Silvia Sardinero is a Spanish interior designer and decorator, and founder of Blue Patio. She lives in Dulwich with her children, Emile and Celeste, husband Phil and cat Rubens.
How long have you lived in the area?
I have lived in the area for seven years now; in three very different houses that my husband and I have renovated.
What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
I live in a house that is part of a set of modernist houses in the Dulwich Estate, built in the late 60s. We have been living here for almost 2 years, yet I am still fascinated with the urban plan set out by the architects, Austin Vernon and Partners. The articulation of the community around the nature of the Dulwich Woods creates a very peaceful environment to live. Also, the houses are connected by a series of footpaths and I value the security this provides for the children.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
It would be very difficult to move to another place where I was not able to see the woods changing through the seasons.
Do you know your neighbours?
Yes, I do know many of my neighbours. I like the diversity of nationalities around the street. The community celebrates an annual party in one of our communal gardens where everyone brings food and drinks.
Describe your perfect weekend
I think the usual is to find me doing work in my house – gardening, painting or researching. We have still a long way to go with our current renovation so there are always things to do when I am not working on a project. In the evening I love to host dinner parties with my friends. We are all food and wine lovers, and there are always a lot of laughs involved.
Coffee or tea? Where?
Coffee, always! In the Volcano café as it’s great coffee and they prepare it very nicely. Also in my house. Every time I travel to Madrid, my city, I bring coffee from a roaster that has been open since 1890. The man who weighs out the beans likes to give a lolly to the kids. I come from a family of coffee lovers so that tradition has been passed to me since I was very young.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I love to walk around the Dulwich Woods. Our community has easy access to them so it is one of our usual routes. It is nice to be in London whilst feeling you are in the countryside.
When I want to relax
I sit in my living room and knit while looking to the greenery and the parakeets.
What is your favourite shop?
My favourite shop is Hawkins Framing in East Dulwich. I am a regular client for many years now. I think their work is outstanding. Jamie has very good ideas to increase the visual value of the artwork.
What was the last thing you bought there?
A few days ago I went to frame two pieces of art that I bought during the summer from one of my favourite art galleries in Spain. I cannot wait to receive them.
If money was no object…
I would still live in my house but every little item on the to-do list would get done! I have never felt an emotional attachment with any house until now, not even when I took an old factory in Madrid and made it my first home. But if money really was no object, I think we’d buy something in a little village on La Costa Brava in Spain where we love to spend our summer holidays.
My secret ambition…
My secret ambition is to grow my Blue Patio business and study a PhD in Art History.