At Home With… Anissa Kermiche
If you haven’t seen one of Anissa Kermiche’s homewares on your Instagram yet, you clearly aren’t following the right people. With her playful “Tit for Tat” candlesticks, her “Love Handles” vases and her “Jugs” jug, her witty ceramics have quickly become the fashion world’s new breast friend. We visited the jewellery designer in her stunning London home to talk interior inspiration, falling in love and the best way to celebrate this Valentine's Day.
Where do you live and how long have you lived there?
I live in Marble Arch in London and I’ve been here for four years.
Where was your first home?
What was your route into design?
I studied engineering, and ended up working as an engineer. After a few years I realised I couldn’t keep going. I didn’t see myself becoming any of my managers, I didn’t like the corporate side and everything that was around it. So I took a break to come to London for summer and try my luck at jewellery classes at Central Saint Martins. Whatever I was sketching or working on, the teachers really paid attention to it.
After that I went back to Paris to go back to my old life, to my job, but I kept thinking back to my classes in London. So I decided to leave my flat, my job and my country, and I moved here.
How would you describe your home?
Some people tell me it looks like a gallery. I would describe it as my dream space which I made come true, with the pink bedroom, the eclectic living room, the large kitchen to host and the dark dining room for cosy dinners.
What’s your process for selecting your art and your furniture?
There’s no plan beforehand, it’s more about falling in love with pieces. One thing - if I fall in love with a piece and it doesn’t work two years later, I don’t see a problem re-selling it and buying something new. I like to constantly update my pieces so that my flat always looks like my current state of mind.
Is your interior aesthetic and your design aesthetic the same?
I think so! My flat is full of body shapes everywhere.
You’ve had huge success with your sculptural homewares. How did these come about?
When I moved into my flat, I was looking for nice ceramics, but I didn’t want to invest in a ceramic from a contemporary artist that was several thousand pounds and and looks a bit scary. Then you have the beautiful antique pieces that are also very expensive. I couldn’t find a middle ground between contemporary and older pieces and what you find in design shops, which for me are too functional - a vase is always cylindrical, an ashtray has to be an oval.
So I created my first vase for my flat as a playful piece. I host a lot of parties and do my press meetings in my showroom, and whoever saw that vase wanted one.
Why do you think people have gone so crazy for them?
Everything I love came out when I started designing them, whether it’s Brancusi, or the colours of Calder, or the shapes of Botero, or the playfulness of Picasso, or the imaginary world of Miro. Maybe they remind people of what they saw in museums when they were younger.
What is your most precious possession? The thing you’d save if your house was on fire.
Maybe the rug in my living room. It was inherited from my grandmother and it was hand-woven in Algeria a long time ago. My mum inherited it from her mum around forty years ago, and she gave it to me when I moved to London.
What do you collect?
I love jewellery watches. I have a few ones which I adore, but they’re not always great at keeping time, because they’re old, so you have to give the time to the watch, not the other way around!
What makes a house a home?
You have to have a fridge full of food. Maybe it comes from my Arabic side.
Where is your favourite home away from home?
Paris. Because it’s not my home anymore, it becomes inspiring the way that London inspired me when I lived in Paris.
Let’s talk about your dream home. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and who would design it?
It might seem pretentious, but because I’m a control freak, I don’t think I would hand the design to anyone. I have a lot of friends who are interior designers or architects, so I would surround myself with the right team of friends who could team up to build something that makes us all dream.
I think it would probably be somewhere in the South of France, maybe around Arles where there’s a beautiful photography festival in summer. The South of France is so full of beautiful foundations and museums, and it was also where a lot of artists went to find inspiration.
What do you dream about when you go to sleep at night?
Usually shapes. My mind is so busy during the day, and we all know that stress is not friends with creativity. I have to have a lot of sketchbooks beside my bed because I often wake up with designs in my head. If I don’t sketch them straight away then I forget everything!
Perfect gift for Valentine’s Day?
I think taking care of yourself, especially if you don’t have a partner.
Best thing to do on Valentine’s Day?
Perhaps a day at the spa with your best friend.
Photography by Jonathan Middleton
Interview by Georgia Graham
Styling by Freya Monro Morrison