Designed by Guy Stansfield with interiors by Hubert Zandberg, global Art Advisor Wendy Goldsmith’s Mayfair apartment is the perfect backdrop for her expertly curated modern art collection.
At Home With Wendy Goldsmith
What’s the story behind your home?
When I was sent to New York to run the 19th Century European Art Department Worldwide for Christie’s, on my trips back to London I stayed with a great friend on South Audley Street. I became completely infatuated with Mayfair – there was nowhere else I wanted to live. I returned three years later and purchased a small flat in a beautiful Art Deco block from the 1930’s, just around the corner. I loved the building – it was like a little piece of Park Avenue had been dropped into Mayfair. After a few years, and in true New York fashion, I heard from the porter that one of my (much older) neighbours had passed away and that his flat, double the size, may be available. It was probably minutes before I was upstairs with his widow, and a deal was done then and there. A renovation with the incredibly talented architect Guy Stansfield followed, taking all the walls down and transforming a 4 bedroom flat into and one and a half bedroom loft.
What was your inspiration for the design?
I’m obsessed with hues of colour and the blend of textures. A few years ago, I saw a bedroom in a magazine that was my dream, full of objects that shouldn’t have gone together, yet somehow combined to create a work of art, full of colours and textures I didn’t even know existed. It was by Hubert Zandberg and that page got ripped out immediately for future reference. Ten years after my initial renovation, when it became time to give my apartment a facelift, there was only one person to ring.
Do you have any interior brands that you love and always go back to?
Fabrics are my thing and I’ve always been drawn to de Le Cuona, Neisha Crosland and Holly Hunt. Then Hubert introduced me to Dedar, Tibor and Hermes textiles. The flat is a sumptuous blend of them all.
What’s your favourite room in your house and why?
Now that Hubert has cast his spell, I love the individual personality of them all.
How will you be decorating for Christmas?
I’m very spoiled by the members clubs of Mayfair – 5 Hertford Street, Annabel’s, George, Harry’s Bar – all of whom create some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations around. That’s where I feel most festive. At home? There’s usually a token poinsettia in the corner.
Does your house in any way reflect your profession?
It reflects it everywhere you turn. I run Goldsmith Art Advisory from the apartment, so the walls are full of paintings, sculptures on every surface and shelves heaving with art books and auction catalogues, all lit by professional gallery lighting by Erco. But these are not the works I advise on, these are pieces from my personal collection that actually serve to create more of a salon, where new clients can experience exactly what it’s like to live with art. My living room was designed as a viewing room, where I can show a work of art on approval to more seasoned clients, perhaps from a Mayfair gallery or private collection. It also serves as a meeting room, where we can go through the auction or art fair previews in comfort.
What’s your best view?
From my office, I can see across the roofs of Mayfair which are different heights, styles and ages, but all beautiful. From my bedroom, I can just see the tips of The Shard and the London Eye, which look gorgeous when lit up at night – a fun view of the London icons.
What’s your signature dish – can you share the recipe with us?
I’m great at making reservations.
Share your top five books with us if you were to start a book club:
Can I start an art book club? If so, these are my top recommendations:
- Boom, by Michael Shnayerson – a very well-researched and fascinating history of the contemporary art market
- The Auctioneer, by Simon de Pury – the rockstar of the art world takes us on a gossip-filled journey through his and unique career
- For Art’s Sake, by Tiqui Atencio – a new book illustrating how the world’s top art dealers live with art
- Any art book by the photographer and patron Maryam Eisler – lavishly illustrated, with super fun interviews with true artists, museum curators and top creatives. They’re also the best coffee table books.
- John Richardson, the esteemed art historian and close friend of Picasso, recently passed away at 95. But he left us with the definitive biographies on the greatest artist of all time, in 4 volumes
Share your must-see TV and movie list:
I miss going to cinemas, or at least thought I did, until Netflix came into its own. I’m late to the party so it’s been great to be able to catch up on some incredible shows like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and The Americans, as well as more recent series like Queen of Hearts and Fauda. Sky Atlantic is a minefield of guilty pleasures, like Succession, Billions and The Undoing – and the sets feature amazing property eye candy.
Describe your office space?
I’m blessed with a gorgeous office, with beautiful light, in large room with my viewing and meeting area which is why we took down most of the original walls. My large screen Apple desktop sits on top of a Ceccotti table which serves as my desk. A clear work space free of clutter is my ideal, but by the end of the day auction catalogues, reference books, files and photographs always seem to have taken over.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
The art world is 24 hours so the first thing I do is check my phone to see what e-mails have come in overnight. Then I’ll pull on lycra and hit the mat. One of my greatest discoveries during lockdown was Tracy Anderson (again, I was very late to the party) who is a magician, with her targeted workouts that create a very feminine physique using small, underlying muscles. I may never see the inside of a gym again! Breakfast will be from The Human Being Diet, by Petronella Ravenshear – which isn’t really a diet, more a way to reset your metabolism and eat sensibly. After that, it’s usually off to a gallery meeting, museum show or auction viewing.
And how do you love to spend your evenings?
Pre-lockdown, my evenings were filled with art openings and gallery dinners. Sometimes, during Frieze Week for example, my colleagues and I would all complain that these crammed schedules were too much. First world problems. But now, I can’t wait to be sitting next to fascinating collectors again in a beautiful restaurant’s private room, filled with art world colleagues, discussing our thoughts on last night’s favourite exhibition opening or favourite museum shows in town.
If you were to throw a party at home, what are the key ingredients to make it go with a swing?
Guilty pleasure food, lashings of Garrus rosé and flattering candlelight for the ladies.
What gadget could you not live without in your home?
My new Crestron and Sonos systems.
Whose home would you like to be a fly on the wall in and why?
Buckingham Palace. Need I say more?
Has lockdown made your reassess your work and home life balance?
I’ve worked from home for years now so there was no great change, but as my wings have been clipped it’s actually been a pleasure to spend more time here, rather than running from airport to art fair. Especially as Hubert Zandberg has done such a beautiful job with the interior.
What makes a house a home?
A dog! Over lockdown, I lived with my mother in Dulwich and my miniature dachshund, Lulu, joined me as well. But she became a bit too obsessed with having the freedom of a garden, and with my mother’s dachshund Rosie, so she’s staying there for now and I get visiting rights. But my house isn’t quite a home without her.