Who loves House of Hackney? Spoiler: I do! Well imagine being invited to the real-life House of Hackney, where founders Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley actually live? The visit was part of an exclusive weekend called, 'Our House, Your Home' where you could have a nosy around as well as a personal consultation about ideas for your own interiors.
I obviously got very snap happy with the incredible interiors. Famed for their vintage inspired prints and bold use of colour (dubbed 'William Morris on acid'), the house was exactly as expected. Top to bottom, wall to wall, pattern on pattern. A maximalist dream! And they do actually live there with their two children.
The visit was rounded off with a one-on-one sit down with Steve Corcoran from the brand where I got to talk about my own space and talk through some ideas. We were invited in the kitchen, offered a cup of tea, and sifted through fabric and wallpaper samples which covered the island. He was extremely lovely and patient despite us asking a lot of questions and overstaying our allotted time. Thank you Steve! I'm looking forward to receiving all the samples we chose and putting them to work in the renovation.
So what did I love in the house?
1. The wonderful woodwork
Having just made decisions over skirting and architrave in our own home, it was interesting to see what Frieda and Javvy chose in their place. Ok, that's a lie. Whilst I was cooing over animal print wallpaper and fringed lampshades, my partner, Ben, was fascinated by the woodwork in the house. Like their house, our renovation is Victorian and they had picked a similarly traditional size (215mm), but made a real feature by painting it a dark eucalyptus colour in the living area which really popped against the pink walls.
2. The 'casual' room
When you think of a snug, you think of a fairly dark or neutral space where the TV and sofa take centre stage. Not in this house. The room at the very top of the house is apparently where they chill out, and it is not traditional in any sense. It's completely red! A toy soldier red, with two types of patterned wallpaper, a matching rug and a stripy leopard print sofa. It's arresting. Like an exotic illicit drinking den - not somewhere to watch the Great British Bake Off. I loved it.
3. The safari study
If you think a pegboard is going to jazz up your office, think again. Frieda Gormley's study is draped in zebra print wallpaper with a snow leopard lamp and leopard print chair perched at the desk. A predatory lady boss den. Interestingly, the skirting is white in here which sits neatly above the polished wooden floor.
4. The pink & palm print bathroom
Just when you think Millennial Pink and tropical prints have peaked, you step into this bathroom and start Instagramming it all over again. But it's done oh so well here. Inspired by a Victorian Hackney hothouse, there's traditional black and white floor tiles to offset the blush free-standing bath, a matching pink ceiling, antique plant-pot stands and piles of their popular Palmeral print towels. I'm normally anti-shower curtains but this one, draped elegantly from brushed brass fixtures, would almost be worth that wet feeling when it clings onto you.
5. The Wes Anderson children's room
I don't yet have children, but I imagine I'll be the kind of mother who tries to dress their child in red velvet coats with big black buttons when all they want to wear are glittery unicorn leggings. The little boy's room (Javi) room is testament to that kind of mother. The symmetry of the beds and tonal use of one colour makes you feel like you're in a Wes Anderson film. Twin beds topped with floral blankets sit against thick deckchair stripe wallpaper swimming with whales. There's velvet headboards and pleated wall lamp shades - but still lots of toys and personal photos. I adored the girl's bedroom too.
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