When you’re in the business of collecting and selling exquisite things, the line between retail shop and museum can sometimes become a bit blurred. Case in point: Talisman London, London’s arch design emporium located in the city’s famed Chelsea Design District. In fact, when Talisman owner Ken Bolan announced that after thirty-seven years in business, he was closing up shop this summer, there was an outcry from design enthusiasts who felt that London was losing an erudite institution—They weren’t wrong, of course.Read More
Stepping into Talisman’s triple-decker London store, it feels more like you’ve entered a fantasy-land than antiques shop. A Paul Evans Cityscape credenza is tucked into one corner, while a bronze Sergio Bustamante rhino lurks behind another.
“My interest in design has been part of my whole life,” says Talisman owner Ken Bolan. “I’ve always been aware of how things work together, from the fashion of the day to their function.” Bolan opened Talisman in Dorset in 1982. “We opened with a BANG!,” says Bolan of the shop’s early incarnation. “It was a 10,000 square foot showroom showcasing French, Swedish, Italian antiques and statuary. It was a new way of doing things in the antique business.”
Meet design’s newest Brit It Girl: Fran Hickman. A born and bred Londoner, Hickman earned her impeccable design pedigree courtesy of turns at Soho House Group and Colefax & Fowler before founding her namesake firm, Fran Hickman Designs, in 2014. Since then, Hickman has been outfitting luxe spaces around the English capital for an incredibly posh roster of clientele. From upgrading a row of Belgravia horse stables into Moda Operandi’s dreamy showroom to transforming a neglected Mayfair townhouse into the sleek, members-only Chess Club, Hickman has proven that she can spin any space into an enviable interior.