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MUNGO & MAUD’S NICOLA SACHER’S DESIGN TIPS

Mungo & Maud is the go-to for accessories for your cat or dog that don’t devalue your home style. Co-founder Nicola Sacher takes us into her West London home – and explains who Mungo & Maud are

West Londoner Nicola Sacher is the co-founder of Mungo & Maud, the luxury dog and cat outfitters with stores in Notting Hill, Belgravia and Harrods. The company has changed the way we think about pets in the home, showing you don’t have to put up with unattractive accessories. Nicola lives with husband Michael in a renovated Kensington townhouse.

Looking back, was there a particular moment that inspired the launch of Mungo & Maud?

Mungo & Maud was created at my kitchen table and has evolved quite considerably since then, mostly since the table was chewed up by my first dog George, the inspiration for our brand. I was searching for a stylish and refined dog bed but couldn’t find one that suited my taste or that complemented my home – so I designed one myself, and with that Mungo & Maud was created.

Who are Mungo & Maud?

Mungo & Maud are fictitious characters, I like to imagine the Mungo is the dog and Maud the cat. However they are left to one’s imagination.

Interview with Mungo & Maud's Nicola Sacher

Nicola Sacher with a rather tired companion

When you first opened in Chelsea, what was the response like?

The location took a while to find but I fell in love with the store on a Sunday walk with the dog. It had such charm and I was immediately drawn to it. The street is full of character and has a village feel to it which fits in with our aesthetic.

The response was immediately positive, and nine years later we have both a loyal customer base of people and dogs. We receive many overseas visitors too through word of mouth, or finding us online, which is a great compliment.

Is it a common problem – having pets in your home, but maintaining that perfect design look?

Having a dog or cat doesn’t mean you have to put up with unattractive accessories and it’s on this belief that Mungo & Maud was created. Beds and baskets in neutral colours and natural fabrics that look as if they were always there is central to our designs, bowls that look like they’re already a part of a crockery collection and so forth. Cat litter trays, in particular, are such an eye-sore generally and inspired me to design a minimalist one in white acrylic that sits elegantly in the home.

Can you describe your home?

My home is an old artist studio house with a lot of volume and hardly any stairs, quite contemporary and minimal – clean lines wherever possible and a use of stone and wood and other tactile materials. My garden is small and disciplined in a French kind of way – old scented roses (a complete obsession) mixed with olive trees, clipped box hedges and the softness of mounds of moss.

Interview with Mungo & Maud's Nicola Sacher

Christian Liaigre, one of Nicola’s local favourites

Do you have a particular style at home?

I am not that purist as I fall in love with so many different styles. The colours are pared down, white walls, natural coloured fabrics, soft hues of whites, naturals and greys – the vibrancy comes from objects and paintings that are an eclectic mix of past and future in style. I have a soft spot for 1950s furniture – Alto, Perrichon etc – and a love of Japanese ceramics. 

How do pets accessories fit in with the overall look?

Mungo & Maud products are designed to complement the home and fit in with the overall aesthetic of tasteful interiors. The use of natural materials and refined colours throughout all of our collections means whether you choose to buy a bed, bowl, or toy, it will sit beautifully in the home.

On a similar note, can you define a typical Mungo & Maud product?

Originality, quality and a continuing sense of style.

Interview with Mungo & Maud's Nicola Sacher

Mint London offers Nicola some local inspiration

Where do you shop to accessorise your home?

I have to fall in love with objects and furniture that I buy for my home.  Many things come from travelling. I was in Kyoto recently, so ceramics were big on the agenda.  In London I love the store Mint, there is always something interesting to see and it is great for gifts. For furniture I am drawn to Christian Liaigre, Hemispere and Rose Uniacke. I also have a fetish for linens – The Monogrammed Linen Shop has been a favourite of mine for years.

What kind of experience do you want to offer with your stores?

When it was created I longed it to be a store that you just wanted to enter whether you had a dog or not. I like our stores to give an intriguing and tactile experience, with windows that amuse those walking by and packaging that makes people feel special when they buy something. Everyone is an individual and will be drawn to products that suit their own taste and lifestyle. I like to think that Mungo & Maud would tempt even the most discerning of humans. Dogs, of course, are always welcomed.

Finally, what’s new this autumn/winter at Mungo & Maud?

There are many new products for this season. To name a few… a French stripe bed in Powder Grey; some yummy treats ‘Love Hearts’ and ‘Baby Bones’ (the dogs tell me they’re yummy anyway); an adorable new toy ‘Camelia the Camel’ and our new pullover collections that arrive each winter, one of which this year is the ‘Trigonometry’ pullover. I couldn’t resist the name.  

Find out more by visiting mungoandmaud.com

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