Before London Fashion Week filled her already-packed diary to the brim, we were lucky enough to spend some time with The Sunday Times Style magazine’s Editor in Chief, Lorraine Candy and the Style team. After showing us around her unsurprisingly stylish North London home as part of our Today’s Coolest Habitats series, we caught up with the publishing powerhouse herself to find out more about her high-flying career, family life and interiors style. Take a peek for yourself…
Where do you live and who do you live with?
My husband James and our four children, Sky (15), Grace (14), Henry (11) and Mabel (6). Plus a naughty Welshie puppy called Pixel. We live in north London near Regents Park.
Why did you choose this particular location and home?
I chose a central London location so I could get to and from work quickly to get home for tea, bath and bed times for the children. It also meant we could get to green space pretty quickly, and it is a very family orientated area. We are a few minutes walk from Regents Park and the playgrounds there, and 10 minutes drive from Hampstead Heath.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you summarise what you do for a living?
My job is part fashion and beauty, part journalism. I’m Editor in Chief of Style magazine, and Luxury Content Director of The Sunday Times. I edited ELLE magazine for 12 years and Cosmopolitan for four years but I have also worked as Features Editor of The Times newspaper and on many of the tabloids as a reporter. Now at The Sunday Times I edit Style and also oversee all digital content related to fashion and beauty. It’s a fantastically varied job which means I can dip into many worlds I love and also work creatively with brilliant internal and external teams. No two days are the same.
I am very hands on with what goes in Style and online on our video channel Style Play and I also spend a lot of time with fashion designers and inspiring women across many industries. I also write a parenting column in The Sunday Times magazine and I am a media adviser to the Tate Modern art gallery board as well as being on the Tate’s general membership council, two roles I absolutely love being involved in.
Is this your dream job and why? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working in a way which challenges the normal and makes people accept the world is changing and we have to change with it, which is why I love being at The Sunday Times. I love art, fashion, beauty, brilliant writing and meeting creative people, so really what I do ticks every box. And I love being a mum too so it helps that I negotiated to work a four day week and can spend as much time as I need to being involved at home. It’s been hard work getting to this point but I never assume everything will last forever and feel grateful to have a job I love and flexible bosses.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I just take each day as it comes to be honest. Balance is key and making sure you try your hardest to do the right thing. I have a fantastic team at Style, I worked with an amazing team at ELLE and I just enjoy each moment as it comes while trying to ignore the stress that sometimes builds up. I do quite a bit of outdoor swimming (very slowly) which helps me relax.
How would you describe your interior style?
I am eclectic. I like pieces that tell a story, I hate it when things look too done. My husband is very tidy but I am not so much so our house has to look relaxed. Our Georgian house is quite small because we live very centrally and have traded space for location, so I don’t hoard. I am lucky to have been gifted some amazing pieces over the years – Karl Lagerfeld gave me a Chanel surf board for my 40th almost a decade ago because I come from Cornwall and am learning to surf (we have a house in Polzeath overlooking the beach).
Some friends of mine are watercolour and oil painters so I have their work and of course I have behind the scenes pictures from cover shoots which the cover stars have given me too. Plus, all the lovely things the kids have made over the years and many, many baby pictures because I love babies. I like a wall to tell a story personal to me and my family. Our furniture is all very relaxing to have around and given I don’t have time for vintage shopping we buy what is practical and beautiful, which is why we have a lot of Habitat in the house.
Does your work in fashion influence your interiors in any way?
I think working in fashion for more than 30 years means I have collected many things from the friends I have in the industries – particularly photography from projects I have worked on with designers like Giles Deacon, Erdem, Christopher Kane. I have sketches and show invites which I have collected over the years. I definitely get a sense of what I like from I what I see at the fashion shows twice a year and am aware of trends in colours and pieces. I recently started getting big house plants because I seemed to be seeing them everywhere. I have some unique silk scarves framed, given to me personally by designers as they work wonderfully in picture frames and are original. Madonna sent me a birthday card with her black and white ELLE cover on the front which I treasure and I have some things which make people laugh out loud – like a mock-up of a cover with Boris Johnson on it which he wrote all over!
My husband thinks I have a velvet cushion addiction and the kids are always keen on furry things dotted all over the house, they love a woolly blanket to hide under. I get interiors inspiration from interiors magazines and books and fabrics I see on models on the catwalk but, Instagram and blogs are great to follow too.
What’s your favourite interior trend at the moment?
Big green house plants and super-sized candles. And I love fairy lights – but not coloured ones, just low key white ones.
Whose home do you most admire?
I have a cut out of Amanda Harlech’s country kitchen which is the only interior tear-out I have ever used! it is a beautiful, stylish, messy, original kitchen – exactly what I would expect from the woman who has worked with Chanel most of her career.
What does Habitat mean to you?
When I first came to London at 16 I had to rent for many years before buying a flat in Richmond. In rental homes, one way to make them feel stylish and your own was to inject some Habitat lighting or smaller pieces. Now Habitat is a place we can go as a family and find something different from everywhere else that we all like. The soft fabrics and great cushions are wonderful, as well as the lighting.
What’s your favourite thing about your home?
I love our open plan kitchen and lounge where we all gather as a sixsome. And my kitchen table, made by my brother in law Luke McHardy, an amazing carpenter in Wiltshire. He put it together from old wooden railway track pieces and it took him ages to get it right for me because it is such a big table. I love the fact someone we’re related to made it and that all the family gathers around Uncle Luke’s every Sunday night.
What do you enjoy doing at home to relax?
We cook a lot as a family and the house is always full of teenagers so the fridge is enormous and we fill it up every weekend. My two eldest daughters love cooking.
What was your last interiors project and purchase?
I am about to start our two small bathrooms after 15 years living in our house. But two years ago we moved out for a year while we extended the house out into the garden and under the front garden to give each child a room of their own. That was an epic project and my advice would be never get a concrete work top! They are an expensive nightmare.
Tell us about your most treasured possessions?
Actually, I am not that attached to possessions. I don’t hold much value in stuff. My wedding ring is my most prized possession and anything that means something to my children.
Where is the heart of your home?
The giant grey Habitat velvet sofa is the heart of our home. Everyone sits on it and I love seeing my kids and their friends on it.
If you could re-live one moment in this house what would it be? Tell us about your favourite memory.
The morning we brought our first child home, late August almost 16 years ago, little Russkaya Maggie Candy. I don’t think I could ever move house because that memory alone keeps us there.
Is this your perfect habitat?
If I could see the sea my home would be 100% perfect – it’s only that I miss having grown up in Cornwall.
Loving Lorraine’s interior style? See more from her home.
Craving even more? Check out our series of Today’s Coolest Habitats.