I visited House of Grey on a whim, last minute, as a plus one with my friend Abi. I’d missed the previous two years of design festivals due to pregnancy/babydom but I was craving some time alone, in the city, away from my house, so I went, despite my tiredness. I wasn’t sure what to expect and had no plans at all, but I met Abi at Finsbury park and we began our day at House of Grey, a location house curated by Louisa Grey. (Thank you again Abi! Not to self: make friends with kind people who are more organised than you and have great taste). What I experienced there will stay with me for a long time. This is far, far more than a beautiful space. In fact this embodies everything I believe about the power of interiors.
I thought it would be like every other open house space i’d visited; a crammed visit of 20 minutes or so in which i’d be knocking elbows with other people also trying to take photographs with no-one in them (!). In fact we were basically the only two people there and stayed for nearly two hours. Yes the visuals were breathtaking. The palette is calming, textured, nuanced and utterly beautiful. But all of the senses had been considered, not just sight, and that’s what excited me so much. The music had been curated specially by Playlister (you all know I love a good playlist, and the power of music, right?!) Every room smelled gorgeous. Texture was woven through everything in a way you simply can’t pick up from the pictures; from the just visible grain in the wooden floors to the velvet chairs; the subtle texture in the paintings, the layering of texture in the curtain panels, the finish on the light fittings. We were invited to sit, touch, and be comfortable. We were given a delicious (delicious!) kefir to drink. It was quiet and calm and inviting. Louisa herself and her assistant Maddie were there and were so warm and welcoming, we hung out on the sofa chatting about design and wellbeing and mental health. But the element that really elevated an already extraordinary experience, was the basement space, which had been taken over by The Calmery to run free energy healing treatments. Yes, there was even an emotional/ spiritual dimension to this space.
Incredibly, The Calmery had some cancellations the day we visited so despite our late booking, Abi and I were able to have a treatment. It was like nothing i’ve ever experienced, and involved Sushma placing her hands on different parts of my body and tapping into the energy there. It was unreal and incredibly relaxing. She focussed on my chest and head (where my anxiety most manifests) and told me I was coming down with something and needed a paracetamol-ha- and correct!) It was wonderful. We walked out of House of Grey significantly calmer and both deeply inspired.
So my key takeaways are these:
Interiors are a powerful component to our overall wellbeing. They have the ability to support our mental, physical and emotional health in so many ways. The spaces around us are important.
The primary objective to creating any space must be how it feels. Take into account all of the senses- including smell and hearing. This space happens to be neutral but the same principle applies with brightly coloured spaces too.
Don’t underestimate the power a texture in a space. Work with natural fibres, textures and finishes to create a space that feels incredibly rich and warm.
The plants are all from Urban Flower Co.
The scented candles were by School Of life.
The Energy treatments were by The Calmery.
The dining table, side table, day bed, bench, White leather stool, wood and white stools and ‘Otto’ table ceramics are all Frama.
The sofa, ottoman and White armchair are Mass Productions.
The low black bench and wooden plinth are Noorstad.
The 5 acrylic pieces on canvas around the room are by Tycjan Knut.
The 2 large pieces above the day bed were created especially for House of Grey and can be purchased directly from them here.
The incredible sculptural lighting is by Henry Wilson.
The porcelain Terrazo vases are by Natascha Madeiski.
The bespoke curtain panels (possibly my favourite items in the room) are by Nest Design.
The black chopping boards leaning against the wall, used here as sculptures are“Choppers” by Edward Collinson.
The patchwork throw and cushions are by StitchbyStitch.
The rug is by London House Rugs.
To see full exhibition catalogue, click here.
Thank you, house of Grey for having us.