Gemma Martinez de Ana is the creative director of ‘Bonadea’, a brand she originally founded back in 2015 as an e-commerce site offering luxury tableware and home accessories. The company continues to operate successfully online, and now also has the most beautiful store on Pimlico Road – a key destination in London for decorators, interior designers, art and antique collectors – where the brand can host their clients and introduce them to one-of-a-kind pieces. Here we meet Gemma who talks about her brand and inspirations…

NS: “Gemma, how and why did you find yourself in the world of interior decor – tableware in particular?”

GMA: “Growing up in Spain, I was immersed in a culture of food and conversation, where every occasion was celebrated around the dining table. I would help my grandmother lay the tables… she was a collector and I was fascinated by the patterns and painted details on her china. My childhood was full of long family lunches, which instilled a love of entertaining and storytelling. A few years ago I decided I wanted to go solo and follow this passion for ‘l’art de vivre and l’art de la table’ and ‘Bonadea’ was born…”

NS: “What was it that brought you to London initially, and where did you first find the design aesthetic for your brand?”

GMA: “Though my family is Spanish, the UK has been my home since studying at university and I originally ended up working in London in technology. I also spent several years living in Milan with work, which allowed me to travel up and down the country and fall in love with Italy; it’s here where I found a lot of the inspiration for our store and brand…”

Bonadea is the name of a Roman goddess – ‘Bona Dea’ – ‘The Good Goddess’ (pictured above). Bonadea is very much about the art of living and entertaining – both the store and the brand – encapsulate my love for collecting exquisite tableware as well as supporting traditional craftsmanships…”

Gemma Martinez de Ana, Bonadea

NS: “When did you open your boutique/salon on Pimlico Road and why did you choose that location?”

GMA: “We’ll be celebrating one year on the Pimlico Road in September, it’s been a whirlwind year! We looked at several locations before deciding on where our first boutique would be, and the Pimlico Road sums up what great interior design is all about, for me. The retailers, antique dealers and brands here all share a kinship, wanting to deliver the very best in what they do. It’s about eclecticism and comradery; I wanted to be part of a design community and I really feel that here. The store itself is actually the former photo studio of Sir Antony Armstrong-Jones, so there’s a positively palpable energy within the four walls… when you think about who has walked the doors of the shop here, royalty included!”

NS: “Yes, British Royalty, European Royalty and Hollywood Royalty also! On the subject of the legendary comradery between designers, do you have upcoming lifestyle collaborations?”

GMA: “Yes, we’re always working on new projects and I’m constantly thinking about new designs and ‘what’s next?’ During 2021 we launched our 1st Bonadea collection, ‘Botanique’, which was hand-painted for us by the artist Marie Daâge. Marie is one of the very few ateliers still painting freehand in the manner of 18th Century Limoges porcelain, where each plate is treated like a watercolour painting. Spring 2022 saw us launch the ‘Bluebird’ linen collection, which was a collaboration between friends of the brand, Noor Charchafchi and Peter Reed. Earlier this summer we also released a second design with Marie Daâge entitled ‘The Palm’, and I’m working closely with other artists and designers too. Additionally, we have a couple of hugely exciting projects underway, but for now my lips must remain sealed…”

We are well known for our quality, and the uniqueness of our collections; rather than following trends, our pieces tend to have a timeless appeal. Provenance and excellence of craftsmanship is something I am passionate about, and the journey these pieces take fills me with joy, from how they are being made to leaving our store, and them being handed down through the generations…”

Gemma Martinez de Ana, Bonadea

NS: “Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?”

GMA: “I work closely with our ateliers, and I love to dig around our maker’s archives, searching for shapes, patterns, and inspiration that will inform our tasteful and varied collections. I source from across the globe, and many of the artisans we work with are the result of my having discovered them whilst travelling. We have porcelain from Vienna, crystal from Japan, rattan from France…we’re also very lucky to have a world of creatives, ateliers and artisans on our doorstep, and we have to do our utmost to protect their skillset…”

NS: “It’s coming into Awards season in London – are you nominated for any that you happen to be aware of?”

GMA: “Yes we are, which is very exciting! We’ve been announced as a finalist in the SBID International Design Awards where we’re shortlisted for the design of the store and it’s now down to the public – so, please vote!”




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