Debenham House, of the department store empire is for sale for an estimated £29 million. The Holland Park house is the former family home of Sir Ernest Debenham and is now owned by the Addison Trust. Formerly known as Peacock House, the Grade I listed property was built in 1906 for Ernest Debenham who had transformed the family millinery shop into a successful department store.
Designed by award winning architect Halsey Ricard, the house is built using coloured ceramic tiles, pale terracotta and coloured glazed bricks. The roofs are covered in green tiles from Provence and a miscellany of glazed tiles decorate the interior of the property with peacocks, eagles, flowers and mythical beasts. The domed and galleried hall, at the centre of the house, includes intricate mosaics, added later, to a design by Gaetano Meo and mosaics in the cupola itself depict leaves and branches in green and gold. The library is one of the most interesting features, fitted with mahogany shelving, decorated with mother-of-pearl and inlays of various woods.
Debenham House is built principally over three floors but with various extensions and outbuildings and it is approached from the street by a covered walkway through its own gardens, laid out in a formal Dutch style. There are also extensive upper and lower gardens at the rear.
The Debenham family moved out of the property in the 1940s and for the last few decades it was used as offices for the Richmond Fellowship, a housing and employment charity, and in 2000 the house was sold to the Addison Trust.
The house has already sparked interested from several Russians, an Italian industrialist and a number of investment bankers.
It is understood that the property is for sale privately through Savills for an estimated £29 million.