Some VERY important questions!
The studio has grown a little, and I thought it would be fun to see what questions the team had for me. This is the opposite to an FAQ, but it probably tells you a lot more about me and the studio…
1. How good are you at DIY?
I’m ashamed to say I am terrible at DIY. Our household conforms horribly to sexual stereotyping and I’m afraid I do all the cooking and my husband does all the DIY chores. We have become trapped in our roles as he is a terrible cook so I won’t let him in the kitchen and vice versa.
2. How did Stanley get his name?
Poor Stanley didn’t get his name until he was about six weeks old because our family simply couldn’t agree on a name. So in the end I did an Instagram poll and Stanley won. It was a very modern baptism.
3. What’s your star sign?
I am Pisces. Typical traits are supposed to be imaginative (of course!) romantic (very much) impressionable (ok maybe) and pleasure-seeking (I may like a little glass of wine now and again). My mother was a mad keen astrologer. She and my auntie would stay up all night studying the planetary ephemeris. I grew up with daily horoscope readings which actually became very annoying. She did predict a few things which came true, but as I’ve got older I’ve become more sceptical. I’ve never used astrology for a business decision (I’d love to hear if any of you have!) but my aunt and mother did choose the date and time for our wedding day. My husband and I have been very happily married for 18 years now… so that proves it MUST be true!
4. What luxury would you take to a desert island?
I don’t think I would fare very well on a desert island because I really do like my creature comforts. I can’t decide which I would need more: a coffee machine or a posh bed with pocket sprung mattress, soft down pillows and high thread count sheets. I suppose if I had the bed I would at least sleep OK and might not need the coffee.
5. Fresh or dried?
You really can’t beat fresh flowers – as we don’t have a garden at the moment I try and have a vase on the go all the time to feed my soul. For my work I do prefer dried flowers and plants because they tend to have more interesting silhouettes. I do love a seed head as they are often more sculptural and have more interesting lines and forms. Flower silhouettes can be quite blobby.
6. Silver or gold?
It’s a tough call. I love them both and use them all the time in my work. I like to mix them together so you get the warmth of the gold but the sophistication of the silver. By the way if you are asking for gift-buying purposes I am gold all the way.
7. Bright or neutral?
Bright every day of the week. Actually I’d like to be more specific and say rich colours not just bright colours… I like saturated hues.
8. Greatest life hack?
I love this question because I’m actually obsessed by hacks. I’m frantically busy running a business with two children in tow, so anything that can help move things along is always welcome. I know it’s boring but batching is a good concept, whether it’s emails, meals or taking photos for my work.
9. What would you call your dream paint colour with Farrow & Ball?
My dream colour would be called ‘Stanley’s legs’ and it would be a beautiful smoky cream colour.
10. Do you have a favourite cocktail?
I just love cocktails! I think my favourite classic cocktail is a Moscow mule and my favourite spot to drink cocktails is the Gilbert Scott in St Pancras Hotel. I love sitting on an upholstered banquette and gazing up at the painted ceilings.
11. Dream holiday destination?
I am just desperate to travel again! If I could, my next far-flung destination would be a trip to Japan. What I would give to go in blossom season or to go and see the wisteria in full bloom! It must be an incredible sight! I’d also like to visit Kyoto and see the beautiful kimonos there.
12. What’s the hardest part about running a business?
As is the case with so many things in life, the most challenging part is the crazy juggle of tasks that I have to do in a single day. I’m often bouncing between extremes, from styling a photo shoot to using my non-existent plumbing skills to fix a broken pressure washer. But I get easily bored so having my own business keeps me on my toes! And I think nowadays more than ever it really is all about the juggle. You need such diverse skills – you need to be able write, take good photos, work a spreadsheet and even be able to present yourself well on social media…the list is endless!
13. Which is your favourite design?
It’s very difficult to say, but I think I love my meadow grass wallpaper and fabric which I designed for Harlequin. It was inspired by grasses from my friend Tania’s garden and we also used the pattern for bedlinen and cushions. It’s a bestseller and I think it’s totally timeless…
14 . Do you have a dream collaboration?
This is a bit random and may surprise some people – but one fantasy I have is of doing incredible caftans and swimwear. Before I had my business, I used to do freelance designs and they would sell unbelievably well in LA for swimwear – the brighter and more blingy the better.
Here’s a kimono I made years ago!