Clarissa Hulse’s style secrets

We catch up with the textile designer, who shares her style passions

Where do you live? I’ve lived in and around Islington
practically all of my life. I love the fact that everything is within
walking distance. There’s all kinds of restaurants, a great cinema [The
Screen on the Green, below] and beautiful architecture right on my doorstep.

What’s your house like? We bought a rather ugly, but huge Thirties warehouse three years ago. We’re trying to get planning permission to convert it into a house and studio.
How will you decorate the place?
I’m a maximalist who’s crazy for pattern and texture and has six-month love affairs with different colours. The new space will be a backdrop for these ever-changing looks. I’m also a magpie for collecting bowls and vases and will soon have room to rotate them – I’ve planned for lots of storage.
What’s your favourite thing in your current home? A pair of blown glass lamps by Anthony Stern [below, Stripey lead-crystal table lamp, £850] that I bought directly from his Battersea workshop. I’m also very fond of an amazing Arts and Crafts chaise longue, which my dad rescued from a skip in the Seventies.

Where do you shop for interiors products? I’m obsessed with Criterion Auctions, much to the chagrin of my children, who I drag along with me nearly every week. I think that Jasper’s done a great job of moving The Conran Shop on. Generally, I prefer to buy directly from makers. I picked up some great bowls by Richard Heeley at the Geffrye Museum.
And clothes?
Liberty for Day Birger et Mikkelsen. It’s my favourite clothing label because it uses such amazing textiles. I also pop into Fenwick because it’s nicely curated.
Do you have a secret shopping address?
I love to go to Cockpit Arts. On its twice-a-year open days, there are well over 100 makers selling everything from ceramics and jewellery to hats. There’s always a lovely atmosphere and it’s a great way to support artists. My favourite makers there are ceramicists Kerry Hastings [below, Sculptural vessel, from £35] and Kate Schuricht and jeweller Kate Wood.


What are your favourite restaurants? I think Trullo [below] is the best Italian in the world – it’s just down the road from my house. The Social Eating House in Soho is good and the tasting menu at the Typing Room in Bethnal Green is fabulous.

Any favourite bars? I can’t resist a Fig Leaf Collins at 69 Colebrooke Row. It’s an intimate place with a pianist and it just feels really special.
Where do you go to party?
I can’t deal with a hangover with children! These days, I’m mainly at kids’ birthday bashes.
What’s been your most memorable night out?
I had a surprisingly good evening at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard. I thought it was going to be a bit naff, but the view is spectacular and you get a real frisson of being in London.
Do you have a favourite hotel in town?
I’ve never needed to stay in one, but I’d love to design one! Ham Yard Hotel is pretty special.


Where do you find inspiration?
As my designs are botanically inspired [above, Scattered Fern linen cushion in Ivory/Tiger Lily, £35], I go to Kew Gardens [below] and Hampstead Heath a lot, especially in the autumn to Instagram the changing colours. The Chelsea Physic Garden is a heavenly place to have tea in the summer.

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What’s your favourite building? I love the revamped King’s Cross building. It’s so grand, yet so simple. It’s such an improvement and a great contrast with neighbouring St Pancras. The Geffrye Museum is also rather beautiful, bridging the gap between the old and the new in Shoreditch.
What’s London’s biggest eyesore?
I really don’t like the Edgware Road substation near the Westway, which is tiled by artist Jacqueline Poncelet. It’s just a mess of patterns, I’m afraid.
What should a first-time visitor do? On a Sunday, head to Columbia Road and Brick Lane. The area has such energy and is a whirlwind of shops and street food. While there, check out Rebecca Louise Law’s pressed-flower installations in her studio.
Check out Clarissa’s website for more info

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