Taka-Naka: The Long Game

BY Polly Sweet / Jun 12 2017 / 14:42 PM

Patience is a virtue, or so they say. It certainly proved to be the case for Tata-Naka founders Tamara and Natasha Surguladze when it came to creating their dream home

Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Wallpaper by Tata Naka; 1960s Stilnovo light pendant; wood and brass vintage Carl Aubock table; carpet by Jan Kath; Moissonier desk; sideboard, a collaboration between Altreforme and Tata Naka; blue armchair by Perrouin; blue sofa by Tradition; vintage stone table; ceramic face vase by Sea Gull Capri; Memphis Group vase; vintage Eagle table lamp
Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Tata Naka wallpaper decorates the wall behind the stairs
Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Console by the Memphis group; ceramic head vase by Sea Gull Capri; paintings by Mosiashvili; Tata Naka printed velvet stool
Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Tapestry upholstered sideboard by Ferruccio Laviani for EGO; vintage mirrors; 1950s Italian glass table lamps with bespoke lamp shades; ceramic head vase by Sea Gull Capri; vintage rooster ornament; porcelain figurines by Jaime Hayon for Lladro; vase by Astier de Villatte
Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Armchair and trolly, both vintage; cactus ceramic vase designed for The Conran Shop; paintings by a Georgian artist; vintage crystal glass picked up from a Georgian flea market
Taka-Naka: The Long Game
Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside
Customised bed by Fratelli Boffi; Ultra Fragola mirror by Ettore Sottsass; vintage sun mirrors; Murano glass chandelier; vintage side table

“It took us 13 years to find our new home,” recalls Natasha Surguladze, one half of identical twin fashion duo Tata-Naka. “We loved our current one and its location, but we needed more space to entertain, more rooms for guests so we looked and we looked and we looked. And in the end, after all that looking, we bought the house next door.” Natasha and her sister, Tamara, moved to London in 1996 to study design at Central St Martins. Having always been very close, it made sense to them to design under one label and their graduation collection was immediately snapped up by Barneys New York. Tata-Naka has since become a byword for bohemian luxury, a style in part derived from the twins’ Georgian origins but mostly from their love of bold prints and colour. Stockists include Pleasure Box in Saudi Arabia and S*uce in the UAE and they continue to garner a loyal following for their unique aesthetic.

Tamara and Natasha Surguladze at their home in West London. Photography by Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside

While the twins have enjoyed apparently seamless success in their professional lives, things have been a little bumpier closer to home – the 13-year hunt for a new home was just the beginning of it. Having bought a pocket-sized mews house in London’s Chelsea when they first arrived in the capital, the girls were loathe to move from the area. But Chelsea is not renowned for its mega-mansions, or certainly it wasn’t in the late nineties before the advent of foreign investors and their fondness for digging six-floor basements. So the girls resigned themselves to sharing a delightful, but bijou, space – until the house next door became available in 2009. With a larger home now becoming a reality, the girls began the apparently simple process of obtaining planning permission to knock the two buildings through. Five years, and many architects later, Tamara and Natasha finally moved into their new home, a double fronted, four-storey townhouse just a stone’s throw from Fulham Road. It was, they agree, absolutely worth it. 

Ever the perfectionists, the girls applied themselves to the interior design of their new space with the attention to detail that has made them a fashionista’s favourite. Eschewing the help of professional decorators, they flew straight to Milan Design Week and began educating themselves on what was worthy of investment, who to approach for bespoke items and ultimately what the House of Tata-Naka would look like. Thankfully, the girls share similar tastes and their home today is an impressive and impeccable ode to mid-century style, with contemporary elements thrown in to stop it from becoming museum-like. Some of their most notable splurges include the Memphis floor-length mirror that lights up Natasha’s bedroom and the enormous Murano glass chandelier that hangs above the 10-seater dining table. “We literally had to piece it together,” laughs Natasha as she recounts receiving the chandelier one morning. “All the bits came in a box and we had to figure out where to put each flower, each arm, each bulb, like it was some sort of giant puzzle.” In the evenings, the girls would scour 1stdibs.com and Sotheby’s catalogues looking for items to add to their cache – but they were equally reliant on flea market finds and Alfie’s Antiques Market to bring their home to life. Having fallen in love with a black lacquer Kauri wood table in Milan, whose seller was demanding an astronomical price, the girls launched themselves onto the internet to find a more affordable alternative. “Eventually, we found a guy in Missouri who was working with this type of wood and he made us a table for a fraction of the price. We then just added the Murano glass legs, which we can take off and replace whenever we want.”

Custom-made Murano chandelier; Tata Naka dining table with Kauri wood with Murano glass legs; chairs by Massant with Tata Naka printed seat cushions; Fornasetti vase; kitchen by Boffi; Venini lights; hand carved wood chairs from Bali. Photography by Mark C. O’Flaherty/Living Inside

So inspired have the girls been by the world of interiors that they are now offering their design services to clients and to date they have been hired to work on two projects. “We love it!” enthuses Natasha. “It feels like fashion for ‘grown-ups.’” Plans are also afoot for a store, which will be more like an immersive Tata-Naka experience, offering everything that the girls love from furniture to food to fashion of course. Finding the right space though is, once again, the issue. Perhaps yet another neighbour is looking to sell up? In the world of Tata-Naka, anything is possible – you just have to be patient.

For more information, please visit tatanaka.com