20 QUESTIONS, 9 CREATIVES
Antique Dealers: Anton & K
antique dealers, Swedish & French specialists, decorative collectors, foodies, travel lovers, homemakers.
Karen and Anthony Cull founders of Anton & K Decorative Antiques are well known in the trade and amongst their loyal set of customers for their chic, signature style: predominantly Swedish and French antiques, from the 18th to 20th Century. Understated, elegant pieces that bear the hallmarks of superior quality and true craftsmanship - always. Their taste is impeccable and their standards exacting - no surprise that everything they sell appeals. The business was born out of a passion for a time-worn aesthetic: one that celebrates imperfections and the marks of time - think faded, patina rich surfaces and original painted veneers. Authenticity is inherent and provenance a vital part of each find. Pieces include: elegant linen presses, statement consoles, dry-scraped cabinets, characterful dining tables and chairs, not to mention the upholstered seating in precious antique linens and hemp. Decorative finds complement the look with everything from rustic wooden stools, magnificent terracotta urns and ornate mirrors to French salting pots, rusted metal art panels, natural finds and Swedish objet d'art.
The former restauranteur (Anthony) and stylist (Karen) enjoyed a period of island living for a while in Mallorca, before returning to the Cotswolds to launch Anton & K: firstly from a shopfront in Winchcombe, to now selling online and by private appointment. They renovated and extended their stone cottage a while back and I have been lucky to work with them on various shoots capturing the spirit of their home - which epitomises everything that their brand stands for. Some places make you want to stay forever and this is one of them - lockdown or no lockdown, it really doesn't get any better. Impeccably designed and dressed, yet homely and welcoming - as much down to the owners fun and generous persona, as the aesthetic - and not forgetting Molly the dog - because as we all know they really do make a home.
How has your home evolved during lockdown? We have been spending most of our time in the garden doing jobs that we have been meaning to do for a while - so it’s looking the most manicured it’s ever been. When the weather turned wet we tried to make it as cheerful as possible...candles lit, fire burning, lamps on and tunes playing.
How has your work had to adapt? We are incredibly lucky to work from home anyway and our warehouse is only 3 minutes away. Our clients are based worldwide so we are more than happy to store their items for a little longer than normal, until lockdown is over.
What projects have you been dreaming up? We are doing a little Town Mews house project and were very near to completion just before lockdown. We still need to concentrate on the little courtyard garden, so are looking forward to getting on with that and are busy sourcing garden furniture and interesting pots. I have been busy working on my planting plan and am excited to get going on that!
How has your neighbourhood come together? Everyone is looking out for each other - shopping and making calls to check elderly neighbours.
Acts of kindness - to you / by you? We have taken on my parents large garden - they are in their mid 80s and isolating, so it’s been lovely to help them, chat from a distance and see it come together. It's certainly keeping me fit!
Favourite space in the house to escape to? The summerhouse has been a fabulous little place to escape to in our garden. It's light, bright and has sun all day - and a WiFi signal which works! We have a fabulous flowering lemon tree in there which smells amazing at the moment.
Jobs in the house ticked off the list? Our Landy has been cleaned for the first time in a year. I have worked some magic on our oven, sorted out our food & spice cupboard and polished our old brass kitchen draw handles - the house has never looked so spruced!
New daily rituals? We get showered and dressed early so we are ready to start the day with purpose. We enjoy a relaxed coffee and breakfast in the garden or summerhouse, then get going with bookwork, photographing new arrivals at the warehouse, catching up with emails and uploading stock. With the great weather sundowners in the garden have become a feature!
Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Ant has been doing a 3 mile walk in the hills each day, while I give Molly a more local walk, potter in the garden and catch up on IG with a coffee and maybe a cheeky 🍪
What’s in your vase? Apple blossom and cow parsley.
What’s on the menu? Shellfish paella and a nice glass of Chateau Leoube...we haven't eaten any meat since Christmas and it has been lovely enjoying our Mallorcan paella pan again.
Favourite tipple to get you through? Gin & Tonic. A lovely Client sent us a bottle of Henstone Distillery Gin at Christmas and it had remained unopened until lockdown. Beautiful glasses, lots of ice, Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic and a dash of elderflower cordial... it's the best!
What book is on your bedside? Piles of interior and architectural books, favourites are mostly from Beta-Plus publishing at the moment.
What tunes are playing? Ant has revisited his Rare Northern Soul collection and is a fan of Public Service Broadcasting who we recently saw live. I have enjoyed listening to old summery jazzy tunes: Donald Byrd's - Spaces and Places and William DeVaughn's - Be Thankful For What You Got ...oh and some Clash, chucked in when the gin comes out!
News updates or podcasts? News updates, but in moderation...
Which IG accounts have inspired you? @austindwhittle - we became IG friends a while ago and when we were in New York last year met him at @rwguild, where he works, for a pre lunch cocktail. He helped me choose some beautiful ceramics for our townhouse project. Also love @colinking & @mooredesign.es
What have you missed the most? We should of been in Morocco right now, staying in a Berber village and then moving into the Medina, sad we are not there but we will go again when things are safe. Miss obvious things like seeing family & friends and the not so obvious...such as going to our favourite Indian restaurant, popping to local @sohofarmhouse for a swim & pizza and @daylesfordfarm for a mooch and lunch.
What distractions are getting you through? Molly, sunshine and still being able to work from home has definitely kept us sane and focused.
Zoom backview? No zoom, lots of phone calls.
What has your home meant to you over this time? Home has been a peaceful haven and an escape from the crazy world we are living in at the moment. We are so grateful to have a garden and to be able to listen to nature all around us.
Shop online at: antonandk.co.uk
Image credit: Styling, art direction Ali Heath, Photography, Emma Lewis.
Portrait: Jo Ward
Images below: Anton & K