What makes me tick by British textile designer Clarissa Hulse

British textile designer Clarissa Hulse has a vibrant portfolio of furniture, textiles and soft furnishings for the home and her collections are taking the interiors industry by storm. This week she guest blogs for ACHICA Living and shares her inspirations...

'Favourite design piece

The Routemaster Bus. I love the colour and shape and I really miss it (although now I have small children I must admit they are not very practical for travelling with a buggy!) I think it’s aesthetically pleasing especially if you compare it to what it’s been replaced with (hideous bendy bus). I love the way you used to be able to jump on and off anywhere and you didn’t have to wait for the stop.

Favourite inspirations

I look at artists for inspiration. I love the work of British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. I love the gradation in shades of his leaves and stones, and how he interacts with the environment around him. My designs are based on nature too and it’s very challenging to make something look even more beautiful than nature itself but I think he achieves it.

Mark Rothko is also wonderful because of his amazing use of colour. It’s incredible to have such simplicity in his work yet to be so powerful.

[Mark Rothko image from markrothkopaintings.net]

Favourite project I’ve worked on

I’m just about to launch a fabric and wallpaper collection with Harlequin (top and below), which I’ve been working on for about a year. It’s called the Kallianthi collection, which means ‘wild flower’ in Ancient Greek. I’m half Greek so a lot of the flowers and plants used in the designs are inspired by Greece, where my parents currently live. It was great working with Harlequin and being able to team up with their resources. They have fabrics woven all round the world, so for each of my designs they could use the best mills to create the best product. It was a pleasure to work with the whole team, especially the design director, as she guided me through the collection and, I feel, brought out the best in me.

Favourite way to spend the weekend

I would have a lovely long lie in, and somehow my children would have miraculously got up late and fixed their own breakfast. We would then mooch around some markets and have a pub lunch. My husband would have planned a surprise night out at a delicious posh restaurant (babysitting all organized), followed by cocktails with friends. Failing all that, a weekend away staying with friends who live in the country would come a close second.

Favourite city

There are so many wonderful cities, London being one, but if I could I would love to live in Lisbon. All textile designers love tiles, and many of the houses there are covered in them in an array of inspiring colours and patterns. It’s so much more
interesting having a house covered in tiles rather than boring brick house, don’t you think? I also love that it’s by the sea, has an amazing climate and delicious cakes!

Favourite hotel

I recently was in Lancaster where Harlequin’s fabrics are printed and I was totally stunned when I was unexpectedly put up in a gem of a boutique hotel called The Ashton (I think it won best B&B award last year). The hotel only has five rooms and the owner cooks for you and serves the delicious home-made food in the little dining room. It feels more like being in someone’s home than a hotel. And, it had Ren beauty products in all the rooms! It was all I could do not to pinch the lot!

Favourite hobby

I don’t have a spare second for hobbies… two kids, a business and a messy husband keeps my hands FULL! However, I do just about find time to indulge my passion for reading cookery books and experimenting in the kitchen occasionally...'

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Clarissa Hulse Guest Blogger

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