At home with Will Fisher and Charlotte Freemantle, the founders of Jamb
Released on 02/25/2022
It's extraordinary, like changing a jacket or something,
changing your chimney piece,
just to sort of give a totally different ambience.
A bit more hard work.
Bit more hard work.
[relaxing jazz music]
[Charlotte] We live in a late 18th century house
We have lived here for 16 years now
and it was built in 1780.
Well, the aesthetic of the house, I suppose,
is largely English country house,
which really is an evolved interior
of generations adding to things.
In a way we've condensed that into 16 years
by our sort of frenetic collecting.
So it's things of interest,
things that have emotional attachment.
It could even be a handle on something,
couldn't it darling?
Definitely not, sometimes, how comfortable they are.
Comfort sometimes, there has been,
we're trying to focus on comfort now.
That's the next journey.
We met when I was the living in New York
and working for Bennison Fabrics,
and an old family friend came out
to take me out for supper and brought his business partner.
I was running the business in London.
Charlotte decided that potentially
she was gonna come back to London.
And I said, Brilliant, come and work for us.
That was the moment, really, where the business took off.
Charlotte is very much the business,
the infrastructure she's got a vision for.
I do all the easy things.
I'm continually searching the globe
looking for things to buy.
I mean, what a joy, no?
This room in many ways is, to Charlotte and I,
the most important because it houses our collection
of chimney piece tablets.
And chimney piece tablets,
they're the central piece that was used
on an 18th century fireplace.
These are all carved marble.
So we had to hand make all of these tiny little metal
struts to hold them in place.
We made probably
one of the greatest mistakes of our lives,
but that we can't unravel, to buy a Bengal cat.
And it has systematically destroyed everything we own.
So you'll notice that every single thing on here
is all stuck with blue tack that runs down.
Because it came up one day and maliciously
decided just to start flicking things off the mantle piece.
He's Roman, so he really doesn't want to come off here.
He's been on the planet for 2000 years.
It's in our custody for five minutes
and the cat destroys it.
It's really hard to explain what makes something
something that you want to live with,
and value has nothing to do with it.
And in many ways, lots of these things that we own
sort of there is something deeply personal about them.
So, for example, the vase on there,
that's genuine antico,
it's an object that we have bought to both remember,
for me it symbolizes Italy
and where we love being most, which is Rome.
And most things in this room,
there's something about them that trigger some nostalgia
or some moment or something special in our lives, really.
Basically it's like the room where
Will buys all his own presents for himself.
This cabinet, it's got its beautiful,
beautiful dry surface.
It came from Packington Hall.
And inside it's also very, very useful for us,
when you are a compulsive buyer
is you can put all your guilty secrets and hide them away.
So when we bought the house,
it was a dark black slate eighties floor,
which bizarrely, do you remember?
Everyone used to say, Why are you getting rid of that?
And literally Charlotte and I could not wait to rip it out.
We had a kind of kitchen table.
And, strangely enough, the tiles we got from New York.
They're old subway tiles.
And that was one of the biggest feats.
So normally this island here is covered in
a huge amount of detritus.
And when we have parties down here
it's where everyone congregates.
If you go to the Victoria and Albert Museum,
in that extraordinary space, on every desk,
there's one of these lamps.
I can't tell you how something as simple as that,
the level of excitement on having it,
and the level of excitement on copying it.
It's extraordinary how something that,
designed for a library,
I think it works just as well if not better
in this sort of setting here in the kitchen.
This is the chaos room, isn't it?
The chaos room, but changes quite a lot.
Sometimes the table's here,
sometimes the table is there.
Depending on, I don't know, just what we feel like.
It's one of the biggest family debates
on where the kitchen table should be.
For instance, Christmas
it's run in the middle, isn't it?
The room, and it's pandemonium.
So you've got the Aga cooking, everyone here,
the fire going, it's about a thousand degrees.
And the dog's running up and down
and bombing the sofa when it is here.
That is actually the most expensive dog bed in the world.
So when we bought the house
there was literally nothing except the doors
that were in this landing
and the floors that were upstairs.
So we had to set about putting the soul back into it.
And obviously, for us,
the most important element is the chimney piece.
I bought this many, many years ago in the north of England.
And I'd literally been waiting for a place to site it.
And both Charlotte and I loved it.
And when it was stripped,
it revealed the most pleasing, simple
early 18th century stone chimney piece,
which is like the holy grail in what we search for.
And the thing that we both love about it
is how unprobable or improbable it is as a design.
You've got this extremely heavy cornice shelf,
this tiny little frise that's set here,
and then the jams which are super simple.
But it's just perfection, it really, really works.
The first time that we lived together
was moving into this house,
and the bed is the first thing that we bought.
And we always ask Katharine Pole
to supply our textiles for us,
we always buy them from her.
I really love what she deals in,
18th and 19th century English and French.
This has to be my favorite fireplace in the house.
It's a 18th century Bolection.
It's used throughout time from the early,
really early 18th century,
all the way through to contemporary.
And we still make them now
for our clients buying huge boulders of marble.
I love this piece so much.
I love looking at all the colors and the softness of it.
Our bedside tables are mementos that
we've bought for each other.
I normally buy Will these rather uninteresting stones,
but they are ancient.
And I buy them from either Ted Few
or our friend Nick MacHatton.
And he also bought me this wonderful early painting of Rome
just to remind us all the times that we go there together.
Basically, the way we live is the way we work.
I mean, the two are synonymous with one another
and inextricably linked.
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