersed in humor and childhood memories. “There’s a silver and cream piece from Sunbury Antiques Market—remote-controlled since the ’70s. I want to find more!” Stone is not convinced. “Yes, they look cute in there but they were in our bedroom in our old house, which was scary,” she jokes, but her Dutch accent is still noticeable despite her residence in London since 2009.
“I have to show you this piece—it’s by a very interesting up-and-coming artist,” Griffson continues, pointing to a color-scattered framed vinyl record in the style of Damien Hirst’s rotating plates. “It’s Alfred Stone’s work, early work.” Ibn Stone is an artist in the making. “We have so many pieces framed for a thousand,” she says proudly.
a larger artwork hangs above the orange sofa in the living room; It’s by Griffson’s old friend, contemporary landscape artist Lucy Kent. “It’s early work — her work has evolved a lot since then, but we love it,” he says. Color pops against the muted background – a soothing palette designed by Stone. “I like to relax,” she says of her neutral scheme. “I asked the paint consultant at Farrow & Ball to come over to the house. We went through all the rooms together and brought in large samples, which we put on the wall to help us decide. He removed all that fear, and in the end, I got really good at choosing colors – apparently I Attracted to green, that’s why we used a very pale shade in the room.”
Grievson’s contribution increases eclecticism: a row of vintage cinema chairs, which he bought for £240 more than 10 years ago, line one wall. “I was determined to find a place for them here, as well as the old radio in the corner, another Sudbury find,” he says. Glassware collected on one of the wall shelves is evidence of another rabbit hole that Griffson has lost over the years.
“And I love the globe,” he says, as we climb the stairs to the TV room, where there is another orange sofa beneath Michael Angel artwork, and a globe-shaped drinks cart peeking among the potted foliage. Jonathan Adler Distraction Objectives It turns into another secondary obsession. “I once went to the biggest sample sale ever, somewhere outside of Portobello. I gave up.
A floral carpet, lying on an oak floor, makes the decorations even brighter. Stone discovered it in a small antique shop in Wales. “I managed to get it into the car on my own and then had to raise it two steps. I kept telling myself, I can do this, I don’t need a man. Two weeks later I saw my rugs at Ikea. I thought, Oh, I’ve been cheated,” she laughs. “Fortunately, she was not like my antiquity.”
Around the house are a lot of personal specs. Also on the first floor is a utility room (“a nine-year-old is badly needed”) and an “adult ventilation closet”, as well as an en-suite bedroom “created to entice our parents to come and stay”. Grievson’s ethos of “to use every inch of the house” meant stripping back to brickwork and starting much of the design from scratch. “My webmaster once refused entry to Lara because she was wearing Birkenstocks.” The stone explodes with laughter. “I love Birkenstocks. I have many, even slave ones.”
Stone now has an area dedicated to her beloved sandals in her large wardrobe—a clothing haven in the couple’s second-floor bedroom suite that would stop Carrie Bradshaw in her tracks. Her wedding veil hangs on the mirror—her dress, made by Griffon’s sister, designer Chessie Griffson of Tephi (Peppa Middleton is a fan), tucked securely inside the shelves. A number of shelves display designer bags, and heel bags, including several pairs of eye-catching orange high heels.
Alfred has his own escape spot – a secret space inside his bedroom – there’s also an unclassified secret staircase closet with steps behind a forged door that leads into the basement plant room. Meanwhile, Grievson’s haven is his home office, which has two notable sides: the first, a garden view, and covers of Stone’s other famous magazines are framed above his desk. However, he is evicted to the garden house, when he wants to stare at another shrine: his collection of Tottenham Hotspur memorabilia.
Other pieces around the house speak of shared memories. The couple’s bedroom fitted sheet was purchased on their first Sri Lanka vacation. “Despite the heat, I cuddled under it every day in the car while David worked on the air conditioning,” Stone recalls. painting above their bed from Gulf Exhibition Home Page, a specialist in Australian Aboriginal art based in the Cotswolds, has been selected for the Affordable Hampstead Art Gallery. “It’s a ‘dreaming water’ painting made up of individual dots of paint by artist Louise Nangala Egan,” says Stone.
One of the first pieces of art they bought together hangs in the first floor hallway: Junoon Lee’s acrylic and paint abstract titled inner dance, 2022, also in the Affordable Art Gallery. “It would have been nice to buy artwork close to home, but it’s not affordable,” Stone whispered jokingly. “David and I have such similar tastes.” Griffson raises an eyebrow. “On everything but the wallpaper,” he says. who refutes Stone. “David has a terrible taste in wallpaper.” I ask who wins. “I!” Stone laughs.
Griffson’s favorite piece, another piece by Lucy Kent, is a vision of a cornfield. “It’s a commission. I saw this picture of a cornfield with a bright blue sky and asked her to use it as inspiration. She came back with this wonderful work of art,” says the Wiltshire-based artist.” I commissioned six of her paintings in my first home, and we have three of them in this house . Mom and Dad have each other.”
One of the most useful places in the house is the boot room – it is well appointed for the days out in the Heath. For Stone, it’s a far cry from her other life as a model treading on the runway — but embracing it. “I don’t think there is a day that goes by when we don’t say, ‘I can’t believe we live here,'” she says.
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