Rosie Nixon, editor-in-chief of celebrity magazine HELLO!, shows us around her Earlsfield home while introducing her second novel, Amber Green Takes Manhattan
Photos: Tom Dunkley
Halfway through my interview with Rosie Nixon at her Earlsfield home, our photographer interrupts to inform us that her cat has brought a mouse into the kitchen. It’s just the kind of drama I would expect the protagonist of her novel – lovable stylist to the stars Amber Green – to face in any given chapter.
Despite her high profile role in the media, and just like Amber, Nixon can always be relied upon to see the funny side of things. ‘I had so much fun writing my books. I just hope other people laugh while they’re reading them,’ she says.
‘It’s such a solitary thing to do – it’s just you with your characters in your own little world, driving yourself slightly mad. Then, when you do the publicity, you have to invite everybody in. I’ve actually been quite nervous about reviews.
‘At my day job at HELLO! I’m very used to being on the other side. I’m quite cautious because I know what makes a good story – but luckily I’ve got no skeletons!’ With two more book deals in the pipeline, she must be doing something right.
Her fun loving side is also clear to see in the interiors of her Earlsfield home, which she shares with her husband Callum and her two young sons, Heath and Rex. Look a little closer, and you will see that both palm trees and pineapples are dotted around in abundance.
‘My pineapple and palm tree collection, which you might have noticed, is actually getting a bit out of control,’ she giggles. ‘I’m quite a beachy, summer person, and I like the escapism.’
A chair in the corner from Swoon Editions even manages to combine the two. ‘It was given to me by a very dear friend for my 40th birthday and he was very excited that it had both,’ she tells me.
Writing a novel is such a solitary thing to do – it’s just you with your characters in your own little world, driving yourself slightly mad
‘There’s even a pineapple float in the paddling pool. The lamp with palm leaves and a pineapple in the middle of it in the corner was from a flea market in Lyon years ago. We transported it all the way back on the Eurostar. It had a white glass thing on the top and we got it all the way back and then it smashed. So it’s got a new top to it now.’
Having moved to the house from Clapham when Rex was due, Nixon and her husband had a good feeling about the property as soon as they walked in. ‘We had been looking to move and then I fell pregnant, so then we thought maybe we’d leave it until we’d had the baby. Then suddenly we got this offer. We literally looked at three places, and this was the second one,’ she explains.
The central kitchen was part of the appeal for her and her young family. ‘Both my husband and I are really into cooking and we like having people round. We liked the fact that the layout is fairly unusual here – most kitchens tend to be looking out onto the garden, but here it’s quite central.
‘Whenever people are round they always end up sitting on the chairs at the breakfast bar. It’s sociable, but importantly there are glass doors so you can section off the front room, we try to make it a bit of a sanctuary.’
Now that her boys are a little older, Nixon is pleased to have finally been able to buy a beautiful crushed velvet sofa for the space – which has proved a welcome retreat as she prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of HELLO! magazine next year, as well as juggling motherhood with her writing.
I absolutely love living in Earlsfield because there’s so much to do. I like the fact that we’re in walking distance of Wandsworth Common. We love Wimbledon and Tooting Market too, and we often go down for brunch at Brickwood
She hopes to remain in the area, which ‘feels like home’, as her children make the transition from nursery to school. ‘I absolutely love living in Earlsfield because there’s so much to do. I like the fact that we’re in walking distance of Wandsworth Common,’ she explains.
‘I love the independent coffee shop scene round here. We love Wimbledon and Tooting Market too, and we often go down for brunch at Brickwood. It’s also so easy to get into town. It’s 30 minutes door-to-door to my office on the Southbank, which makes for a great quality of life – the Northern line from Clapham used to be a complete crush.’
Having written most of her books so far at Belle Amie coffee shop on Garratt Lane, and as someone who hates to miss a deadline, Nixon is clearly superhuman when it comes to time management – a constant challenge.
‘I’m trying to make time – so I’m planning to go away for a few nights on my own to a spa in Spain. My husband is like, why is it that I have to go to a luxury spa to write? I say, well I just have to have the right ambience darling!’ she laughs.
I don’t begrudge her one bit – and can’t help but note that just like her palm trees, her books and the glossy pages of HELLO! magazine itself also provide a welcome escape from the tedium of day-to-day life.
‘We sell with good news, which is really unusual,’ Nixon explains. ‘We provide that five minutes on your sofa or in the hairdressers, or wherever you’re reading it, for a bit of me time.’
Amber Green Takes Manhattan by Rosie Nixon is out now (£7.99, HQ)