Just before Christmas we went to a party and were lucky enough to meet Rebecca, the interior designer behind Georgia Victoria. Not only was it great to meet her but she agreed to do an interview with us – our first ever! So earlier this week we finally got together for a chat.
Because we are nosy, we had to ask Rebecca what her favourite decorative item in her house is and she told us all about this lovely rocking horse*.
It belonged to her grandmother who bought it in the 1920s, although it probably wasn’t new then. It lived in a huge attic with a billiard table, a table tennis table and other toys for the grandchildren to play with and the rocking horse became a place to wait for a turn with the most popular toys. In due course he was renovated and Rebecca eventually inherited him from her grandmother. He now lives in her hallway and although he definitely counts as a decorative object, children – both Rebecca’s own and visiting ones – are encouraged to play on him. So what makes him special? “There are stories to tell about it – stories and memories”.
This is a key point for Rebecca’s work. She has a key piece of advice for anyone starting a design project: “have talking points to enrich the interior for you and your guests”. Rebecca thinks many interiors are ‘safe’ rather than a reflection of the people who live there and she takes pride in working with great upholsters, furniture makers and other craftsmen to create bespoke items. She recommends having confidence – chose things you love rather than things you think will work. (A case in point is that picture of the rocking horse – it’s placed next to an antique settle but look how well they work with the modern painting on the wall!) If you pick things you love then there will always be a common theme that links them and objects you love will stop an interior being bland. A house is to be lived in and should look lived in rather than permanently styled as if for a photoshoot.
Following on from that, Rebecca believes it’s important to be flexible because interior design is an organic process. For example ‘you might plan a new carpet and then find beautiful floor boards under the old one – don’t be afraid to polish the boards, buy a rug and change the plan!” There is a great example of this on the Georgia Victoria website – a client renovating a Victorian bathroom grew to love their original figured rolled glass window par and decided to keep it rather than replace it with modern frosted glass.
Rebecca herself loves Victorian interiors, because there is always something to look at, and one dream project would be to renovate a complete Victorian townhouse from top to bottom for a client who wants an interior ‘full of silk and drama”. But what about her own dream? A bothy! It would be a retreat away from modern city life and electricity; a calm, serene space to connect with nature. And it’s not surprising that she dreams of something simple – the last year has been very busy for Georgia Victoria. The client list is growing (both private and corporate clients) and exciting projects for the future include fitting out a horse-drawn carriage!
So what interior design trends should we all be looking out for in the coming year? The three Ps – pastels, patterns and plants. Rebecca thinks that all the grey interiors that were so popular a few years ago will now need a refresh and that pastels are the perfect way to achieve this. In a similar vein, as we get bored with blocks of colour we will turn towards bold, patterned fabrics (check out the Georgia Victoria Facebook page for ‘Fabric of the Week’ recommendations). And plants, because as Rebecca says “Everybody needs more plants!”
If you have a design project you would like Rebecca to help with, you will find contact details on her web page.
*You’ll have guessed we didn’t take these photos, right? Copyright in all photos owned by Georgia Victoria.