Flaneur: Tell us about how you become a professional designer.
HR: I grew up in London but spent a lot of time in Scandinavia and at home my parents had a thing for mid century Danish design; everything from our sofas, chairs and lighting to my mother’s Georg Jensen jewelry collection. I’m sure that noticing the vital role Design plays in everyday life there (even the schools my friends went to had Arne Jacobsen chairs) made me want to work with interior design in some way. After university I discovered what a ‘stylist’ was and eventually managed to get a job working on the launch of an interiors magazine. My favorite job was to visit design shoes like Maison et Objet and then interpret those trends for the magazine. That’s still a big thrill for me especially when I can combine travel with design hunting.
Flaneur: What’s your unique take on colors?
HR: Even though my last book was about monochrome interiors (Monochrome Home, RPS 2015) I absolutely love using color, particularly ‘tertiary’ colors that are subtle and harder to pin down.
I tend to choose dusty pinks, warm greys, soft greens and mysterious blues, all colors that you find in Nature. Combining these in unexpected ways is very ‘on trend’ now, adding a shot of acid yellow or coral. I collect images of color combinations for my Pinterest board and have noticed a lot more schemes that combine earthy terra -cottas, burnt siennas, emerald greens, calamine pinks, marigold yellows, Klein blues; the more unexpected the better!
For my recently acquired weekend house in the woods of CT, my friend Matt Austin is going to paint our bedroom with a mural inspired by our garden, bringing the outside in so I am choosing Windmere, Heliopolis and Wimbledon to deepen the sense of being in a surrounded by Nature.
Flaneur: Do you consider yourself a flâneur?
HR: Flaneur? I am convinced that travel is the best way to expand your visual lexicon if you are a designer, artist, creative of any kind really. Wandering around foreign places is the most useful thing I can do when I am looking for inspiration. I was in Rome for a few days last year and found it easy to walk the city for eight hours without feeling remotely weary, my eyes kept me going, beauty (also some delicious pit stops at restaurants) was my fuel. One of my favorite books, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rilke is set in Paris where the impoverished poet describes his relationship with the city and the people he has come to observe.
Flaneur: What’s your favorite design style right now?
HR: Desert Island architecture- I would definitely build a treehouse. I would love to have views of the ocean and a big terrace, assuming the weather is tropical. I love Mexican palapas and the open living areas of houses on Lamu Island.