How to live like a north London footballer
PUBLISHED: 13:04 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 13:12 10 June 2016
With Euro 2016 kicking off in Paris this weekend and many north London-dwelling Arsenal and Spurs players heading over to represent their countries, we look at how you can bring a touch of Premier League interiors magic to your own home.
Footballer décor tends towards turnkey minimalism but there are a few essential items that no respectable north London player’s home should be without. Here’s how to get the look – large amounts of cash essential.
1. Rent ... a mansion
A huge number of Arsenal and Tottenham players – particularly the European ones – live in north London and there has been a tradition of players moving to Hampstead and nearby for the ex-pat community feel. Villagey areas such as Hampstead and Belsize Park are popular with the urban-minded, but for the more privacy and security conscious you can’t beat the privately guarded roads on the fringes of Hampstead Garden Suburb, Kenwood and Highgate. And despite those hefty salaries, many new arrivals, including Mesut Ozil, David Ospina, Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris choose to rent rather than buy, at least at first. On Compton Avenue, a private road with 24-hour guarded security gates and CCTV, Woodley has eight bedrooms, indoor swimming pool and – the footballer’s favourite – a huge, empty, modern living entertaining space. It is available to rent via Glentree, who have seen many international players pass through their doors, at £9,995/week, a sum suitable only for a premier league footballer’s whacking salary.
2. It’ll need plenty of off-street parking
Woodley may only have a single garage but it also rocks a sweeping carriage driveway for when the rest of the squad comes over to mess around after training, or for the WAG’s wagon. Which car to splash out on? How about a Mercedes C Class Coupe from £31,385, which gets Mesut Ozil to and from the training ground.
3. A kitchen inspired by a car
The Porsche-designed kitchen for men has been snapped up by a number of Premier League footballers according to its sole UK dealer, Norman Glen on Finchley Road. A collaboration with German premium kitchen designer Poggenpohl, the show kitchen doesn’t even include an oven – who cooks for themselves when you get all your meals at training, out and about in Hampstead or from Deliveroo?
4. Get an enormous fish tank
Thierry Henry’s planning battle with Hampstead neighbour actor Tom Conti over a 25,000 ft fish tank is the stuff of legend but he’s not the only footballer to invest in some fishy friends. Specialists Aquarium Architecture have installed some show piece tanks in the homes of Stephen Ireland, Samir Nasri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Hart, to name a few. Prices start from around £7,000 for a 600 litre freshwater aquarium but they can rise to £1million for a 12,000 litre installation complete with rare fish. A Clarion Angelfish will set you back around £4,000 per fish; the Gem Tang, around £2,000. The most expensive fish the company has dealt with is a Peppermint Angelfish costing in the region of £20,000, only a handful of which are held in private aquariums around the world.
5. Look after your pets
While we’re on the subject of animals... Life as a professional footballer settling in a new country can be lonely and with Hampstead Heath, the Heath Extension and Kenwood on the doorstep it’s no surprise that many Spurs and Arsenal players have canine companions. Ozil’s Instagram feed is clogged with pictures of his black pug, the fabulously ironically named Balboa; Aaron Ramsey’s beagle Halo enjoys a duvet selfie; while both Harry Kane with his black and gold Labradors Brady and Wilson and Alexis Sanchez with golden retrievers Humber and Atom prefer larger breeds, although size is no impediment to dressing up in a team jersey.
So what’s good enough for these pampered pups? Only this gold Medusa head Versace dog bowl. It’s dishwasher safe, but you’d hope so at £568.
6. The games room
A fully stocked bar and games room is par for the course on the Billionaires’ Rows running perpendicular to Kenwood. No off-duty footballer’s home is complete without a table football set to get competitive over off the pitch. Even better if your team mate has designed it. The Debuchy by Toulet range has been produced by Mathieu Debuchy and is made and sold in France. The Le Debuch’ model (27,990€) is based on sports cars, and comes with aluminium players, LED score panels and an automatic goal sensor.
Injured, fed up and sitting at home watching your team on the pitch while you elevate your knee – it happens to the best of us. But at least if you’re watching on a super swanky HD TV well, it could be worse. The Panasonic Viera (£1,399 from John Lewis) almost has Hampstead (and Arsenal’s) Patrick as a namesake – close enough when you factor in the 4K HD, curved screen and built in WiFi. It may not be the discontinued 165”, £600,000 model, but at least you don’t have to get a specialist to install it.