60 seconds with…
Pearl Lowe is an English fashion and textiles designer, and former singer-songwriter, based in Somerset.
Q: Describe your style in 4 words
A: Pretty, romantic, eclectic & cosy.
Q: Tell us about your favourite project to date.
A: Of all the projects I have worked on, I have to say that I get the most pleasure from decorating the houses that my family and I get to live in. Four years ago, we bought a rambling Georgian house in Somerset, and it’s been such a treat transforming it over the years.
Q: When and how did you discover Morris & Co. ?
A: When I was a child, my mum was an interior designer & she used a couple of William Morris prints in my childhood home. But I didn’t start using them myself until we moved out of London to the countryside 15 years ago.
Q: What is your favourite Morris & Co. print?
A: I have so many favourites, but currently, it’s Pimpernel. I put the wallpaper up in our dining room last year, and it’s completely transformed the whole room. People come for supper and never want to leave!
Q: How do Morris & Co. prints make you feel?
A: I feel so inspired by them. Remarkably, they were created all those years ago and yet they are still as fashionable today, if not more than they were back then.
Q: What’s your view on William Morris and the artistic movement he stood for?
A: The Arts and Crafts movement that William Morris started came from a belief in craftsmanship which stresses the inherent beauty of the material, the importance of nature as inspiration, and the value of simplicity. All of which I much admire.
Q: What’s the most creative way you’ve used Morris in a client’s home?
A: I recently used the Double Bough wallpaper in my Gypsy wagon in the garden. It looks so sweet & cosy in there now.
Q: What’s the secret to working with lots of patterns?
A: I love mixing patterns. I often put florals with stripes or stars & linens with faux furs. The secret is to be brave and listen to your gut when mixing lots of patterns. Sometimes it can be a bit too much. But as long as there is one primary colour running through everything. It should be ok.
Q: Is there anywhere you wouldn’t use Morris & Co. papers or fabrics?
A: I will always find somewhere for Morris & Co., even if it is just some scattered cushions somewhere.
Q: What do you like to combine a Morris & Co. print with?
A: I love mixing it with Helen Moore England’s faux fur throws, Kate Forman’s ticking, Robert Kime, Nicholas Herbert and Penny Morrison’s florals & Preen’s fabulous quilts.
Q: Do you stick to the design rules - or are you a rebel?
A: I never stick to rules. When I’m decorating a house for our family, I let the house speak for itself & listen to what everyone I live with would like (to a certain extent). When I’m designing for a client, I have to consider their needs. I like finding new brands and mixing them with vintage and antique furniture and lighting. I don’t like being the same as everyone else. I want the houses I decorate to have their own individual style.
Q: Where do you go for inspiration?
A: Nature is a big inspiration for me. I changed the way I decorated as soon as I moved to the country. I get a lot of inspiration from long walks in the countryside, old Hollywood films, books, and I’m finding Instagram & Pinterest quite inspiring these days.
Q: What’s your dream project?
A: I’d love to decorate a hotel one day. I was asked once, but I wasn’t able to do it at the time.
Q: How would you incorporate Morris & Co. in that project?
A: I would wallpaper the rooms & have cushions everywhere.
Q: What would you like to see from Morris & Co. next?
A: I would love to see a William Morris carpet. I know he designed carpet in the early years and there are Morris printed rugs around. But finding wonderful patterned stair runners and carpet is always so tricky, unless one produces it oneself, which can be incredibly expensive.
Q: If you could customise a Morris & Co. design, which would it be and what would you do?
A: I would love to see the Daisy design with a black background. I’m obsessed with ditsy black florals, so if Daisy came in that colour way, I would put it up everywhere.
Find Pearl on https://www.pearllowe.co.uk or follow Pearl @pearllowe
posted on 05 Jul 2021 by Pearl Lowe in Interviews