#10MINSWITH: FRED MUSIK

Fred Musik is unafraid of taking risks and embracing interior challenges. With an interesting and varied career in a range of industries, Fred has taken life by the reigns, never to miss a new and exciting project or experience. Recently Fred, his partner Mark and their three bulldogs have moved into a Victorian Townhouse in Hove that has been untouched since the 1960s. Over the last few months, the pair has carefully restored the home taking time to consider and highlight the Victorian properties key features whilst remaining faithful to their individual style.

Fred plays with scale in his living room creating an eye-catching and welcoming space. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

Featured in the Rockett St George book, Extraordinary Interiors, and good friend of Jane Rockett Fred’s home is where traditional meets modern. Describing his style as ‘laid-back minimalism’, Fred has taken 10 minutes out to tell us more about Fred, his home and his favourite RSG pieces…


Never to shy away from colour pops, the lilac cabinets in Fred’s kitchen are inspired! As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
1. Let’s start at the very beginning tell us about yourself?
I’m a cosmic-being having my human experience.
2. You’ve had a really interesting, varied and dynamic career from a magazine designer to the owner of a restaurant and bar for six years. What has been your career highlight to date?
Crikey I don’t really think that I’ve had a career yet… I’ve had various jobs- gogo dancing, working at Vogue and buying & selling furniture out of a van at Kempton. If I’m honest though, my happiest working period was when I ran away to Australia for a year & a half and waited tables for cash – I was on the beach every day by 4pm and had the most amazing mid-century apartment overlooking the harbour in Sydney. It had parquet floors and floor to ceiling windows and I furnished it with pieces, such as a Wassily chair, tulip dining chairs and a black leather sofa, that I found on the streets.
Dark walls create a dramatic backdrop for Fred’s chaise longue and wheatsheaf table. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
3. You are currently in the process of renovating a Victorian townhouse in Hove with your partner Mark. The house is a huge five storey, seven bedroom home. What inspired you to take on such a momentous project?
We didn’t really have much of a choice, we were totally under its spell when we first viewed the house. The house had stood empty for years and was like a film set – floor to ceiling windows, ornate plasterwork, wooden floors, all the original doors, even the servant’s bell. I think it was the quickest house purchase ever, it took six weeks! Actually, when I think about it, every house or business premises Mark and I have had, we’ve literally ripped everything out and redone it all to our own spec, so I don’t know any other way. To me, buying a finished home just seems completely weird, but some people couldn’t imagine the fun in doing a place up.
4. Describe your personal style? How have you incorporated this into the home?
I’m really into loud, colourful and confident interiors but I’ll see something pared back, minimal & monochrome and think ‘shit. I wish I had done that instead..’ so I guess my style is somewhere in the middle – eclectic, relaxed. confused. Like most people, my budget dictates how my interiors look to quite a degree. It wasn’t just “go out and buy whatever I want”. Therefore the interiors of this house
are a mixture of furniture I already owned & altered, with a few new pieces, and some others on loan from friends. There are some things I still don’t like but I want to create an authentic look, which means having to be patient, saving up for some things and waiting for the right pieces to come along.
Eclectic interiors at its best, Fred has styled a vintage Karuselli lounge chair with a chinese screen, a spaceman print and glittering disco ball. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
5. For someone who is taking on a similar decorating and renovation project, what would your key piece of advice be?
Don’t turn your back on your builders for a second.
6. What room do you, Mark and your three lovely french bulldogs hang out in the most? How have you worked the interiors in this room to make it such an inviting and unifying space?
We seem to always be in the main kitchen, it leads to the garden and is where the food is made, so it’s no wonder really, but yes it is a very inviting space- it seems to of just happened like that. I had the cabinets painted in a matte Lilac, I did quite an abstract job on the black and white floor, put a yellow velvet Louis XVI sofa down one end, opposite a big oak cabinet with lots of crockery and plants on top, so I suppose it looks very informal which is what I hoped for. My last kitchen was dark moody blue with a very dramatic marble worktop and exposed filament lightbulbs, it looked very
sophisticated but I felt the whole time like it was was a total interiors magazine cliche.
Fred has ensured that the Victorian properties original features are celebrated and has carefully restored this magnificent fireplace. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
7. Once renovations are complete, do you have any special plans for the home?
Next spring I’m planning on curating an exhibition of artwork by a couple of artist friends of mine, as part of the Brighton & Hove Artist-in-Residence open house event. I’d like to get on with converting the vast loft space into useable rooms, perhaps a couple of art studios to rent out, but will have to see how the money goes.
8. Name three blogs/people/places that are your go-to for interior inspiration?
1.My sister is documenting the renovation of her historic watermill on her Instagram and alongside her own pictures, she posts loads of gorgeous (finished) interiors that I love kicking myself for not seeing sooner.
2.I read coffeeklatch.be from time to time to see the interiors of arty/design types in and around Belgium & I love reading interviews, so it’s a perfect site for me when I need more than just pictures.
3.My friend Helene (whose house is featured on page 118 – 125 of the book) really helped me years ago develop my own style. I watched her constantly edit her interiors, getting rid of things that didn’t work and finding pieces that did. By the time Mark & I had bought our first house, I had a much clearer sense of what I wanted my style to be. I’m still always copying Helene (neilsonboutique.co.uk).
The drama in this image is so enticing and attention-grabbing. We love the large contemporary floor lamp sitting above the vintage chair. As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.
9. What is next for you?
I’ve asked the universe, so we should be opening a new restaurant/bar thing next year.
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love!
1.The Osaka pendant light is gorgeous. Such an elegant, minimal design.
2.There’s a set of four earthenware bowls that would go so well with all my
mismatched Spanish crockery.
3. The limited edition Gold Moon print would look great anywhere in my house.
 

Quick Fire Questions

1. I am happiest when… it’s summer. We’ve got the beach at the end of our road.
2. My favourite magazine is… VogueLiving.
3. My dream holiday would be… Sardinia, on a yacht obvs.
4. My ideal day would be spent… rock-pooling or being in the sea, someplace warm with Mark and some friends. There would be a gorgeous place just up from the beach for lunch, with amazing vegan food and good music playing, that would turn into a party in the evening. Maybe some more swimming later on.
5. My personal motto is… f**K it. (sorry Jane & Lucy)
6. My guilty pleasure is… Byredo handsoap.
7. The last film I saw was… the new Blade Runner.
8. My favourite book is…1984. Everyone must read it to see what’s going on in the world!
9. In five years’ time, I want to be… happy & healthy still. Maybe living someplace where November evenings are sunny & warm.
10. The three things I can’t live without are… a dishwasher, washing machine and a pressure cooker. Boring I know, but can you imagine having to beat your laundry against a rock down by the river?? And brown rice porridge from a pressure cooker is the nicest breakfast ever!

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