"Welcome to the family home of fashion designer and Barcelona native Alex Al-Bader – a laid-back space that radiates Mediterranean warmth and urban cool"
Alex’s wardrobe is a sea of hot oranges, sunshine yellows and lush greens. Black and navy? ‘Not so much,’ she says. ‘They don’t lift your spirits like colour.
If I put on a red dress, I know I’m going to feel good all day.’ Walking into Alex and Mishari’s home has a similarly uplifting effect: it’s a mix of warm Mediterranean shades and urban cool that feels as good as summer warmth rising from a sun-blasted pavement.
‘We both have a passion for colour and we love city life,’ says Alex, who’s from Barcelona but has lived in London since an accidental career in modelling brought her here in her 20s. ‘I was 17 and studying economics when someone suggested coming to a casting. Amazingly, I got the job. I had a blast, shooting on beaches around the world.’
Her home recalls the colours of Spanish summers, focusing on the deeper, more intense hues that linger at the end of a hot day. So the family room is a sunset-on-sandstone pink, punctuated by mosaic-like blues and greens and a pollen yellow. ‘I need Mediterranean shades around me,’ says Alex, ‘but I like to add contrasts.’ So fireplaces are stripped back to raw concrete, the kitchen splashback is clad in copper and the house is dotted with vintage flourishes that add old-school glamour.
After having a family, Alex retrained in fashion and now runs the hip Portobello boutique Soler (her mother’s maiden name). Fans of her vibrant silk creations include Courteney Cox, Heidi Klum and India and Allegra Hicks. This summer, the family will head for the Barcelona sun. ‘We can’t wait,’ smiles Alex. But in the meantime, this sun-blasted home keeps them topped up.
‘Colour is a mood lifter, whether you’re on holiday or at home,’ says Alex. She and Mishari painted the family room walls in Nancy’s Blushes by Farrow & Ball. ‘It’s just the right shade of dirty pink,’ says Alex, ‘and the tone changes throughout the day.’ Shelves are lined with photographs, travel books, mementoes and Mishari’s beloved decks. ‘He’s really into his music,’ says Alex.The dining tableand chairs are from Albrissi Interiors(020 8678 1416)