"Most of it is rubbish," the decorator to the rich and powerful known simply as Alidad tells Elle Decor about the objects furnishing his London apartment, putting down 17th-century Flemish tapestries and hand-painted wall coverings of stamped leather as if they were bargain bin fare. Maybe this kind of self-effacing front plays well when you're decorating for, say, the Kuwaiti royal family, but it could be one of the reasons that the Tehran-born interior designer is admittedly "his own worst kind of nightmarish client." After spending over a quarter century fretfully curating his Victorian digs, Alidad was forced to work with himself once again when disaster struck in the form of a plumbing leakage in the apartment above. As we are beholden to no man's sense of humility, we can safely say that the renovations turned out pretty swell.
In giving his apartment an update while trying to keep things timeless, Alidad tackled his most unheard of challenge yet: beige. Over the protestations of "horrified" friends—and we can sympathize, as bright red is clearly the decorator's strong suite—he covered the walls of the master bedroom (above) in alternating panels of pale cotton-linen and suede separated by studded braid work. Elle Decor has the lowdown on the rest of the dwelling, highlights of which include the stenciled walls of the study (?) and a lively hallway gallery with a few hidden doors.