A simply furnished home office by Uli Weber includes a clock face from London’s Crystal Palace above the fireplace.
Glamor. Like style, it’s one of those words that doesn’t sit still.
As with beauty, it lies in the eye of the beholder. It’s never just a matter of clothes (on the right person, jeans and a white T-shirt can fit the bill) or precious materials; an old pine table set with silver-scratched ironstone plates can be as smart as Limoges on mahogany. A shimmeringly white home perched in the hills of Bel-Air can be glamorous. So, too, can a wind-whipped, shingled house on the coast of Maine with interiors that haven’t been touched in a generation.
London-based photographer Uli Weber has been in the glamor game for years. Born in Germany and trained in Italy, he’s shot countless celebrities and stars (Donatella Versace on the floor in front of her shoe closet, Downton Abbey’s Grantham girls in gorgeous gowns against a wall of peeling paint) and has produced books that celebrate the allure of vintage racing cars and the equestrian world.
With an eye for the lovely, the dynamic and the good life, it should come as no surprise, perhaps, that Weber’s London residence evinces a singular vision. Situated in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (home to the William Morris Society, the BBC and the Queens Park Rangers Football Club), his home is a late-19th-century, four-story, terraced affair that faces an old church on a residential street. “It’s a beautiful old house with original fireplaces in each room, Victorian details and plenty of space on every floor to make my own,” explains Weber.
In fine shape when he acquired it, the property only needed a little attention in the basement kitchen, which he opened up while adding an entrance to the garden. Otherwise, he relates, “A lot of the work was cosmetic, making it my own while keeping it in line with how a Victorian house should look.” Which is not to suggest that Weber did a deep dive into brown furniture and knickknacks. While respecting the architectural integrity of the house and the ineffable ambiance the scale and proportion of its spaces generate, he did, in fact, make it his own.
“The place actually dictates what you can do with it,” suggests Weber. “It’s a Victorian house with wood floors, cornices. I added a personal touch in the form of wallpaper and pieces of furniture that fit very well in the environment. It’s an eclectic, 1940s-meets-1950s look. Nothing too modern.”
Far from Spartan, Weber’s home seems to contain just the right quantity of stuff. And while artfully arranged, this appears to have landed in just the right spot without a trace of curated fussiness. A simple orange Ikea chair sits up against the wall in his office. A Johannes Andersen table and chairs strike an almost businesslike aspect in the dining room. And the gilt mirror set atop a mantelpiece in a guest bedroom seems more about function than creating a decorative effect. Arguably more assertive is Weber’s use of wallpaper, especially in the sitting room and dining room, which are enveloped in a confident gold print from Florence Broadhurst.
These treasures, and the rooms they inhabit, may be too individualistic to meet the more common definition of glamor. But like style, true glamor is so much more than fashion.
Photography by Tom Kurek/Alicja Trusiewicz.
For more like this, be sure to check out our coverage of Uli Weber in his Italian retreat here.
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