Fiona Barratt-Campbell (first picture) chose one of the most competitive shopping streets in the UK for her bijou interiors store FBC London. Pimlico Road is already the go-to for upscale furniture, antiques and interior accessories – and she picked the location for that reason. “There’s a limited clientele for our kind of furniture,” she admits from the warm, texturally decorated store, which opened in 2013. “The sheer weight of some pieces [up to 250kg] means they’re for serious buyers. They’re not disposable items, but shoppers here appreciate what’s involved.”
By this, the interior designer means the effort that has gone into perfecting her own 40-odd furniture designs, which came to life when she couldn’t find the pieces she desired for her projects – whether Chelsea penthouses or Balearic boltholes. The results are often influenced by her Northumberland upbringing and the area’s Roman heritage. The Armour armchair (£16,200), for example, is upholstered in turquoise suede, while its fan-shaped bronze base is inspired by Roman jewellery. Bronze is also a feature of the monumental Aurora coffee table (from £7,950), holding up substantial resin slabs that resemble cracked earth, and her bestselling Sol chair (£4,250) – named after her husband, former footballer Sol Campbell – which combines soft velvet with a bronze geometric frame, and has all the makings of a contemporary classic.
These labour-intensive items were tricky to produce, and here she again looked to Northumberland, teaming up with local shipworkers and metal specialists. “These are new pieces with a provenance,” she says. “They are produced by people who have historically made parts for warships. The methods are very robust.” This British industrial heritage is a major draw for her customers, who include heads of global banks and celebrated fashion designers, from London to New York, Australia to China. Indeed, her aesthetic seems to appeal particularly to Asian buyers, who “appreciate the strong shapes, like the Housesteads console [£5,950]”, with a stone base inspired by Hadrian’s Wall.
The space is laid out in room sets, with lighting and accessories by individual designers highlighted alongside Barratt-Campbell’s collection. There are vases by Steph Black, who uses gritty ceramics in earthy shades (from £795, second picture), and Gilles Caffier – his stoneware Flowers III vase (£1,413) is impressively statuesque. Lighting comes from Australian designer Christopher Boots, whose Prometheus metal pendants (about £5,430) are studded with quartz shards, and New York-based Gabriel Scott, who creates eye-catching Kelly chandeliers (about £7,830). FBC London is also the sole UK distributor of now-cultish lighting designer Lindsey Adelman, renowned for her metal and glass lights (about £8,170).
Barratt-Campbell’s edit is offset with artworks from Flowers Gallery, such as photographer Edward Burtynsky’s darkly geographical Three Gorges Dam project (from £36,000), which focuses on man‑versus-nature conflicts. Here on Pimlico Road, however, the manmade and the natural sit beautifully side by side, complemented by market-fresh greenery.