“Treat your house like a gallery”
Philippa Curphey is a self-confessed vintage-addict just like us.
All you have to do is take a peek at her retro-inspired design website and blog to know that Philippa gets a buzz out of sourcing a one-off antique treasure for her latest styling project. Her passion for design is simply infectious.
Having spent 10 years working for the luxury designer Ralph Lauren styling and sourcing in the European creative retail team, Philippa now works as an interiors stylist and advises private and corporate clients on how to curate their interior pieces for design projects and photoshoots.
This is our idea of a dream job! We couldn’t wait to interview Philippa about her own style when it comes to designing her living space. Here Philippa tells us why ‘Self Expression’ is the next big interiors trend, moving towards a more colourful and vibrant style of interiors…
What does home mean to you?
I spend a lot of time at home for work and family reasons, so I have always tried to make our home a fun yet functional place to live. Our home essentially is a place that my family and I build memories on by collecting and displaying interior pieces that we have acquired over the years on our travels and through work.
How would you describe your style when it comes to decorating your home?
I love to mix pieces from different eras with contemporary furniture to create my own style. Because of the sourcing work that I do I am always buying new objects to fill up our home with. Art Deco, Mid century, Industrial – I have pieces from every decade on display in our home so you could say it’s rather eclectic!
My work within the creative team at Ralph Lauren designing window and interior displays has rubbed off in our family home especially when I acquire new interior pieces. From the about the age of 5 when I used to move furniture around my bedroom to the present day where I love re-displaying all my objet trouve and creating new backdrops to display them in; our rooms are always evolving and changing to suit the interior pieces I display within them.
What are your three most treasured vintage pieces?
‘The Blue Lady’ Sculpture – I found at an auction and I absolutely love it for its style and colour, She sits exquisitely on her own on my mantle piece at home. I recently used the sculpture on a styling shoot with La Vita interiors and it made a great statement piece for the room and complimented the furniture beautifully.
1940’s brown leather club chair -It’s my ‘little black dress’ of the furniture world, its a great staple piece of furniture which has fitted in to all the different style properties I have lived in over the years. I couldn’t live without it!
Set of 3 antique Chinese carved panels – I love these beautifully carved pieces which I located at an antique shop in Frome, Somerset one of my favourite parts of the UK to source antiques. Black and gold are really key colours in the interiors world at the moment and they make a great back drop hung on the wall or simply propped up on a piece of furniture – they are extremely adaptable pieces.
What would be your top design tip for our readers?
Treat your house like a gallery, try not to clutter up your space with too many items. Keep your rooms simple but invest in a few large statement pieces to compliment your furniture.
What do you think is the next big interiors trend and why?
I’ve just been blogging about ‘Self Expression’ and how putting a stamp on your space to create a dramatic backdrop can enhance and update your furniture. This trend is about making bold statements through wall murals, painting and graffiti, pop art or just simple brush strokes and ink splatters. As we move away from the calming grey interiors towards a more colourful and vibrant style of interiors, this is a great way of updating your antiques or furniture within your space.
Where is your happy place in the home?
We have recently converted our loft to create a master bedroom or a secret hide away from chaos of crazy kids that is taking place below me! With beautiful views across the countryside I love sitting up here to work or indulge in my interior magazines for a while! Its such a calm and relaxing place to be, I always get inspired when I am in this room. I decorated this space with beautiful hand printed Farrow and Ball wallpaper and have filled it with all our precious objet trouves – It makes me very happy and relaxed!!
A perfect Sunday is….
I live in a beautiful village called Brockham, located right in the heart of the Surrey Hills so I don’t have to travel far for a perfect Sunday. As much as I love the idea if a big lie in , they are pretty much non existent in my house hold due to having 3 kids under 5! My day would start with an early morning run soaking up the countryside followed by a well deserved large breakfast! I usually have the urge to feed my antique addiction, therefore the morning would have to involve a trip to one of my favourite towns which are brimming with antique shops, markets and fairs – (Dorking, Lewes, Arundel or Rye) where I’d hunt down some treasures for my clients. After filling up my car with stuff I’d head home and take the family on a cycle ride to one of our local country pubs for a Sunday Roast (luckily I live in an area where I have one in every direction within walking distance of our home!). Lunch usually lasts longer then anticipated by the time we feed everyone and chat to friends that we have bumped in to. We’d head home for a spot of family entertainment, this involves some kind outdoor activity usually involving water or messy play! There isn’t much relaxation in our house until the kids bed time when I’d then unwind with a large G&T!