Once described as ‘Colefax and Fowler on acid’, House of Hackney has taken the traditional concept of homeware and turned it on its head for a generation who are tired of minimalism and generic styling. Heralding a return to rule-breaking maximalism, dip-dyed fine bone china and tongue-in-cheek chintz, Frieda Gormley, one-half of House of Hackney, lets us get up close and personal.
Everything was bland and conservative when it came to homeware. House of Hackney was largely conceived for selfish reasons. Javvy (M Royle, Gormley’s partner in life and business) and I were sick of not being able to find what we wanted for our home. All our friends are very creative and it seemed like there was a gap between what people were wanting and what you could actually buy.
Florence Welch has excellent interiors style. She never follows trends and she carries everything off with elegance. She’s one of our clients and she translates her fashion sense into interiors better than anyone I know.
Personally I love full wallpapered rooms but it’s not for everyone. I like my house to look like a 1930’s Hollywood film set with a bit of boudoir thrown in.
Lardo off Richmond Road is like a second-home. Every Friday night we’ll be there as a family.
The Royal Tenenbaums is a film I always return to for inspiration. Wes Anderson’s colour palette is perfect.
Our house is basically House of Hackney in embryo form. When we launched the concept nearly 5 years ago we used our house as a show home, but since then we’ve been so busy, so half of it is decorated and the other half is…still waiting.
Taste is just being confident in your likes and dislikes. If you’re new to print, then mix it with neutrals. Print wallpaper on one wall and a neutral sofa looks great. I also love a white room with print accent cushions. Or a beautiful linen print curtain in an otherwise plain room.
London is the best city in the world for inspiration. I love travelling, we’re planning trips to Palm Springs in Florida at the moment, but London has this wonderful anything-goes mentality. It’s a melting pot of cultures and styles, all these new tribes mixed with that traditional British sensibility. The energy is contagious.
1930’s Hollywood was the golden age of decorating. There was risk-taking, a clash of print and colour and full-on maximalism. People would wallpaper their ceilings and create lavish interiors on a whim.
If I wasn’t doing this I’d be a social worker. I’d like to work with children. But honestly, this is the dream job. We have a lovely team and we’re growing the brand with no limitations, no boundaries, which is what we always wanted.
Colour, texture, print. This is our ethos. Throw out the rulebook.
Just standing in a field with my family is my idea of the perfect day. When we’re not working, which is normally around the clock, I like to disconnect from the world and be in nature. Epping forest is favourite getaway.
We’ve never abided by any interiors rules. We design and create with our own authority, which is brave and sometimes scary but always interesting!
Best way for an instant home update? Invest in a great roll of wallpaper and a pair of beautiful cushions. Try Palmeral for this season’s lush foliage designs.
Javvy and I have completely different strengths. It’s good because we can cover each other’s shortfalls. He’s very technical and is great at attention to detail.
Homes are there to be lived in. Our children are two and five so we understand that certain things are essential, like a good family sofa. Your children will jump on it, and it needs to be wipe clean. Pattern works well if you get the odd mark, you won’t notice it as much. Try the Wilton sofa model with our Wild Card print, a luscious leopard print that looks chic and is super practical.
Golden age Hollywood mixed with foliage prints are my top tips for bringing your home up-to-date this season. Take risks and introduce print and colour. Our Pampas range uses vivid hues to evoke a sense of the tropics.