Dedicated to the underground makers and tastemakers, London-based magazine TON is the antidote to the gloss and glamour of your usual interiors publications
Ever since the pandemic, our homes have gone from afterthought to primary concern. Not only are they the spaces in which we spend most of our time, they are also a canvas for showing the world who we are – a transmitter of taste, and a place to be our true selves. An interiors boom is afoot; just think of the joys of perusing The Modern House, or peeking inside celebrities’ homes on Architectural Digest’s YouTube channel. Newly launched magazine TON is part of this trend, except its message is rather different. Far from the glossy veneer of other interiors publications, TON is about spirit and individuality. Aspiration is not the main message of the homes featured in its pages – quirkiness and unfettered creativity is.
“I’m convinced that we are living in a new golden age of interiors,” writes Jermaine Gallacher in his editor’s letter. “Today, our homes are more important to us than ever. They are not just places we withdraw to, kick back, relax and watch Eastenders in; they are spaces in which we express ourselves – our identities and our creativity.” A south London-based design dealer, furniture and interior designer, Gallacher knows a lot about interiors; eccentricity and humour have always been at the core of his designs, and TON is no different.
Created alongside our very own Ted Stansfield and art director Rory Gleeson (who often works with Molly Goddard), the magazine’s inaugural cover features the musician Celeste in her home near London Fields, leaning against a remarkable Art Nouveau-esque steel wardrobe with twisted roses creeping up the facade. This one-off piece was created by artist, welder and blacksmith Barnaby Lewis, whose poetic creations are spotlighted in TON alongside a cast of other young artisans including Andu Masebo, Miranda Keyes and Eduard Barniol (along with the quirky designs of milliner Madeline Thornalley).
Elsewhere, readers are transported to the sumptuous north London Victorian townhouse of Edward Meadham (half of the beloved, now-shuttered brand Meadham Kirchoff) – described as “what Marie Antoinette’s flat might look like if she lived in a London flat in the 21st century” – to Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, and finally, to Paul Reeves’ Arts and Crafts-stuffed 17th-century Wiltshire farmhouse. Outside of the UK, TON travels to the turreted white villa of Italian film director Luchino Visconti on Ischia – which overlooks the dazzling blue Tyrrhenian Sea – and to the dressed down Upstate New York home of Ben Bloomstein of Green River Project (best-known for designing Bode’s warm, wood-filled stores).
A break in the so-called ‘presentable’ homes comes with Dave Baby’s Stockwell flat – a shock to the system for anyone with an allergy to (or dislike of) dust. Alumnus of cult collective The House of Beauty and Culture, Dave’s place is the result of an accumulation of more than 30 years of life lived in the space. One double-page spread is both hard to look at and impossible to look away from – a red hairbrush placed on top of a toilet cistern recedes into the background, so thick and furry is the layer of dust lining it.
That TON chose to feature such an unclean, cluttered home is testament to the spirit of humour and openness that permeates the magazine. “Most importantly, we will never tell you what to buy, what is trendy, or heaven forbid what is tasteful,” says Gallacher. “[This is] something we’re quite sure is, somewhat ironically, rather poor taste indeed.”
Last night, hundreds of guests packed into Lant Street Wine in Borough for TON’s launch, which was fuelled by beer courtesy of Heineken Silver and Casamigos tequila on ice. In the cavernous, brick basement of the space – which also doubles up as a wine cellar – an exhibition of works from the artisans featured in the issue were on show. There were gothic candelabras, a table and a chair by Barnaby Lewis featuring exquisite drapery made out of steel, a delicate display of hand-blown glasses by Miranda Keyes, a cartoonish gong by Dave Baby, a bed upon stacks of crates surrounded by irreverent hats and lamps perched on cardboard boxes by Madeline Thornalley, with busts made by Frank Storey.
Elsewhere there were avant-industrial chairs and Alvar Aalto vase holders by Andu Masebo, bespoke frames by Reuben Marrindale and Ralph Parks, and a patchwork chair by Eduard Barniol. The emphasis here was on uniqueness and artisanship – just like the magazine itself, the exhibition was an antidote to flat-packed homogeneity.
Issue one of TON is out now.