Inside London’s wackiest house – with a chair staircase


In the alley of an East London road hides one of the most eccentric and creative houses in London, if not the world. Tony Hornecker, artist and set designer, has transformed an old garage into a house like no other.

15 years ago, when Tony stumbled upon an old garage, he decided to convert the large space into his home. The end result is a cross between an art installation and a crumbling Budapest bar that Tony calls his home.

“I don’t really know how it ended up like this, I don’t know, there was no real intention,” Tony explains. “Well, it started as an attempt to build a New York style loft when I moved here 15 years ago. “

“It was a big dirty, empty space, and everyone thought I was completely crazy. I spent the first 6 weeks washing a bucket and trying to turn it into something that vaguely looked like a house. Slowly over the years it has simply evolved from different spaces and workspaces.

Tony’s house has become an astonishing amalgamation of some of the sets he designed, childhood toys and items he salvaged from thrift stores.

“There is a lot of my childhood here, there are a lot of things from my own family, which my mother gave to me. Lots of things from different relationships. Lots of things from different exhibitions. From work as a set designer, from Kylie Minogue’s sparkling balls to all kinds of layers and layers of objects, ”says Tony.

As soon as you walk into Tony’s house, the first thing that catches your eye are the sparkling balls that make up a Kylie Minogue set he designed hanging in the main room. However, when you move around, your eye doesn’t know where to look next.

The walls are adorned with layers of vintage clothing, second-hand furniture, bunches of dollhouses. There’s even a chandelier in Nike sneakers. Tony’s guest bedroom is tucked away in a structure called the Submarine, which Tony bought from his home thanks to one of his many sets.

However, it’s Tony’s master bedroom that steals the show, accessed by a staircase of chairs – yes you read that right – a staircase made of chairs. If you’re looking for stylish, but maybe not-so-wacky staircase ideas, check out our gallery.

The stairs lead to a platform housing a vast collection of dollhouses, behind which is Tony’s bedroom, housing a four-poster bed. “My four-poster bed of which I am very proud. I did it with old chair legs, ”Tony explains.

The spectacular space has served as the setting for exhibitions and sometimes for a pop-up restaurant. However, with any space like this, cleaning proves to be a challenge.

“It’s hard to stay clean,” Tony admits. “I clean by moving things, there are pieces that I clean and pieces that powder a little. It’s clean and tidy.

“It’s a project that has been going on for 15 years and that doesn’t really end. I mean I never pay more than a five cent for anything. So it’s not worth anything, but everything.


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