Interior Designers High End Homes The Wonderful World of Gordon Watson BBC Documentary


BBC Documentary


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for the country's super wealthy there's only one man to turn to when it comes to good taste I think I've got what the antique trade and the dealer's called the I there's no question I've got to buy all three I've got a very defined and some would say refined sense of taste what's extraordinary is how beautiful it is in this room Gordon Watson is one of the world's leading authorities on 20th century design 7500 M turning his passion for collecting into a multi-million pound business at four million 250 sold it's the mania it's not natural how much I buy and how much I need I need to body oh my god is so exciting always on the hunt for the most desirable pieces to buy in a long time he's charming his whale to the grandest of homes gambling he'll make the deal of a lifetime it's gonna be an easy sell and I'll make a lot of money London is one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic cities it's a magnet to the transient super-rich I would say it's probably one of the most expensive places in the world to buy property now they buy houses worth millions and that's just the start of their spending houses sort of get demolished and rebuilt houses have huge excavation where they go down two or three floors to put in a gym to put in a swimming pool to put in a cinema I mean it's quite extraordinary there's sort of a revolution going on in the building trade in London at the mo these high net individuals need to furnish these homes but they're too busy earning money to visit Gordon's shop they employ someone else to do that for them interior designers really are a vital important part of my business these days isn't it they they are sort of a buffer between me and the client very often we don't get to meet the clients in fact most of the time we don't actually meet the clients they're really lovely Gordon the interior decorators the core that I'm talking about our highly successful business people in their own right they only deal with the elite and they charge accordingly these interior designers have big budgets and significant buying power they don't come with a banner or something stuck on the head I've got ten million pounds to spend but you know it's serious one top-end designer who buys from Gordon to fill the homes of the rich and famous is Louise Jones you do have to find the things that are extra special that is part of our job and they don't come to us our clients to have what everybody else has got Louise's work is often published in glossy interior design magazines that she has a wealthy international client list well I've been working with Gordon and using his shop for probably nearly 20 years it's a gorgeous mirror when you go in you know you're going to find something rather nice hi oh you very nicely Louise could potentially spend thousands of pounds today on items for her clients homes so number one is that as soon as I walked and I spotted that oh right fabulous why we haven't sold her I think it's absolutely extraordinary yeah you see the great thing about Louise Joneses she doesn't just have one client she's got five ten clients so when she comes in in her mind she's looking around because she's at OMA that's what be great over the fireplace from the client in Russia that been great for the client in Eaton square so when Louise is in the shop I'm in a very good mood because I know the potential could be enormous and then I also saw a console with a readed from around here I don't seen anything like that before then I've got here glass table lamp I'm at Sager I think it's really glamorous what you getting is the layering of all these shapes so they look like shadows it's exquisite Louise wants to try items in her client's homes before she buys for Gordon that's one step closer to that precious thing a sale what I might also do for the same client can I borrow a few bits and bobs yes because she hasn't seen any of these she's allowed to take anything she wants so I would bend over backwards to please Louise please Louise please Louise but is something please Oh she'd love that isn't that fabulous Louise why don't you just take the shop and then try it I'd love to do that okay you want them in the car now yeah okay Niccolo low in just 20 minutes Louisa spent 8,000 pounds on the chandelier and another potential six thousand pounds on objects she wants to try out so have you got somebody to help you on the other side we did the deal on the on the blue chandelier and she's taken away for items to try in this house so all in all it's good very nice all right I'll let you know how I guess I'm with you next day we'll never see her again [Music] Gordon has his own interior design project in Tangier it's a house that's been in his family for years with a full staff of six why don't you why can you tell that's it come on like that tail back oh it's not so terrible the old property is having a major renovation when completed there will be six bedrooms a vast living room a dining room and a library there's also a hammam and massage room my fabulous massage will cause me so much pain and pull every single ligament and every bone will crack and I'll feel good for about half an hour I won't be moaning about my ex and pains Gordon can't be here all the time the project has been overseen by lifelong friend the designer and silversmith Paul Belvoir the reason for me being here during the house is the when I was young 17 18 when I met Gordon he helped me out a lot I'd love you to make one of your curries as soon as we have a kitchen you can pour me a cup of coffee future I've always had a sense of I owe the debt when this opportunity came up then he asked me for help I knew that was a chance for me to repay a debt that I felt I owned Gordon's in old Tangier fuelling his addiction with a shopping spree to furnish the many rooms of his large house I love a cool breeze I'm in the mood to shop today I haven't shopped for a couple of days it's what makes me take it's in my blood there's usually a treasure or two and the best be today because I'm not the mood to go home empty-handed yeah I like buying it's just I know it's answer mania buying it and then you own it you possess it maybe that's what I like Linden has a real old quite nice smell to it must be like like granny's knickers it's nice isn't it very good people the things I bought I like them all I like them all I like sitting down and thinking about where I bought them and how I bought them and why I bought them these are these are Moroccan drains they're made out of the thickest oldest Knobble and there they were set into the hammam so it's for the water in it's a drain it's for the water to go through the drain water and but I think there's such beautiful objects T of them and I sell them I put them on wonderful mounts and they become really decorative things and no dnews Hootie knows less from from old lose face apples set meal Koshi although a familiar face at the shop Gordon struggling to get a good deal sorry okay a face supper we meal okay face set okay okay so that's the present but I'm really paying for it and we've got all of those for 8,000 in a flurry of activity Gordon spends nearly 600 pounds on home furnishings and a drain the tap quickly quickly how much is this been desperate for one of these I can't believe I can't tell you how we've gone everywhere thanks oh ok me like I'm too tired a meal okay the dust the tap has cost Gordon a further 70 pounds this is good look that's a really big towel that's going to look fabulous on the wall going into a marble a marble basin be fabulous Gordon must leave the heat of Tangier and return to London for one of the hottest most hectic events in his calendar in three days time London's Berkeley Square in the heart of Mayfair will be given over to one of the world's top art and interior design fairs it's called the pavilion of Arctic Retief it's an important prestigious fair in the centre of London all the collectors all the museums all the curators are in town for the week so London is absolutely throbbing with the kind of customer the kind of client that I want to find it's an honor to be asked to exhibit but that invitation comes at a price pat cost me around 60,000 pounds plus the v80 the shop cost me slightly less so imagine for a week between the setup and the dismantling a week at pad cost more than a year in a prestigious shop on the prestigious Pimlico Road and it's the big shop with a big basement and that's how insane it is but I need to do it I have to be there behind the scenes Gordon's PA Nicola has spent the last year planning the stand and today she's waiting for Gordon's sign-off so Nicola how are we doing have you done the computer Marco yeah and everything's to scale yes pride of place this year will be a large but intricate late 1950s Italian chandelier here we have ceiling like bigender Daisy this is the whole thing it will hang by chains it's one metre 70 by 70 and these are the 64 elements of different coloured glass that are all fixed in the grid at the top there'll be someone who needs this piece they don't know they need it but when they see it glimmering and shimmering like a jewel at pad they'll they'll want it [Music] on the morning of the fair Nikola is joined by fine art handlers who will be transporting the carefully selected items it's that culture in there there's a load of crates there there's an on chair and few more boxes over there right you got it ever yeah fingers we're moving thousands of pounds worth of furniture and artwork we make sure that that leaves the shop and gets to the show in the same condition so you know for us we have a big responsibility at the design fair top dealers were around the world are setting up their stands with extraordinary works of art many worth millions of pounds Gordon's team are setting up with nearly 800,000 pounds worth of items they include a vast painting by Paul when Stanley at 32,000 pounds a lacquered inlay table at 64,000 intriguing objects and finally opposed to chairs we just need to do as much as possible today but the large fragile chandelier is a cause for concern the problem with these monumental pieces these one-off pieces there's always an element of risk at any stage in this procedure something could go wrong and I don't want to jinx it touchwood I mean if one of these pieces breaks then I've got an incomplete work of art [Music] it'll be such a sense of relief when it's old amounts paid for and it's safely delivered to the new owner that would be a great moment okay Nicola what we try to recreate as a drawing-room somebody's living room he's looked horrible under here despite nutella's hard work for Gordon nothing less than perfection will do it's got to be right it's a very very classy show I mean that gang yeah I want the best you know I've been around so long this is you know this is my world the doors at the fair are open and wealthy potential buyers flood in amongst them are some of the top interior designers accompanied by their well-heeled clients if they've got any sandwich cheesy or before that something was starving there's a buzz about the marquee but Gordon's not off to a good start there's been no one I've seen no one have been here half an hour bored already Gordon's trademark technique is to stay behind his desk and not look too desperate I sit here and I wait for the victims so it's like a spider waiting for the prey if they express interest they come understand they are surprised then Nick no and I are on well I'm hoping for a bloody client what do you think I'm hoping for well haven't paid all this money for it but you know over the week he sets himself a target of a quarter of a million pounds we've made all this effort we put all this money into it I just wanted to be done you know I want a few sales few red dots and then I can relax Gordon needs to hold his nerve [Music] his centerpiece is not attracting any attention Chumbley no interest yeah nobody's even looked at it don't you think this is fabulous by China days I I think it's on the most beautiful chandeliers I've ever seen it's interesting I love the color we have seen some very nice things okay I can't force people to buy so there's always the possibility that this will be the one dance sale this will be the one dud exhibition that you do that no bill buy anything is possible [Music] I don't know where every one of my stand has gone but how she's walking on it may be quiet on the stand but thankfully Gordon has great clients who buy from him year-on-year at a highly desirable address in st. John's Wood interior designer Louise Jones is trying out the 1960s Italian glass chandelier bought from Gordon okay great should I pick from over there Katie does the color look good good walk this sapphire blue definitely because it runs into the sitting room downstairs so as long as we can really get it lit and it looks punch it's like a big jaw of the staircase so although the place is still a vast building site louise knows the chandelier will fit into her scheme just hop the right feeling because it's quite a long walk from upstairs down into this basement sitting room and we want this walk to be as inviting and as interesting as possible standout pieces like the chandelier are strong enough to design a whole room around well I think it's the color I think the clean lines and I think once we get this perfectly lit in the space it's going to be a knockout this fine home will have other items bought from Gordon including another chandelier it looks quite delicate much more delicate than I thought it would look the whole thing will just Sparkle and just I think the absolutely gorgeous swishing [Music] more and more wealthy individuals are choosing to buy property in London and these new homes need furnishing top-end design fares aware these affluent individuals might go to buy however Gordon's having difficulty attracting the discerning crowd I want somebody to come on but there's you know you've got to wait for them but he's a trick up his sleeve to entice them into his whim Turkish performance artists could lure Gutterman this video installation is on sale for twenty two thousand pounds he's called could look at lon and he's turkey's best contemporary and have you seen it where he goes back to do and then he can't get up have you seen that folks that's the best one and the chewy yes twenty two thousand pounds it's a bit more of a decision you could have me for a bit less a customer Gordon is always pleased to see is another top interior designer John min Shaw with large budgets and lavish houses to decorate interior designers are some of Gordon's most prized clients come on ot John has a trademark look and caters for those who've the money but not the time or taste to create such a stylish home a product of art school John's known in the business for his creativity and knowledge people that tend to target me are people that live in a fairly clean hard-edged sort of way it's called minimalism but for me it isn't minimalism it's just pared back I've spent my entire life studying this and the nuances of different bits of furniture in periods and all of those kind of intricate things that designers get off on and the client wanted they've been too busy earning money doing something else who are my clients well this is often asked and the only common denominator is their wealthy John's latest client Russian businesswoman Tatiana owns a company with her husband we have a construction company in Russia and now it's about seven thousand and five hundred favour all working for him this successful Russian family bought a large end of terrace house in one of London's most sought after locations the house cost over 10 million pounds and under the guidance of John Mitchell they plan to spend a significant amount more on its refurbishment John was involved in this project from the beginning when he first came he also saw a lot of potential of the house but the house looks quite ugly at this level with money no object it's common to strip it back to a blank canvas they got these houses that have finished beautifully they don't like the bathrooms they don't like the kitchen you gut it you strip it you destroy it and you start again the myths citing because I've got my hands at last on a non listed building so Tanya basically reinstating as you know the traditional staircase here and the buildings are now completely opened up so I would think probably sixty-five percent of the roof is gonna be glass oh wow we've lifted off the entire roof and built a glass canopy on the top of it very impressed and you know you have this for your bedroom floor and then children's floor above some peach of a job for me and they're buying lots of antiques and golden the loves of this client because we're buying a lot of entities from Gordon oh yeah it's an enormous budget yeah yeah [Music] back at the design fair Gordon has had some interest but has so far yet to make a sale if they're carrying a handbag that's costing twenty-five thousand pounds and they're looking at advance for six to eight thousand pounds you don't have to be a genius to realize it's possible they could get their little gold credit card out and buy something no extraordinary although Gordon has spotted his opportunity can you see on some he puts them big silver flecks inside yes you see a part of it he's an architect and a designer she had like two three hundred thousand pounds worth of earrings on plus the ring he calls them champagne coolers but open that's a because he likes raking and he you see that green is absolutely yes inside yes okay so a deal thank you very much I love Blas and I'm collecting vases you but this is I said for the base it's a little bit too light so it was good idea for champagne okay very nice meet you thank you see bye-bye miss you Lily now relax I've done my favorite thing which is red dotting but it's good I've got another six at home after selling the Japanese farces business takes off and by the end of the week Gordon has more than covered his costs have a look at that about cheer you up there she's called Tamsin Vanessa and she's obsessed by apothecary was his 16th century he's made priceless contacts and sales totaling nearly a quarter of a million pounds the wind Stanley painting was bought and will be off to Germany and items such as the read Cosmo chairs at twelve and a half thousand pounds have found homes in the capital's finest properties cheers to me he's not managed to sell his chandelier that must be taken down piece by piece and taken back to the warehouse Gordon's at the shop - welcome interior designer John mentioned his Russian client Tatiana John's interested in something he spotted at the design fair [Music] to have you in the show I like to come at least once a season when a decorator such as John Mitchell comes in with a climb that's quite rare that's I don't know once a month maybe these we saw and that's the reason why okay Rob John yeah we absolutely adore Gordon his top of the heap really I mean he's did you know he has such integrity and he's a joy to work with really once you get over the initial Gordon I mean I'm a big man as you can see and even even for somebody you know they often if this was French it would look we'd be so wobbly and raw and L there's a real it's been designed so cleverly here no no they're beautiful shall I show you my new passion yes okay when they enter the shop into my lair it's an opportunity for me to show them things that they even they didn't know they wanted this is a milk jug all right they didn't know they were going to buy anything other than chairs I knew that I've got the potential to sell anything in the shop and I try my darndest to fulfill that potential your taste not really no I find it Gordon can I be honest with you I find things like that a bit embarrassing I find that sort of neither sculpture nor pottery table smart yes I think it's very smart I mean I love this detail here as well my hit rate the Gordon is pretty high I mean most shops are just winging on wing out again I'm Gordon Saab you tend to hover and look around because you all have things which and make you think twice about it let me sketch it in but I like okay so we'll send you the details yeah yes r21 we quoted you 18 and I would sell them [Music] okay sixteen and a half yeah they're good colors great you shouldn't just say I know you're really rich what we buy that at any cost because that's crazy okay well if we can have the details of them we put them in the thing I love them John Michell buys the pair of Rob's John Gibbons chairs for sixteen and a half thousand pounds thank you very very much I hope I hope it's being up the children not going to another shop nice to meet you I've given you the full sales thing I'm usually much more gentle you don't go to Gordon if you're on a budget but what you get is in the end worth it I think santiana thank you very much and I'll see you for the site me I see for the site meeting on Wednesday okay bye-bye she's lovely when Gordon's endured a hectic time in London he likes to escape to his Moroccan refuge I love Tangier this is where I've got the dog that I have all my library this is really what we're I consider home I love deadheading deadheading and watering my favorite things it's where I just potter around you know where a white nineteen most of the time and I just Potter I mean I the day's just go by with me thinking it's where I recharge its a well-earned rest the art fairs have been a success cheers to me Gordy's traveled far and wide seeking out the rarest pieces to buy oh my god extraordinary and not only is it functional its astoundingly beautiful he sold many of his finds to collectors okay so a deal thank you very much unimpressed Lords ladies and billionaires they rock in the wind but for now Gordon can put all thoughts of work behind him and relax in his Moroccan oasis [Music] [Music] [Music]