Pearl Lowe's Georgian country house & antique costume collection
Antique costumes and nude paintings help give the fashion and textiles designer’s home a ‘rock ’n’ roll romantic’ look
My home is an 11-bedroom Georgian country house. It’s located on the edge of a town but has country views. I fell in love with the higgledy-piggledy feel of it – the way that each room leads to another. I love that my teenagers can walk to the station and get trains to London, Bath and Bristol and that there is a shop at the end of our road, but that we are also in the country, with the most spectacular views.
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I have recently redecorated our front room as it wasn’t cosy enough before – it’s now my favourite space. I bought loads of antique, red Berber rugs on a recent trip to Morocco and have layered them all over the floor. We installed a Charnwood log burner and I love it so much. The only problem is, I don’t want to go out anymore! I just want to light the fire, curl up and watch movies.
My floral painted armoire is my favourite piece of furniture – I absolutely adore it. It’s currently on our landing and as I walk up the stairs I just can’t stop staring at it. The oldest thing in our home has to be our dining table as it’s from the 1700s. We collect antiques, and most of the things we own are Georgian, Edwardian or from the 1920s. The newest thing in our home is our deVOL kitchen – I love it so much. We normally build our own kitchens, or gather antique pieces and throw them all together. But with this house, we decided to go for a built-in design.
An antique French armoire for my daughter Betty’s room is at the top of my interiors wishlist. The room is so messy, I need to put everything in order. It’s playing havoc with my OCD! I collect antique French costumes. I’m completely obsessed with them – the fabrics are so beautiful, they’re really inspiring. I often make patterns from them. Sometimes I sell them but often I just keep them for my kids, or to hang up around the house.
‘Faded glamour’ is definitely my interiors style, although the interiors photographer Simon Brown thinks it’s ‘rock ’n’ roll romantic’. I’ll go with that! My design inspiration comes from the countryside, flea markets, my friends’ houses, movies, but most often from my head. I’ll simply get a nudge to create something. When decorating a room, it’s good to start with an object, like a bed or a sofa, and then work the room around that. I love wallpaper, in fact there isn’t a room in my house that doesn’t have wallpaper in it.
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I’m so lucky that I live in the South West, where there are so many wonderful antiques shops. I tend to shop here as it’s so much cheaper than anywhere else. By far my favourite artist is Malcolm Liepke. If I could afford his paintings, I’d have them all over my house. There are so many things in my house that only I could love, especially all the nude paintings – the kids hate them, especially when their friends come over. They get so embarrassed! In a fire, after family and pets, I’d save my antique costume collection and family photos.