When we think of quintessential English interiors, we think of colours, layers and plenty of prints. Now, add a pinch of Rococo Interiors & Furnishings and the whole style is given a fresh lick of (green and white stripy) paint. Rococo creates rooms filled with flare and character, that are meant for living in, after all, ‘who wants to be in a room where you can’t put a coffee cup or wine glass down anywhere?’ – Rococo
If you’re anything like us and partial to a beautiful rattan chair (or two), sourced from a far-flung flea market, you’re in for a treat as we catch up with Rococo herself…
TELL US ABOUT ROCOCO AND HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT…
I have been lucky to be surrounded by creativity from as early as I can remember and this has strongly influenced my style today. My upbringing was ‘fun chaos’ (I’m one of six!) and consisted of permanent visits to auction houses and trekking around car boot sales – it’s incredible how much valuable knowledge you pick up when you are young. My talented mother has always dealt antiques and had a tapestry business where she was commissioned to produce work for many notable designers and my father was an art dealer specialising in sporting prints, so you can say it’s in the genes.
However, it was particularly my husband and friends who I helped decorate elements of their homes who gave me the encouragement to set up ROCOCO. They saw first hand how passionate I was about interiors and helped me turn a passion in to a business. To give you an idea I genuinely love painting walls in the rare spare time I have and rummaging around flea markets for treasures (our house is turning into an Aladdin’s cave). The longest time I had been away from my daughter, Mimi, was to design the interior for a pop up shop in Chelsea where I hand painted a striped green and white room in two days – not sure many people would think that was fun, but I did!
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
There are multiple favourites but you can’t beat the smiles and witnessing a little personality appearing!
…AND HARDEST THING?
The constant logistics when you’re juggling work and a little person (as well as an energetic spaniel!) – sometimes feeling that you’re not doing nearly as much as you’d like to be doing for your business, which is challenging when you’re a creative person. There have definitely been times when I’ve wondered if the work is worth it – then I see how happy a client is or a fun collaboration/project comes my way and I’m reminded why I love it!
Understanding how much I could realistically take on was also difficult. People assumed that because I work for myself that I’d be free the whole time, but the reality was that I didn’t have any maternity leave. I finished a project one week before my due date and the first 6 months involved photo shoots (one of which was a magazine photographing our home), sourcing pieces and writing text for articles. I worked whenever Mimi slept and during the evenings and weekends when my husband was home to help out, so it was (still is) a challenge and pretty exhausting at times. Antique fairs are also a bit harder with a little helper in tow occasionally – she’s definitely getting an early interiors education!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Since becoming a mummy, I’ve become in more efficient with my time, you have to be! If she’s sleeping, I’m working. Every minute counts!
A typical working day looks like this:
1. Always a good coffee first
2. Depending what day it is I head to an antiques fair or flea market – I’ve always been an early bird which bodes well when you need to get up first thing
3. A visit to the upholsterers either picking up/dropping off chairs and fabric
4. Checking in on projects I might be working on
5. Working out courier logistics. There are always deliveries of pieces I’ve bought. My neighbours must constantly think we’re moving and my husband never knows what will be filling up the sitting room when he gets home!
6. Walking our energetic cocker spaniel, Edie. She won’t leave me alone until I have!
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Early. A skinny flat white. I married an Australian so coffee is an important ingredient in our house.
WE LOVE YOUR ‘CLASSIC ENGLISH WITH A TWIST’ STYLE! HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE THIS?
I find the best way to achieve this is to be brave, blend old pieces with new and never go by the book or what is seen as ‘on trend’. Timeless pieces will stay with you forever.
That’s why I like to describe my style as ‘classic English with a twist’, injecting plenty of colour and layering pattern where possible. Someone once told me not to change anything about my style and that has really stuck with me. My key to any design is making someone feel at home. Design is about bringing a room to life, creating warm and welcoming environments and filling it with pieces you love. I am confident that all the treasures I bring into a home, whether it be matching, clashing, expensive or inexpensive will work together. It’s all about belief and confidence and I always buy pieces I love.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
I find reading and researching invaluable, there’s always so much to learn, however I think travelling and seeing different cultures and styles in the flesh is my main inspiration (Copenhagen being the most recent). It’s no surprise that I am armed with oversized luggage on my return. Sussing out where flea markets are is the first thing I look up when we travel and my patient husband is now particularly used to the packing panic when it’s time to leave! My home is filled with treasures from trips.
FAVOURITE ITEM IN YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW?
Tricky! Especially as my home is essentially my stock room, but I would have to say a beautiful Suzani rug made in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, c.1890, which was a bit of an extravagant investment piece for me. As soon as I saw it I fell in love. I have seen so many but this has all my favourite colours and I knew I would never tire of it.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ROCOCO?
Plenty, but there are some fun collaborations coming up which I love doing and there are some new ideas in the pipeline. There’s never a dull moment!
GO TO: rococolondoninteriors.com
SHOP OUR FAVOURITES:
Murano ICET Arte Glass Palm Tree, £200 | HERE
‘Styled by Rococo’ Shell Back Chair, £1600 | HERE
Dark Blue Star Tiles, £8 | HERE
Vintage French Rattan Armchairs, £110 | HERE
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