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Frieda Gormley on her eco-friendly decorating collection

May 2, 2022

Co-founder of sustainable decorating brand House of Hackney, Frieda Gormley chats about the formation of the business, her favourite designs and the future projects in the pipeline…

Tell us a little about your background

I started my career as a fashion buyer at Topshop and my husband Javvy worked in product design. This meant, fortunately we were well armed with some of the tools needed to start a business. But my lifelong love of interiors started with my grandmother. She always had the most interesting pieces, knew how to layer fabrics and prints, and everything had a story.

Frieda Gormley, co-founder of House of Hackney

Frieda Gormley, co-founder of House of Hackney

How did House of Hackney begin?

Javvy and I launched the brand in 2011 after buying our first home in Hackney. We wanted to move away from white walls and surround ourselves with fabrics and wallpapers that evoke a glorious nostalgia. So when we couldn’t find what we were looking for, set about creating it ourselves. We’re really passionate about championing eco-friendly materials and traditional techniques, and spent six months searching the UK for the finest craftspeople, many of whom we still work with today. 

House of Hockney wallpaper

Emania wallpaper in Azurite, from £125 per 2m roll, Flora Fantasia vase in cornflower blue, £392, both from House of Hackney

What’s your hero design?

Our debut collection had three prints – Hackney Empire, Queen Bee and Dalston Rose. These took their cue from our home’s Victorian roots, and bore all the hallmarks that would become our calling card. This includes subversively beautiful designs imbued with a quintessentially English wit. I’d say our hero design today would be Hollyhocks, which is easily our most popular print. Hollyhocks captures both the pastoral purity and romance of cottagecore and our punk spirit with its bold palette and riot of flowers. 

house of hackney eco decorating collection

Azure emulsion, £59 per 2.5ltrs; Hollyhocks bedlinen, from £280, and Ananas pineapple lampstand, £495, all from House of Hackney

Who inspires you?

Fearless female decorators such as Dorothy Draper, and Madeleine Castaing – our new-season collection acts as an ode to her, from the trademark palette of opaline blue and coulis red to her use of leopard print as a neutral.

House of Hackney wallpapers

L-R: Hollyhocks, Hackney Empire Midnight Stripe & Dalston Rose wallpapers from House of Hackney

Can you reveal what you’re currently working on?

We’re about to launch our first eco-paint range, called The Art of Nature, which is crafted in-house and inspired by nature’s sublime palette.

Shop the new collection at houseofhackney.com and follow on Instagram at @houseofhackney

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