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Eyre Interiors

 

My husband and I are new to Hampshire as we only moved from London last August. Ever since we got the keys to our home, we seem to have met a continuous stream of inspiring people who have also introduced us to several others. Like us, Nels Crosthwaite Eyre has recently moved to Hampshire and is now returning to work after having her first child, Charlie. We now live only 40 minutes apart so I was delighted to be invited to her beautiful new home in Stockbridge recently, for a gathering of creative people from around the county.

 

nels eyre house stocksbridge Hampshire

 

It was such an inspiring evening surrounded by cabinet makers, curtain makers, furniture designers, art experts, tile makers and designers. As you can see from images above and below, Nels’ house is exquisite both inside and out. It’s obvious from the moment you walk in that she has clearly been influenced by travel and has definitely had a lot of experience in the interiors world. The combinations of pattern, attention to detail and layering of textures and colour is incredible, every room is full of the most amazing fabrics and wallpapers. 

 


Main entrance in de Gournay Earlham chinoiserie wallpaper

 

 

Nels hosted the evening to let us know about an exciting new collaboration that she’s working on with Felicity Buchanan. They’re launching a fabric collection later this summer and we were lucky enough to get an exclusive glimpse of the original illustrations and a taster of what is to come and it’s stunning!

The next morning, I thought this event was the perfect catalyst to begin a series of blog posts about the talented women who are living and working in Hampshire, starting with Nels. We recently sat down for coffee at Long Barn in Alresford which is the perfect middle spot between our homes. I asked her a few questions about her work, her move to Hampshire, her inspiration, and her plans for the future.

 

Why did you move to Hampshire, and why now?

I grew up here and my husband is a Dorset boy through and through so we knew that after our “stint” in London we would end up moving West to bring up a family. In 2014 we stumbled across the house during a late night wine-fuelled Rightmove binge – not seriously thinking this would ever become our home, we booked in a viewing…the rest is history!

 

How has renovating and styling your own house differed from working on clients’ properties?

It has actually been so much harder – there were some obvious papers and fabrics I had been dying to use for years so they were a shoe in. But having to whittle everything down to a final decision was hard. Having spent so many years absorbing all the interiors magazines and now with Instagram/Pinterest you are aware of how much amazing stuff there is out there…

 

nels eyre office Juliet travers wallpaper


‘Work in progress’ shot of the soon to be office in Juliet Travers Dazzle wallpaper

 

 

Did you have a clear vision for your own home or have your ideas evolved since starting the renovation work?

I tend to work in a very organic way and my ‘process’ is very much based on gut feeling – I can’t abide by any of these decorating rules. I don’t plan out every item and position of every cushion in advance – this approach kills the magic for me and the space feels contrived. I knew I wanted the house to feel inviting and for friends to feel relaxed when they came to visit – feet up, wine in hand and dog on the sofa. So it was finding that balance of a high end English home – that suits modern living.

 


Kitchen by Waites Handmade Kitchens, based in Hampshire
Paint – Benjamin Moore – Hunter Green

Blinds – Rapture & Wright
Seat Cushion – Ian Mankin
Scatter cushions- A Rum Fellow for all except
Bright pink scatter cushion – Molly Mahon

 

What is your favourite room in the house and why?

Ohhhhhh – tricky! I have to say I love a WC/powder room. You can go slightly mad – I often convince even the most conservative clients to let loose and take a risk in these intimate spaces.

 


WC – Hex star tiles by Popham Design

 

Do you still work on London town houses now that you have moved or do you plan to solely focus on country living from now on?

Yes absolutely, I travel to London regularly to source and keep on top of what’s happening in the industry so having clients there is doable. However, I do feel more of an affinity with the countryside, it is probably because I was brought up in The New Forest and it feels natural to be back here and doing what I love back on home turf.

 


Curtains in Benaki by Lewis & Wood
Kingston armchair from Lorfords in Virginie Ticking by Ralph Lauren
Susani cushions by Susan Deliss

 

What have you been your biggest influences to date?

Very simply, I was lucky enough to work for decorator Robert Kime. He opened my eyes to bringing beauty to a space, and taught me that decorating comes from the heart and is about the feeling things give you when they are put together.

 

Robert kime project


Robert Kime

 

Dining Room in Robert Kime Lampas Tomato wallpaper

 

My first visit to Istanbul blew my mind – I have been back numerous times since and it is a huge point of reference for almost everything I do. I have not been for about 3 years now but am plotting a trip in the Autumn to buy fabrics.

 

What are the best and worst things about running your own business?

The worst thing is self doubt – I regularly doubt my abilities and it can be quite crippling on certain days. You have to learn to pick yourself up and get on with it – it would be nice sometimes to have people around to lean on.

I also miss somebody to go for a drink with when the clock hits 6pm…

I am quite independent and so enjoy the flexibility of being my own boss – my mistakes are my own and I love how I can wake up one day with a new idea and put it straight into action.

 

Curtains – Soane in Tulips & Butterflies
Paint – Setting Plaster – Farrow & Ball

Bathroom wallpaper – Aesop by Linwood,
Syrian antique mirror from Robert Kime, basin and taps Lefroy Brooks

 

Has social media helped the growth of your business and if so, how?

Yes it definitely has – my first commission through Instagram was hugely exciting as you plug away each day wondering if anybody cares. Since coming back to work after maternity leave I am trying to put new energy into my online presence – it doesn’t come naturally though.

 

Who are your top three influential accounts to follow on Instagram?

Sarah Vanrenen

Mark D Sikes

Salvesen Graham

and if I was allowed a 4th…. Aerin (Lauder)!

 

What would be your one word of advice for someone starting out on his or her own interior design business?

Firstly, don’t think you have to pick a “style” and commit to it – the best spaces come from bringing together things that you love rather than worrying about whether it is ‘right’ or not.

Secondly – elevate yourself above just being a “cushion fluffer” and learn to get hands on with the building side of projects. I love surprising the Trades when I can contribute in meetings regarding electrics, plumbing and structural elements.

 

 

What’s next?

I am going to run a pop-up shop in our old C16th granary which I will style like a house with antiques, decorative pieces and textiles – everything will be for sale. It will run from the 28th to 30th June. This will show people my vision and what I am able to do with space and provide inspiration for mixing old and new. If it is successful I would hope to run this regularly as a ‘destination’ event alongside my interiors work.

There is also a fabric collection in the pipeline with Felicity Buchanan Designs which we will be launching at the same time. Watch this space…lots of activity!

 

 

 

Pop Up Shop 28th – 30th June, Hampshire – follow @nels_eyreinteriors on Instagram for the latest updates.

 

I’m so happy that my husband and I decided to move to such a creative county. It’s incredibly inspiring to be included in a community of Hampshire creatives and there were so many other wonderfully talented people at our gathering (and more!) that I’d like to tell you more about them, so look out for more interviews coming soon.

 

 

 

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