I popped down to Jimmie Martin’s a few weeks ago to say hi. As Notting Hill estate agents, we walk past their colourful shop window quite a lot while out and about on viewings, so I wanted to find out more about this creative duo and their work.

What makes them exciting is that they take vintage furniture and bring it in the modern-day, wrapping it in their signature Avant-guard style. This is revamping at its best!

They have created pieces for superstars like Madonna, who made her grand entrance to the American Super bowl, rocking one of Jimmie Martins majestic thrones. Other pieces include furniture for a number of celebrities like Kylie Minogue and a vintage chair for Jamie Oliver’s charity gala, decorated with Jamie’s special Victoria sponge recipe. I love it! (the chair, and Victoria sponge!)

I walked into their boutique on Kensington Church Street, a street renowned for its antique art and furniture shops. Nestled among Oriental antiques and furniture from eras past, this shop, with its splash of colour, is ideally located among the antiques and art of Kensington.

I was greeted by Jimmie, who immediately invited me to take a seat on one of their funky spikey chairs; a Victorian piece brought back to life and style by their creative design. And, yes…it has spikes on the seat, the artwork on the backrest states’ love hurts’ which made me smile. I happily obliged. Taking a seat, I discover the spikes are softer than I thought, I contemplate that actually love doesn’t hurt that much, at least not today! In fact, it feels full of fun!

The shop is strewn with furniture, or should I say artwork? It feels like both — large unique statement pieces, soft furnishings that will make you grin as you meander around your own home. I wanted to find out more, so I grabbed Jimmie for a chat to find out more about how this all came into being.

Q: How did your unique style and design come about?

A: I’ve always had a love of antiques, art, and fashion. It started when we had our first flat in London. We bought some old vintage pieces that nobody wanted. Everybody wanted modern, minimalism style at the time. We revamped the pieces for our flat because, at the time, we couldn’t afford new furniture, but we really wanted to have some fun and colour in our space.

It started with an old chair that we had found in a charity shop. We redecorated it and displayed it in the window of a hair salon in Soho. Much to our surprise, we received a call from the Design Decoration award telling us that we had been shortlisted to become the best new designer in the UK! We won the award, which was amazing for us. That was 15 years ago and the beginning of an incredible journey.

Q: What inspired you?

A: Years ago, when I first arrived in London, I worked as a bellboy at the Sanderson Hotel. I was inspired by Phillip Stark’s design. This led me to create fresh designs on old pieces. 

Mixing luxury and vintage with street art and fun is a mix of my background and experiences. We love bringing things back to life; some of the frames we use are over 100 years old. Every image on our pieces is hand-painted. 

Q: Your work is very unique, and maybe a little controversial. How do you feel about that?

A: We know it’s not for everybody. Some people love it, others don’t, and that’s fine. Like a lot of art, it creates a reaction whether one likes it or not. It makes people pause to look, to think and feel. 

We have some wonderful clients which include celebrities and royalty. They appreciate art and want something a little bit different, and this is what we are about, something original, fresh, with vintage style.

There are plenty of styles for everybody, if our art and furniture are loved by some and not all, that’s fine. Do what makes you happy! Being innovative is also about, playing, breaking the rules, and balance. We would like to think we are part of this movement of contemporary interior designers.

Q: I’d love to know more about your interior design work.

A: It’s like painting a 3d painting for the client.

Interior design does not have to be neutral or linear. Homes don’t need to be boring and only functional. We mix colours, artwork, textures, and different styles to create a warm environment for the person or family living there — one which embraces their character. I believe home is such an essential part of our environment, mood, and personality.

Your home is very much about physiology. If you feel amazing at home, it can transpire into your life. Colour and texture in your living space will make you feel good, you can enjoy it from different angles, always seeing something quirky, which makes you feel joyful. 

I’m designing it for the client to think ‘wow this is my home.’ But also, to create a space you can come home to, put your feet up on the table in total comfort and style. We all want something different, unique, and funky to cheer up our space. Coming home and seeing things that make us smile every day gives us an element fun, so we can take it out into the world and feel happy to return home. 

Jimmie’s Passion is evident. It’s chic, sophisticated design with a double dose of fun and personality. Personally, I felt that I was looking at some sort of Banksy artwork in interior design form, they all had a message, cheeky or cheerful, hand-painted into vintage pieces of furniture, ready to inject joy into your home.

You are not just taking home a piece of furniture. You are investing in a piece of art that will make you smile for as long as you have it. You can also extend this feeling to your home with Jimmie Martin’s interior design creation. A bespoke service where you will have the privilege of having the guys come over and create something truly unique that will make your home feel super special. As I sat with Jimmie, I thought of how much I would love this happy, creative and colourful designer to come and make my home a joyous, bright and inspiring place to be, and definitely with one of those controversial spiky chairs; for the mother in law (Jimmies words, not mine J) You can get in touch with Jimmie and Martin to see more of their unique furniture and discuss interior design options for your home.