Planting Roots

Cherished Objects

Discover the home and studio of Tom O’Dell, his collection of curated objects, and the art of finding inspiration in every corner of life.

Every time someone asks me what I do for a living, I always stumble with my answer, normally picking out one of my jobs and going with that. In a neat sentence, I would say I’m a self-taught multidisciplinary creative and consultant. I feel lucky and grateful each day I’m trusted to work with brilliant people, across an array of projects from visual merchandising, interior styling, floristry, art direction, period costume work, and menswear styling. Each role influences another, and this has helped build my own unique aesthetic. Alongside my film work, I also have my styling clients, which include actors Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sam Claflin, and Martin Freeman.

"Colour to me doesn’t have to be bold greens and reds but can be different shades of a similar palette. I find this approach allows the space to breathe, giving a relaxed feel and one that will stay timeless and elegant."

I’m a collector of mostly old things: ceramics, chairs, men’s clothing, and everything in between. Obsessing over detail and creating visually pleasing aesthetics, whether that’s building a character’s costume for a period film or sourcing the perfect piece of furniture for an interior client. Alongside this, I make art and sculptures and run my own vintage menswear hire company ‘armoire’ from my Camberwell studio. Previously, I owned an interior and menswear store called O’DELL’S in both Shoreditch and Soho.

Camberwell in London has been my home, and my apartment has been a constant in my life over the past 12 years. A place where I feel safe, an ever-inspiring space, and more importantly, a home I can enjoy with my family. My apartment is part of a larger house which is the oldest on the street, dating back to 1874. A light-filled space with tall ceilings and some lovely original features. Camberwell is a wonderful place to live, and I’ve made many friends over the years from neighbours, shopkeepers, and members of both my boxing and running club. I’d say I’ve become quite the expert on the area. There’s a true community here, and even though the secret is nearly out, it’s been a hidden gem I’ve enjoyed since 2011.

When I had my stores, I would always say I wanted to design a space where every product had an equal opportunity to be viewed and purchased by my customers, without one display dominating or one product being given centre stage. I feel this ethos has stayed with me for both my home and across my work projects. I’ve never been into traditional statement pieces for my own interiors but leaned towards an inventory of items: beautiful, practical, and thought-provoking pieces that mean something to me, evoking a memory or a moment, all of which have been purchased and collected over many years. Each item acts as an extension of me, with the intention of keeping these cherished objects throughout my life, and hopefully, they will become items my daughter Winnie will enjoy living with. She might even allow me to bore her with stories of where and when I got them. I’ve never followed trends but instead gathered items that have followed these ideas. Each item in my home is precious to me, whether a pebble found on a beach or a piece of art I picked up from a flea market in France.

Books and markets are my biggest inspirations. Always a resource for inspiration and research. If you need to find a reference image for an interior project, then you will be able to find it in an old book, a detail on a suit lapel, a colour theme, they can all be found in books. If I see a book that one day I might need, then I will buy it. I purchased a book for 50p about animals that served in the Second World War from 1952, and then the following year I worked on a film about the said subject.

I have a large contact book of antique dealers and contacts within the industry spanning from mid-century furniture to lighting and artwork. Alongside these markets, small stores, or occasionally Instagram would be my go-tos for picking up beautiful pieces.

Most of my favourite objects in my home are ones that have been given to me by friends or family or items that remind me of times with my family. I am lucky enough to own some beautiful pieces of furniture. I’d say out of these, my favourite piece is a bespoke shelving unit by the talented London-based carpenter Mark Willet. It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and a one-off. Mark decided to stop making for clients, and this piece was his last commissioned piece. It featured heavily on my Instagram because it’s a simple, perfect piece of furniture and something that will always be with me.

I also love sitting on my 1960s Greaves and Thomas of Bond Street sofa, while I have books sprawled across my Fred Rigny raindrop table, a coffee in hand, and records playing in the background. My cats and family are nearby, and the back doors open onto the garden. I’m fortunate to have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to my garden. As a keen gardener, I feel the garden is an extension of the house and another room that I enjoy working on, creating a backdrop and corners depending on the season. A great thing for my mental health and a pastime I’m enjoying doing with my daughter.

In winter I enjoy dressing the house at Christmas and making wreaths for my neighbours’ front doors. I also love getting out my collection of winter coats from the garage, always an exciting moment. I use dried flowers in lots of my work and also in my home. I love that they will last forever and can be used throughout the house from the kitchen to the bedroom, adding a softness and floral focus.

This winter, my first art exhibition ‘Talking To The Canvas’ opens. I’m exhibiting a collection of artworks, including canvases, drawings, and sculptures, all of which will be for sale from my studio. I’m also working on some exciting visual merchandising work for two new brands and a lovely interior project for a new client.

Discover Tom’s art of curation @odellsstudios

Discover Winter at The Floristry with our collection of flower bouquets and flowers jars each made to order by our florist team and available for flower delivery in Singapore.