Luke Edward Hall on mixing eras and the perfect shade of pink
We chat to prolific artist and designer Luke Edward Hall about mixing eras, the appeal of buying books and the perfect shade of pink
I live in a flat in a Victorian terrace, at the top of a leafy square in north London with my boyfriend, Duncan. Our bedroom is my favourite room because we worked on it quite recently. It has a leopard carpet, heavy pink velvet curtains and green marbled paper walls. It’s also where a lot of my best-loved books are stacked on shelves and it has a charming view over the back garden, a church spire and trees.
One of the first pieces Duncan and I bought together was a bar cabinet from the 1950s with inlaid malachite panels and a mirrored interior that lights up pink. We still have it and keep our favourite glassware inside. The newest item in the house is a rug with a Greek key design in dark blue and emerald green for our living room. We had admired it for years.
I like lots of different eras – English country house interiors by John Fowler, mid-century Italian design and designers such as Gio Ponti, a sprinkling of Memphis Milano… At the moment I’m having a real baroque and rococo moment.
I most enjoy collecting vintage art and design books, because they provide inspiration for my work. I like to buy books because often they include images that can’t be found online.
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The designer I most admire is Cecil Beaton, because he worked extremely hard and produced so much, from photography, writing and costume design, to book covers, interiors and more. I love his pencil drawings in particular. He had a unique take on the world and I admire designers who have strong aesthetic visions.
When decorating my own home, the most important things to me are colour, texture and pattern. I believe in juxtaposing to create interest, so we’ll have a 1970s ceramic lamp with a hand-painted lampshade on top of a Georgian chest of drawers, or a contemporary marble coffee table in the same space as an Aesthetic movement ebonised chair. I like bold colour combinations and a mix of fabrics. There’s a lot going on in our flat because I like being surrounded by the things that inspire me. At the moment we’re kind of drowning in pieces picked up on trips. We need another house!
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A decorating project that didn’t go to plan happened early last year when we painted our living room pink. The first attempt went very wrong – the pink was much too bright, sort of a highlighter hue, and the first night we lived with it we realised it was giving us headaches. We had to repaint it a few days later a calmer, softer shade.
A free day doesn’t occur too often so I’ll be at home with Duncan. I’ll shop for ingredients in nearby Primrose Hill, cook, read, put on a murder mystery and sit at our dining table with my watercolours or scrapbook, cutting and pasting things in. I travel a lot, so days at home doing not very much at all are precious to me. I like to be busy, but I strongly believe in taking time to enjoy simple pleasures.
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