After selling up in 1999, they set up HemingwayDesign, which specialises in affordable and social design.  He set up the Festival of Thrift, which is taking place this year at Kirkleatham Museum and grounds near Redcar on 17 and 18 September.

Luxe people >>

My family.  Being a dad has been the best thing in my life.


For a weekend > After a hard week at work in London it’s amazing to get back to our house by the coast in Chichester which Gerardine designed as our dream modernist home.

A long holiday >We never go away in the summer as every day in Chichester is like a holiday but over Christmas we go to our property in Perth in Western Australia, which we decided to buy after our best friends moved over there to teach and when property prices were low. It’s a lovely city with an amazing climate.

A treat > Heading off to the beach for a run with our dog.

LUXE relax >>

Best food > Cereal – I’ve always loved it.  My mood changes but my current favourite is M&S chocolate cereal mixed with Alpen.

Best wine > I haven’t touched alcohol for 28 years.  I am really focussed on health and fitness and needing less sleep and am happy enough without it so have never missed it.

Favourite restaurant > My place of choice to eat is round our communal table at home surrounded by my family enjoying some home-cooked vegetarian food. We grow a lot of our own produce.  It’s a very thrifty way of living and what my nan and pop did as I was growing up.

Perfect weekend > Finish on Thursday night and have no delays on the train down to the coast; get my running shoes on and head out to the beach; do some digging in the garden; play with the children when they were little; eat some of Gerardine’s amazing food; do some running and cycling and catch up with some work.

Downtime means > I really enjoy the work I do so my job can be quite relaxing for me as it doesn’t feel like work really.

Best telly > It’s rare that I put the TV on but I recently watched the Scandinavian series, The Bridge, which was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Best book > I prefer to read newspapers to books and I read the Guardian every day.

Best sounds > I’ve bought records for years and have a collection of over 10,000 vinyl records that are all catalogued and categorised by type and artist. My passion is black music and I love anything from 60s Northern Soul to rare groove, jazz dance, Brazilian funk and everything in between.

Luxe shop >>

Best shopping city > I am lucky enough to have travelled widely so San Francisco and Melbourne are great for shopping. In the UK Margate and Hastings have good independent spirit.

Favourite shop > I don’t have a favourite single shop but I love going to independent outlets like you find in the Northern Quarter in Manchester and round Baker Street in Middlesbrough.  If I’m hungry I love a good independent food shop or deli.

Luxe retail treat > To find a record on my ‘wants list’.  I buy records when I sell stuff I don’t need.  I regularly declutter and sell things on eBay that go into my PayPal record slush fund that I then raid to pay for new vinyl records.

Best buy > Nothing beats the joy of shopping in a charity shop and discovering a real find as it’s both thrifty and the money goes to a good cause.  I recently unearthed an original US imprint of ‘I’m a good woman’ by Cold Blood worth £80 on sale for £1 in a charity shop although out of guilt  I paid much more than they were asking for it.

Luxe party >>

A memorable night out > Meeting Gerardine in 1980 on a night out in Angels nightclub in Burnley.  I was out with friends and we had a £5 bet to see who could be the first to get a girl’s number.  I won the bet and we’ve been together for 30 odd years now!

Perfect party > Round our house with our friends, the kids and their friends DJ-ing, eating home-cooked foods and with some perfect summer weather.

Best dress > I have an eye for buying timeless classics so I have a wardrobe full of so much amazing stuff collected throughout my career that I couldn’t choose one particular item.

Dinner date > With Gerardine and my family.

Your luxe thing in life >>

Having done well enough to be answerable to no-one to be in charge of my own destiny and not have to choose jobs or projects with the primary aim of earning money. At HemingwayDesign we can choose projects or set up events like The Festival of Thrift based on societal benefit.

Festival of Thrift, 17&18 September, Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds, Redcar | festivalofthrift.co.uk@ThriftFest facebook.com/festivalofthrift