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My House: Q&A with Donna Ida

The jean queen has smart advice for first-time buyers

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We ask Donna Ida about everything from her first property love to her advice for first time buyers trying to get on the ladder…

Donna Ida

Where was your first home? A one-bedroom flat on a leafy street in Shepherd’s Bush.

Best thing about it? It being all mine, the feeling of closing the door and being in your own universe.

Where do you live now? In a converted pub in Berkshire. Before we bought it, it was an Indian restaurant and I thought we would never get the smell out but once we started refurbishments it disappeared.

What do you love most about it? I love that you walk in the door and see right through to the back of the house and out to the hills in the distance. It’s such an open, light and airy home. 

Donna Ida, Office

Favourite room? Probably the kitchen. I spend a lot of time in it, even though I have an office (painted in glossy pink Farrow & Ball).

If you could buy a second home where would it be?
I am anti second homes as I think they tie you down so much and end up just being more work – and then you never travel to new places.

What do you look for when you’re house hunting? Great location, high ceilings, windows and an open floor plan. I don’t like poky rooms.

Donna Ida, Country Views

Where do you see yourself living in the future? I would like to move deeper into the English countryside, to Devon or the Cotswolds.  If my husband wasn’t such a sun worshipper, the Scottish Highlands would also appeal.

If money were no object, where would you live in London? The world?

Cheshire House, 66a Eaton Square, London or I’d buy a fat pad in LA. Pierre Koenig’s Case Study #21 house. It really is the dream.

What has been your most extravagant home purchase? A Poltrona Frau coffee table for about £2,500, which I won’t let anyone near. And
a Terry O’Neill which was £15k at the time but has since gone up a lot in value.

What advice would you give to a first-time buyer? Buy the smallest box you can just to get on the ladder.

Donna’s Perfect Homes

The Starter Home

Donna Ida, Starter Home

Once the home of British telly, Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, has been converted into luxury flats. This one-bed on the fifth floor will have access to a health club and spa along with the newest branch of Soho House. £550,000. 0203 618 3777;

The Country Idyll

Donna Ida, Country Idyll

A grade II-listed manor house near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, surrounded by 50 acres of rolling parkland and fields. The house, which has been in same family for more than 60 years, has spacious reception rooms and seven bedrooms, plus a three-bedroom cottage, stables and barns. £4.25m01285 659771;

The Bank Breaker

Donna Ida, Bank Breaker

No expense has been spared in creating this oceanfront Malibu estate. There are floor-to-ceiling slider doors in every room leading to private decks with outdoor fireplaces; Crestron controlled sound and heated limestone floor. All this and direct access to Malibu’s best beach, Latigo. £

Donna Ida’s s new lifestyle collection is out now featuring the I’ve Got My Eye On You candle and Nightwear range.

READ MORE: Property of the Day