Transitioning from a world of journalism, after 15 years of being a fashion editor-at-large and a news broadcaster in Hollywood… When Louise Roe moved back to London, she decided to pursue her greatest passion. A world of interior design. Whether the unique antique chintz she grew up with, or her growing love affair with all things rattan, Louise has always been surrounded by inspiration that has led her to create the sophisticated homeware brand, Sharland England.
From colourfully splattered tableware to delicate floral tablecloth-linens, anyone looking to add a pop of warmth to their dinner place settings or kitchen counter should look no further than her collection. While these interior pieces are seasonally versatile, we caught up with Louise to share what inspires her process into design, and creating her dream summer tablescape.
Tell us a bit more about your journey into homeware, did you ever imagine creating your own brand?
I had always worked in the fashion industry, writing for magazines and being enamoured with clothes. But when we moved back from living in LA, we restored a beautiful old Georgian farmhouse in the English countryside, and I got the bug. I knew I wanted to create unique, hand-crafted things for people’s homes. They’re inspired by a nostalgic feeling of decorating and entertaining, named after my elegant great-granny, Marjorie Sharland.
You’ve mastered the art of tablescaping down to a science - tell us about your first step in creating the set-up, do you follow a theme or regiment?
You know what, I’m quite anti-regiment and rules when it comes to tablescaping. I love the way tables are thrown together in rural Italy, for example - picture a Summer’s day in the garden, a tablecloth billowing in the wind. There are beautiful ceramics and glasses, of course, but also flowers picked from the garden, old chipped vintage dishes, children bringing bowls of food to the table… that’s my idea of heaven. If i’m building a table I tend to start with the colour palette and work from there.
The Summer is all about vibrance and colour, tell us about your current colour-palette? Does this colour-scheme persist through the year?
Yes it does! Another aspect I love about homeware is its consistency. You’re not having to rewrite the book every season, I love having key pieces that will hopefully remain in the collection for years. Right now I am obsessed with all our cognac toned pieces - the Napa linens, our Heather plates in pink & tan, and of course, the warmth of rattan accessories like our Hadley tray. Topped off with bright wild flowers, this is my favourite rustic look.
How does your personal style, (especially with your background in fashion) tie into your homeware designs - does one feed off of another?
Yes in a way it does - I love wearing printed dresses, floral pieces and also - a timeless combination like jeans and a blazer. I do think rattan - a bit like fashion - is the ultimate ‘neutral’ when it comes to decorating. It grounds a room, bringing it warmth, and it can be mixed with any backdrop - modern, bright, traditional- it just fits.
If you’re ever lacking a sense of inspiration, where do you go looking for it?
I have a couple of ways to reset my brain when it burns out! I head to a museum or a National Trust house in London, for a dose of history and a change of perspective. Or at home, I dip into my old interior design coffee table books! I love buying up out-of-print interiors books online or at flea markets, and slowly leafing through them with a cup of tea. Most of the images are not on social media, which is very refreshing!
How has becoming a designer shaped your life? What’s next for your designs, and for Sharland England?
I am working longer hours than I ever imagined I could, but I am also more creatively fulfilled and excited to kick of the day than ever! Just seeing the response to our furniture and tabletop is an unbelievable feeling. We just launched an embroidered armchair last week, and next month we will launch our first scented candles and new handmade glassware. The candles took two years to develop, to say I was specific is an understatement! I cannot wait to share them.
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