Skip to main content

Max Hurd & Benedict Foley host designers for a festive feast

Creative consultant Max Hurd is joined by interior decorator Benedict Foley, as we explore Max’s London home whilst the pair prepare for a Christmas dinner party. Working together, both Benedict & Max have fashioned an interior that ties together his family roots with clever colour combinations and expertly staged antiques. After figuring out the scheme, Max & Benedict enlisted the help of creatives whose work they were fond of. “It made sense to go into our address book and champion the work of people who we love and care about,” Max explains as they reflect on the project’s early stages. Watch the full episode of The Dinner Party with Max Hurd & Benjamin Foley, as they welcome some of the creative contributors to Max’s home for a festive feast.

Released on 12/09/2022


When we first finalized the color scheme

you were like, oh god, it's gonna be Oscar Wilde

by way of a Brazilian bordello

on his way to meet Marie Antoinette or something like that.

[mid tempo music]

[up tempo music]

I knew I wanted to live in this area.

I've loved it round here for years.

And I grew up just off Portobello Road and I looked

at so many houses, but one of the big issues I had

was the big painting I have downstairs in the hallway.

Enormous, impossible to place in most London spaces.

And then finally I found this place

and as soon as I walked in, I loved it.

I'd already been in touch with Ben at this point

kind of saying, this is my plan, please, will you help me?

You know, realize, Yeah -

my your dream,

your dream, my dream home.

What I really didn't want to do with this house

was have this like crazy idea, do it all

and then in a, in a year, 18 months

be bored of it and wanna do something completely different.

Yeah. Yeah.

And that's when you were so instrumental

in just stripping back my ideas and being like,

this is what it should be.

We started this by looking at what you already had.


Even, you know, when we got

to the point of the list of stuff that we did need to buy

it was very much looking at antiques.

We wanted to be very selective about who, you know

what we bought, making sure that it was

from a brand that we liked or from a designer

that we either knew or liked or was local.

The additional skills we needed in the house.

It made sense to go into our address book, really,

Yeah. and see,

and you know, and champion the work

of people who we really love and care about.

And the project has taken just over a year.

Good things, good things do take time and -

They do take time. And we had a lot of fun.

And I'm very ready to kind of show,

show everyone what we've -

Well darling, we've done.

you know, it was always about a party.


So we are gonna have the party.

Finally have that Christmas drink party.

I know.

Let's hope they like it.

[low key music with bells]

It's pretty decorated in here already, but it's,

Yeah we don't wanna overdo it.

It's fun just, well, I mean, do we not wannna overdo it?

Well, this room, I think we can overdo it.

Well, yeah. Maybe we'll keep it -

a bit more - This is quite camp in here.


I do, I do quite enjoy. Really?

Yeah. No.

[low key music with bells]

[faster percussion music]

The the moment you come in -

We have this amazing idea

that it would just be perfect to connect the two

spaces downstairs, upstairs, together with this vibrant kind

of movement that really recalled, you know,

the sort of the palette work

of the painting that's next to it.

And you know, it really is another artwork in the house.

This one is called cylinder.

And the small shards that you see,

we call them shards of glass,

they're actually picked up when the glass is hot.

So it's a drawing that's in glass.

You wouldn't know that it's very abstracted

by the time it becomes a rug.

Being able to actually share this physically

with you is such an excitement because you know

so often you know, when something happens, it's far away.

You never really get to see it.

And it is really joyful and I think, you know,

It's your welcome.

Yeah, it is.

It is, it's the perfect welcome.

So thank you.

An invitation.


[slower instrumental music]

[quicker paced music]

Hello you.

Oh hi.

Thank you.

Hi darling for coming.

Come in come sit. Thank you very much.

When I kind of told him what I wanted

Benedict suggested that I got in touch

with you and looking into the, and, and kind of recommended

that I looked into the Farrow & Ball archive.

And so we had quite a lot of fun

going through the colors and splashing them on the wall

and really going big with the samples

until we finally settled on what we kind of have here.

I wanted something that was reflective of, you know,

who I am as a person now

as well as like lots of nods to my past.

So I grew up in Brazil, so that really obviously

informs a lot of the brighter color choices.


In the house or the vibrancy.

And then it goes into sort of more Mediterranean

which is where I spent a lot of my childhood

growing up with my grandfather, which is more the kitchen.

The way you've layered the greens in next door

with the Bancha which is from my current collection.

And then bringing your, as you say, your origins,

you living in Brazil and everything

coming to this fiery red of Bisque,

which is just so unexpected.

But it's really beautiful.

It's not oppressive

it's not like I couldn't live in this space.

No, no. It's actually,

It sort of wraps you up and just makes you smile.

I think we've settled on some pretty good choices in here.

You certainly have. [Max laughing]

You certainly have.

[soft guitar music]

You know my name, Viola.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

It means purple.

But yeah, What's strange is that we -

that's another story. Yeah, yeah.

[both laughing]

It's very exciting to have you in this space.

This room doesn't really have a proper function

in some senses it's an attic room, it's quite low ceiling

because of that sort of including your work

in here was very important for me.

This particular - Yes.

pattern here, which was created


by you kind of using some paper and some starch, no?

Yes, starch and paper. Yeah.

It's like an old technique for decorative papers.

In fact, it even recalled the sort of

there's a strange kind of enormous Japanese floor vase

over there, which has this kind of wavy rim,

which in some senses could be,

[ceramic ringing] yeah.


Could be kind of almost horrible.

It's back to my love of horror charm.

But it, it all worked together.

And then the serpentine of this table and it's sometimes

it's hard to really ex, I know you get it, but it's hard to

Get it to add movement to a room -

Exactly. that otherwise it's quite

It's quite, yeah, it's quite static.

It's quite rigid in here.

With the collective element.

Exactly. Yeah.

And because this is the end of the house

I almost wanted people to be drawn

up the staircase and into a vortex.


And I love how you use the shades.

The fantastic thing about your shades is that -


they have this sort of slightly fugitive shape

cause the light moves around them.

So they have this movement again.


And where do you find the carpet?

How did you find the matching carpet?

Well, I suppose so this

it wasn't really supposed to be matching

but this is actually recycled office carpet.

This room, you know, everything is low in here.

And the idea is that people can come in

they can sit on the sofa

there's some big floor cushions and you can come sit around

and play games or talk or whatever.

And we've worked together on a few things

and it's always been a very - Yeah.

it's always been a very productive

sort of subconscious kind of conversation.


I think, yeah, the great ideas come from conversation


and interaction with friends and all the creatives.

Yeah, well that's it.

You know, I mean we spend a lot of time talking

so it's not unusual that we should find some kind

of synergy in our, in our work.


[upbeat percussion music]

[slower elevator music]

Thanks for coming guys.

So we're sitting here in the,

what we rather grandly call the library

which kind of feeds into the whole country house aesthetic

that we were going for.

But this room came together

quite quickly actually in terms

compared to the rest of the house.

It was something that we were very clear

about what we wanted, but rather unusually we

cuz there's so much going on in the room itself

we hadn't really thought about the floor

and about the carpet.

And it was actually the last thing that we put in

was this carpet.

And we weren't even sure if we were gonna do one.

And then when you released your collection

we saw it and thought, oh my god

this is almost like it's made for this room.

A lot of people perhaps wouldn't consider a lilac rug.

And I think think in a place like in a room like this

it makes it really special.

Mm hm.

And as you say, it really completes the room

because the greens sort of pick up each other

whereas the lilac sort of feels special

and it's a little bit eye-catching

but at the same time, doesn't scream or take over.

Mm hm.

And weirdly something you would maybe never think.

But I think in this room the lilac almost becomes a neutral.


Which is quite cool.

Mm. Yeah.

When we came and you pointed out these amazing tiles.


Which I'm guessing were probably original

to the house - Mm hm.

and they've got that sort

of Victorian kind of floral thing with the bird.

And I think the bird's wings picks up the lilac really well.

It's very cool that you kind of give birth

to this thing and then it's no longer yours

and you can kind of watch it go out into the world

and have its own life, which I think is quite exciting.

It's almost like watching, you know, going first day

of school.


Type of thing and you're like bye, have a lovely life.

And then takes on its own little

Yeah. universe.

Then it invites you round for drinks.

Yeah. Exactly.[laughs]

Yeah, see how it's getting on.

And here we are. Yeah, and here we are.

[peppy music]

[slower percussion music]

We're in the kitchen, which is definitely one of my

if not my favorite room in the house.

I think one of the things I love most about it is the color.

It's definitely one of the rooms I spend the most time in

which is ironic bearing in mind

I can boil an egg and that's about it.

So what I tend to do is I tend to invite

per dinner party group, someone who is an excellent cook

and they take over as soon as they arrive,

which is terrible.

I mean, Gavin, even for example tonight knew this about me

and brought a cake knowing that I would've thought none

about dessert.

So tonight seeing is it's a bit of a special occasion

and we've got all the creatives coming.

I thought I would ensure we had something edible

to actually eat.

So my favorite local restaurant, which is called Ida

which is round the corner actually,

they're very sweetly dropping us some nice food

for us to eat this evening, which will be great.

[instrumental music]

Look how pretty.

Look how nice these are.

Thank you darling.

Happy Christmas.

Happy Christmas.

[glasses clinking]

This is looking amazing.

It's very exciting to have you in the space finally.

The theme of this kitchen really is very much things

that could be humble but actually for me,

for you, for Max, are worthy of more consideration

than some people might, you know

normally bother to give something.

I mean, you know.

Well, I think he likes handmade things by the looks of it.

He does.

He does, yeah.

Which is why we have rather a lot

of your ceramics in here.

I think I showed him one plate and he just ran with it.

Actually, I prefer to see them on the setting

before you eat, in a way,

so that you see the whole table of them.

They look quite charming.

You fill them with food, they're not so funny.

But when they're naughty and you are eating -

Right. [laughs]

it's quite -

I might have to actually just slightly

you could put a slightly, yeah,

I'm gonna just do -

You can put put a cracker over it.

Yeah, I'm gonna put a cracker,

a well positioned cracker on there.

But you know, you do, you do get the idea.

They're quite nice cuz you're can be a little bit playful

and a bit naughty.

I think plates can be naughty because they're such a sort

of domestic, everyday boring thing.

He has a good eye, that Max.

He has a good eye.

I think one of the really fantastic things

for me about doing this project with him

is that I've been able to introduce other artists

and makers who I love - Yeah.

and he has really connected with them.

I think that is really one of the things

that this whole house has been

it's very much not just been in this creative collaboration

but also it's been about friendship and you know

not just my friendship with Max

but friendship with other people.

And you know, I, But it feels like it's fun.

Yeah, It's fun.

That's it.

And, and having fun. Yeah.

I think, I love it.

which is, which is so thrilling.

It's so refreshing. Yeah.

[funky music]

I always think with any project, one of the things

that you have to do is you have to find the story.

And this was about

making a space for you to, you know, entertain in.

This has always been a kind of drinks party in a funny way.


One of the reasons why people just toss stuff

out is because they're not really connected to things.


And I've always felt that

if you have a strong connection to something

you tend to really value it and love it for longer.

If you enjoy somebody's work

you kind of really, you get enthused.

Often, you know, they see things in a different way

and they offer a fresh take and a fresh perspective.

And that makes it so much more interesting

and so much more fun.

[musical finale]

Starring: Max Hurd, Benedict Foley