Nick Candy, the CEO of the London-based interior design house Candy & Candy, has made a name for himself by creating innovative spaces that defy categorization. What may appear on the surface as a traditional English living room might actually be a high-tech haven with a concealed security system and plasma TV alongside laser-etched textiles and bespoke works of art. Candy cofounded the company with his brother, Christian—who now oversees the development firm CPC Group—in 1999, and has since completed projects ranging from 1,000-square-foot pieds-à-terre to 17,000-square-foot penthouse apartments. Candy & Candy’s work—which includes the epic penthouse at London’s One Hyde Park development that graces the March cover of Robb Report as the 2014 Ultimate Home—has also spanned private planes, yachts, and members’ clubs. Here, Nick offers an inside look at his company’s style and evolution, and at a few of its remarkable projects around the world.
What was your first project?
We began with a tiny one-bedroom flat in Earls Court, which we bought with a mortgage and a loan from our grandmother. We were quite exposed, but we didn’t worry about spending—we just poured the best possible design into it. We quickly realized that we would always have to strive for excellence if we wanted to be successful.
How has your firm’s style evolved?
Much of it has been natural through the advances in design and technology since we started 15 years ago. However, our goal has always been to create designs of timeless elegance and disregard changing trends and fashions.
Describe the look of Candy & Candy.
We pride ourselves on not having a set “house style.” Whether a project is modern, minimal, technically advanced, the restoration of a listed building, or a mixture of all, we have the innate ability to create a fresh palette each time that combines form and functionality. You’ll never find any frivolous detailing—everything we do has a reason behind it.
What was your approach for One Hyde Park?
There was no compromise to any aspect of it. For instance, we sourced more than 15 types of stone from as far afield as Turkey, Brazil, China, and Egypt. The specifications for the interiors were the highest ever attempted for this kind of property, which is something we are very proud of.
Nick Candy’s Top 10
❖ Hotel: For a vacation, I like the One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, which is where I proposed to my wife. For business, it’s the Armani Hotel in Dubai and the Fullerton Bay in Singapore. ❖ Car: I just bought a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta but would love to have a LaFerrari and a McLaren P1 in my collection. ❖ Watch: I am a devoted watch collector, and some of my favorite designs include a Patek Philippe Nautilus stainless-steel wristwatch and a rose-gold Breguet given to me by my wife as a wedding present. ❖ Fashion: Dolce & Gabbana. I wear suits most of the time, and they have an exquisite men’s tailoring range. ❖ Jewelry: I regularly buy pieces for my wife from Glenn Spiro—he has the most incredible collection of very unique pieces. ❖ Airline: I spend half my time in the air, and the Singapore Airlines suites on the A380 are outstanding. I also love the new British Airways A380. ❖ Antiques: I travel the world looking at antiques, art, and sculpture, but Mantiques Modern in New York is somewhere I visit time and again for truly exceptional pieces. ❖ Restaurant: In London, I’m a regular patron of La Petite Maison; however, the new Berners Tavern is definitely worth a visit, if only to see the scale of the room. The George Club in Mayfair is also a great place to unwind after work and feels like home. ❖ Film: Christopher Nolan’s Inception for its set design. We actually used some materials from the film’s set in one of our recent London projects. ❖ Architect: British architect David Adjaye. His studio’s work over the past 13 years has inspired the current generation of architects and designers through an awareness of social and cultural contexts with a timeless aesthetic. Candy & Candy, +44.20.7590.1900, www.candyandcandy.com