Why Margate? I love Dungeness Jo and I got married there, I love Coney island and Brooklyn, I really I like places where you feel free, places in states of transition, places that offer opportunity. Having grown up in seaside towns if feels like I was meant to be here somehow.
How do you define style? Properly speaking, there is no such thing as Style; there are merely styles.
If you were an animal, what would you be? I’d like to be a sloth and only ever come out of my tree to go to the loo.
What couldn’t you live without? My wife and my guitar.
Favourite place to think? The walk to botany bay from Clintonville, my office has become a great thinking den, reading the paper in the DALBY cafe, sitting under the shelter next to primark, doing laps of the town occasionally, talking to Paul who has a great library, sitting on FORTS terrace looking out to sea, sitting on the wall of the LIDO fishing, walking around Arlington car park, playing my guitar on the roof of the house, riding my bike along the Viking trail, having a coffee at GB pizza staring out the window, the train ride to town (London), I like thinking.
Favourite Shop? Andy’s guitar shop Denmark st, the tailors on northdown road and Breuer & Dawson – dam those dudes dress good!
What building would you like to be locked in overnight? The Panavision warehouse I would play with the cameras all night and invent lots of weird and wonderful rigs.
Where do you go for a nightcap? Any pub that will have me, FORTS now stock my favorite rum SAILOR JERRY so I’m often found there or Barnacles, which has the most comical Sunday raffle I’ve ever seen. The pubs of Margate are fantastic but if you really want to round the night off and send yourself up and over the wooden hill to bed then a strong pint of cider from the lifeboat is the way forward.
What would you buy if you won the lottery? The entire coast of Margate and spend money cleaning it, restoring it and then build beach huts for everyone and give them out as presents.
What do you collect? I collect lots of things, comics, photography books, films and magazines, hats, I used to make collages and seem to have developed a habit of hoarding things.
Best and worst thing about your renovation experience? Worst thing was finding Dry rot – such a shame you can’t eat it as we had loads of the stuff. Our house was renovated badly and we are now taking our time to put right the bad work done by the developer. Best thing – meeting Mick the builder and seeing the character returned to our house.
First Margate memory? On our honeymoon we saw man putting his boat back together on the main sands after it had been broken to pieces, it was amazing he put all the pieces of wood together in an outline and kept running back into the waves to grab more it was the embodiment of the energy.
Biggest extravagance? I don’t know, our house I guess, we don’t own anything of worth. Having grown up in flats the house feels like a huge extravagance we have stairs that go down as well as up!
Best advice you’ve been given? If your not getting it you’re not close enough.
What are your goals for 2013? To make a film in Margate and open a cinema.
What would you do if you were Mayor of Margate for a day? I’d hire a plane from manston airport tie some large speakers to the wings and cruise around in the skies all day playing the rocky theme tune. I consider it to be the most inspiring piece of music ever written guaranteed to get you back on your feet and ready for another round.
Favourite space in your home? Down stairs toilet, what a luxury!
ROUND-UP: Dom’s Victorian Terrace was refurbished leaving a stark white characterless interior. Slowly fireplace’s are being uncovered, carpets removed, rotten floorboards & cornice replaced, the hallway has been tiled in keeping with its Victorian roots and slowly personality is being returned. This once empty property is fast becoming a family home.
WHERE TO BUY: Dom chooses to use reclaimed materials, timber from DDS Demolition, 71 Monkton Street, Monkton, Kent, CT12 4JF
Doors and architectural pieces from Architectural Antiques Restoration, 27 Blenheim Close, Pysons Rd Industrial Estate, CT10 2YF
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All images ©Jo Willis