Interview with Singer turned Interior Designer Pearl Lowe
Pearl Lowe now lives a very different life to the one she experienced in the 90s. As a singer in brit-pop band Powder she was part of the infamous party crowd the Primrose Hill Set, which included the likes of Kate Moss and Jude Law; and lived a life of hedonism well documented in her autobiography All That Glitters. She relocated to Somerset ten years ago and credits that as one of the best decisions she has ever made. Now a fashion designer, with her Petite Pearl Kids range, and a respected interior designer, she shares her inspirations and expert design advice with us…
Growing up did you have an interest in interior design or has it been something that has interested you later in life?
I always loved decorating my bedroom. I also loved the decor in my best friend’s country house, so without realising it, I loved interiors as a child.
Since relocating to Somerset 10 years ago would you say your own sense of interior style has changed, compared to when living in London?
I don’t think my style has changed an awful lot. I’m still into the vintage boudoir look. I always see the era of a house and decorate it accordingly. Our house in London was Victorian, so I tried to keep it in that style. The house I’m in now is Georgian, so I’ve kept it very light & airy.
When working with a client can you tell us a little about your design process – how long it takes and how you know where to begin?
Every client is different. The client of the house I’m decorating at the moment, didn’t give me a brief at all. They just asked me to make it look beautiful. It’s a wonderful house. I’ve spent the last 3 months making it look 20s with rich velvets and chandeliers. It’s been a dream job. But normally I meet with clients, we start a mood board and get a feel of what they want & then go from there. It can take anything from a month to a year, depending on how big the job is.
What do you enjoy most about the interior design process and what do you find is the hardest challenge? I love going to flea markets and antique shops. I love meeting with all the wonderful characters. The hardest part is when things don’t work out as you’ve planned. You’ve bought the wrong wood for the floor or the wrong tiles. Or the beautiful chandeliers don’t work or the paint colour you’ve chosen doesn’t go with the furniture. There are so many challenges. You need to be quite robust for this job.
What is your favourite interior project that you have ever worked on and why?
I worked on a wonderful job in the country, where the client was away and asked me to look at a guest room that they had. They needed it to be ready in 10 days, as they had guests staying over the Glastonbury weekend. I couldn’t sleep all night worrying that I wouldn’t be able to turn it into anything special, let alone finish it in the short time frame. Then in the morning it came to me to clad it all in wood, like a little wood cabin. I gathered loads of great antique furniture. Got my builder to clad it and the finished room was so magical.
The family adored it and spent lots of wonderful nights in there. It made me so happy that they were so happy with it.
If you could design the interior for any celebrity, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to have interior designed Marilyn Monroe’s house in the '50s. I think she would have suited my interiors.
What is your favourite room in your home and why?
My favourite room in my house is my office. It has the most fantastic ceilings. Lots of vintage costumes everywhere. It’s a great creating space. I just love it!
What are you top three tips to refresh a room’s style?
*My 3 top tips are,
Paint your furniture. I’ve just painted all my chest of drawers in Pavilion Grey by Farrow and Ball and it looks great!
Buy French linen sheets- I’ve just bought some great linen sheets and my room looks so sweet.
Add glass knobs to kitchen cupboards or wardrobes. It can make a huge difference.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is an Edwardian display cabinet that my husband bought me! It was £1500 and I kept walking past the shop in Bath where it was and wishing it would be cheaper, so I could afford it. Then one day my husband saw that the shop was having a half-price sale, so he surprised me and bought it home. It now sits in our bathroom.
If you had the day off right now what would you be doing?
If I had a much needed day off I would spend it with my lovely children. I feel as though I haven’t seen them as much as I would like to.
What’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Next for me is another interior job in probably the loveliest houses I have ever seen in my life, so I’m excited about that. I also have my Petite Pearl Lowe collection going into Harrods. I also have designed a charity candle for TXMaxx all the proceeds go to cancer research.
In 5 years’ time, I would like to move abroad somewhere hot.
Discover more about Pearl and her upcoming projects at her website – http://www.pearllowesvintagehome.com.