AAlexandra Tolstoy describes herself as a devotee of extreme travel, style, fashion and family. The Anglo-Russian is also an equine adventurer, broadcaster, author and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She has made several long-distance journeys on horses which have provided the material for television documentaries, books and talks. Today we are discovering a bit more about Alexandra’s fascinating life and her treasure trove yet child-friendly home.
When it comes to decorating, how would you define your style?
Imaginative I would like to think! I like to be sympathetic to the individual project, rather than having a blanket style. For instance, I have a 17th-century cottage in Oxfordshire which I have taken back to its roots with limestone plaster, glossy dark brown woodwork and lots of lustreware and Gaudy Welsh china. But for the James Bond style Palmer Johnson yacht we had on the Cote d’Azur I went all 1920s with lots of black, a grand piano and Art Deco antiques. But if I was to pick out my overriding characteristics, I would say they were colour, texture, pattern and embroidery – I love to create unexpected combinations and mix in an unpredictable way, just as I do with fashion.
“I love to create unexpected combinations and mix in an unpredictable way, just as I do with fashion.”