Join House & Garden Editor, Hatta Byng, in conversation with three experts in interior decoration as they discuss the role of paint, colour and decorative paint effects in historical interiors and interior design today.
At Pitzhanger Manor, Soane used a wealth of decorative techniques to enhance his architectural schemes that were highly innovative at the time and which play a huge role in defining the atmospheric and striking interiors. In this conversation we will take a closer look at the techniques used in the manor, discovered by decorative experts Hare & Humphreys in the restoration process and expertly recreated by them to restore Soane’s original vision. We will discuss the part colour and paint effects play in interiors today, how to use paint and colour, and what we can learn from the past.
Edward Bulmer is one of Britain’s leading architectural historians, specialising in restoring and decorating historic buildings. He has become deeply involved with ecological issues and is a stylish exponent of practical sustainability in everyday living. Edward’s background is in architectural history, picture conservation and interior design.
In 2003, work on Goodwood House demanded he use only non-toxic and sustainable materials and Edward began analysing so-called ‘eco-friendly’ paint products. This led him to launch his own paint collection in 2006, Edward Bulmer Natural Paint, which is now available in over 100 colours.
His work remains centred on his central passion, which is to render our great period houses, practical, beautiful and comfortable – if that can be done while lowering their carbon footprint he sleeps even easier.
Inspired by her love of art and design, Emma is an avid collector of new ideas, seen and noted on her worldwide travels. Her ability to absorb the new and to re-interpret it in a classically elegant context has won her a following of high profile and diverse commissions with new and retuning international clients.
“Interiors should enhance the lives and sensibilities of those who live there, reflecting their taste in fashion, art and books. I can’t bear impersonal interiors.”Emma Burns
Emma Burns trained with Charles Hammond before joining Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in 1984 where she worked with Roger Banks-Pye before establishing her own interior design team in 1988.
Paul is the founder and a director of Hare & Humphreys Ltd who were responsible for the initial architectural paint research on Pitzhanger Manor and who also carried out the recreation of the Soane decoration to all the principal rooms.
Paul left Norwich art school in the late sixties to work in London where after initially working as an architectural tracer he was attracted by an advert in the evening news for a studio assistant at Campbell Smith & Co then the leading decorative arts company in the UK. It was at this very traditional decorating company that Paul was trained in the arts of graining, marbling, stencilled decoration, gilding and much more. Between 1968 and 1979 Paul worked on the Robing Room at the palace of Westminster, Castel Coch near Cardiff and the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, he also carried out the recreation of the William Morris Room at the V&A.
Paul takes a special interest in historic decoration, training specialist skills, and promoting the use of traditional paints and finishes, his favourite projects over the past 20 years have been The Sir John Soane Museum, The British Galleries at the V&A, The St Pancras Hotel restoration, Waddesdon Manor, Spencer House and multiple rooms at the National Gallery but ultimately because of the early involvement with the architectural paint research and the subsequent recreation of Sir John Soane’s beautiful country house, Pitzhanger Manor has to be his favourite.
The Pitzhanger Design Series
Interested in interior design? The Power of Paint is the first of a new series of panel debates with leading experts focusing on different aspects of the restored Manor, programmed by House & Garden editor Hatta Byng and interior designer Joanna Plant.
Future topics in the series are:
- Chinese Wallpaper – May 2021
- Landscape Gardens – June 2021
- Inspired by Soane: Architectural detailing – September 2021