Brew cafe founder Jason Wells’ light-filled Richmond home pays homage to his Australian roots with a bright and modern home that’s ideal for entertaining, writes Vicky Mayer
Australia is known for its bright, modern homes so it comes as no surprise that Melbourne-born restaurateur Jason Wells has recreated a similar look in his stylish Richmond home. As owner and creator of the successful Brew cafes in south west London, Jason has bought the enviable Aussie lifestyle to the home he shares with his wife Jacqueline, and his children, Grainne, 16 and Caellum, 15.
The family moved from Barnes three years ago in search of a family sized home that was good for entertaining and could offer Jason a driveway too. Their handsome house is situated a stone’s throw from Richmond Park and with neighbours including Sir David Attenborough and actor Tom Hardy, it ticks all the right boxes. But for busy businessman Jason it was the open plan design and light-filled rooms that convinced him he’d found the right home.
‘I wasn’t looking for a particular type of house,’ he explains. ‘I just knew I wanted somewhere that was good for entertaining and that would feel like home. I’m the sort of person who feels things instantly and when I walked into the house I knew in about two seconds that I loved it.
‘What sold me was the enormous kitchen/dinner on the ground floor that leads to the garden. Like most Aussies, I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors and I knew we could do that here. We’ve hardly touched the house really except for rearranging the garden and installing a fire pit on the patio. We’re never indoors in the summer, we live, entertain and cook outdoors.’
Jason’s five bedroom house is cleverly designed so his children have the run of the top floor. Meanwhile, the master bedroom with ensuite and guest bedroom lies one floor down, ensuring privacy for everyone.
Jason describes his taste as minimal and modern. ‘I don’t like houses that are all one style,’ he says, ‘if you can mix things up successfully I think it really works.’
True to his word, the house is a comfortable mix of old and new with antique pieces like his French dining table made in 1647 and modern bespoke furniture made in Melbourne. Against a simple whitewashed background, Jason’s extensive art collection stands out too. ‘My art is mainly Australian,’ he says, ‘I’ve got prints by Sydney Nolan and I love the Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira too.’
When he’s not busy running his busy restaurant empire and planning for the launch of Brew number five this spring in Kew, you’ll find Jason at home cooking for his family and friends. ‘Monday night in our house is champagne night,’ he says, ‘I do the cooking; we’ll crack open a bottle of champers and the kids are in charge of the music on Sonos. By nine it’s all over; we don’t do it every week but it’s a great way to start the week off. ‘That’s what this house is all about,’ he concludes, ‘friends, family and a fun place to live.’