Tue. May 28th, 2024

Thanks to a bold use of colour and confident mixing of textures, florist Paul Hawkins has created a gloriously lively nature-inspired interior in his cosy three-bedroom mews house in south-west London, where he lives with partner Steven Jenkins and their dog Mungo.

‘Herbaceous borders inspire me,’ says Paul, which isn’t surprising given that his day job is as a florist. ‘I do love all strong hues, but predominantly the colours of nature,’ he explains. ‘When I’m making up bouquets, it’s always so important to get the foliage right first, then add colour – and I suppose I took a similar approach with my home.’

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House Beautiful / James Balston
a green painted dining room with wooden chairs, industrial pendant lights and a large jug of flowers on the tablepinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston
Dining room: The painting is by Cotswold artist Rupert Aker

Paul and his partner Steven bought the house seven years ago, but had fallen in love with it 20 years previously, when they lived on the same street. They knew the owner, actress Susan Hampshire, who owned this and three other mews properties that had been knocked together. When they heard she might be tempted to sell one, they got in touch. ‘Within a few hours, we were in her sitting room drinking tea and doing the deal,’ laughs Paul.

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

Owners Paul and Steven love to mix up different styles of paintings throughout the house

In those days, the house was quite 1960s in style, with peach walls and smoked-glass furniture – it looked fabulous but didn’t quite capture the feeling of nature Paul was after. The couple also felt they needed a little more space, so their first job was to extend the kitchen.

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston
Home office: Floral floor-to-ceiling curtains and an ornate mirror from Oka create an elegant feel. The desk is a mahogany card table from Lots Road Auctions in London

‘We kept the original units as they were wonderfully well made and it would have been terrible to put them in a skip,’ explains Paul. ‘So once we’d added the extension, we asked a carpenter to make us up more in a similar style and then painted them all in Farrow & Ball’s French Gray. I wish I’d been a little bolder and gone for a punchy yellow or green but the grey is more calming, and as I can’t stop buying stuff to go in the kitchen, it’s good to have a neutral base.’

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

Kitchen: A calm shade (Farrow & Ball’s French Gray) was used for the units. The green and white plate made by Gavin Houghton is one of Paul’s favourite things

Finishing off the look, Paul added Crittall-style doors out to the garden and a chequerboard floor: ‘We ordered the wrong size tiles, but once they arrived, I decided I liked them and they stayed.’

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

For the living room, Paul went for Farrow & Ball’s Oval Room Blue; the curtains – in Colefax & Fowler silk – came with the house, while elsewhere things just needed a bit of a spruce. ‘We painted the fire surround when we moved in to save money and disruption,’ says Paul. Like much of the furniture in the house, the chairs in this room came from nearby Lots Road Auctions, and Paul had them re-covered in hessian fabric.

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

Bedroom: Lucite lamps with shades from Habitat add a modern touch to the country-style bedroom. The brass bed is covered in a traditional Welsh blanket, which was a lucky charity shop find

A beautiful Welsh blanket in the main bedroom was a gift from Paul to Steven, as he originally comes from Pembrokeshire. ‘Yes, he is the Welsh connection,’ explains Paul. ‘I love these blankets but they can be quite expensive. I actually stumbled on this one in a charity shop in Wales – I was thrilled.’ The walls in here are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back, and the bed was another Lots Road Auctions find. Paul teamed vintage Lucite lamps with Habitat shades he already owned.

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

Bathroom: A jug of hyacinths brings a splash of vibrant purple to the cool grey scheme. ‘I kept this space very simple and got my inspiration via an interior designer,’ says Paul

Not surprisingly, Paul likes spending time in the garden and has created a beautiful outdoor space for entertaining or simply relaxing. ‘We were lucky to have inherited lots of billowing jasmine and low yew hedges,’ he says. ‘I added the tree ferns, which I love, and I enjoy planting to make the space change with the seasons. I’ve planted 100 multicoloured tulip bulbs that will come up in spring in a riot of colour.’

house tour colourful london home interior design inspirationpinterest
House Beautiful / James Balston

Garden: Crittall-style doors lead to the garden where Paul enjoys creating a planting scheme that changes with the seasons. Twin sheds were installed and painted for a symmetrical effect

And is there anything else that Paul wants to add to his colourful home? Well, some more flowers, of course. ‘I’d quite like to wallpaper the bedroom with a really mad William Morris print,’ he says. ‘I think the house needs more flowers.’

See Paul’s flower designs at paulhawkinsflowers.co.uk.

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