Charlie Porter is Decoration Stylist at House & Garden magazine as well as founder of the online antiques and vintage shop, Tat London. Having lost her job as Corporate Fundraiser at Kids Company when the charity closed, she decided to embrace her love for Interiors instead. Here she tells us about the people who inspire her, her top secret spot to visit in London and why she set up Tat London.
Where do you live in London and why?
I live in West Kensington; the reason being is I live in my boyfriend’s flat. He moved there around six years ago. It’s a lovely flat, but it is entirely different from the Tat aesthetic. Before we moved in, I lived with my sister in Shepherds Bush. I love it there; I lived there until I was five and it was nice to go back to the hustle and bustle of the Uxbridge Road. Our flat felt like a country cottage; I had so many happy meals in that kitchen.
Where do you go for coffee/Sunday brunch/lunch and dinner?
When I first moved to the North End Road I was a little grumpy – there was a distinct lack of fun things. I felt I was spoilt in Shepherds Bush. It had bakeries, markets and a good few supermarkets (Damask Gate being one of the best, their Hummus was delicious) But in the last year, we have welcomed the wonderful BITE. Lots of freshly baked treats and a lovely cooked breakfast.
Why did you set up Tat London?
I set up Tat because I wanted to have something of my own. I love interiors, and I thought that this would give me an outlet to buy all these marvellous little bits that I see but feel I don’t have any room for that. Now I have all of TAT stock, and I certainly don’t have the room.
Where did your interest in Interiors come from?
It came from my mother, Liz Elliot – she has worked at House & Garden for over 17 years. She has created spectacular homes around us, and she continues to add to them with a tin sconce there & a Quaker chair here. She has such a fantastic eye along with an excellent instinct for the way in which a room should be laid out. That is something I am working on but have yet to feel confident in.
What would be your ideal antiques foraging day and where would you go to?
The ideal situation is to either be by myself or with someone such as my sister or mother who is happy to go around not talking. I can happily listen to podcasts, murder mysteries or general blubbering. I like to keep my concentration on the tables. It’s not a time for socialising or other peoples opinons, as my mother can attest. The great places seem to be Village Fetes, I can not get enough of them, but obviously, they are not for the more serious collector – for the TAT collector they are perfect – homemade lemonade with a victoria sponge – not much more you could ask for.
Whose interior style do you love and why?
There are loads. Here are a few off the top of my head – Robert Kime is undoubtedly one of the tops (Robert Kime Interior Design below), along with Chester Jones, Jaime Parladé, JR Design, Axel Vervoordt, Gert Voorjans. Due to my work at House & Garden, I have been lucky enough to work with Interiors experts Gabby Deeming & Ruth Sleightholme. They continue to introduce me to brands & designers that I have never heard of. Helping my tastes expand and even now I surprise myself with what I like!
Who are your top 5 people to follow on Instagram?
@pino3bravo, @_percaline_ , @nicolefabredesigns, @casajosephine & @cupofmeat
You write on your website that you hope that Tat will become something more than just an antique store. What would you ideally wish for?
All In all, I would like Tat to be able to help people as well as being a commercial enterprise. The time I spent at Kids Company affected me hugely. I don’t think I could work in a charity again. I am not strong enough. Those people go through the mill and have very little thanks at the end of it. I want TAT to do something for the greater good, but at the moment it would feel like running before I can walk.
Tell us a secret place or something to do in London that most people don’t know.
I am not sure how secret it is, but one thing that still delights me is – Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, with it being just around the corner from Leighton House you’re in for a pretty beautiful day.