MY FAVOURITE VIEW
Textile designer Clarissa Hulse
Textile designer Clarissa Hulse loves the wild meadows at Spilsbury Farm in Wiltshire
I find endless inspiration in my everyday life, even when I’m in a place most people might not find very exciting – even trees on the side of the road are beautiful and inspiring to me!
My fabric designs are all botanically based, so I love getting out of London and into the countryside – since I live in the city I feel my senses are heightened because of how special it is for me to be there and appreciating nature in its purest form. My favourite view is of the wild meadows in Spilsbury Farm in Wiltshire, which belongs to my good friend, Tania Compton.
Tania’s a garden designer and she has made her own garden into a living sketchbook, while her botanist husband, Jamie, has collected plants from all over the world. As it was a working farm when they bought it, there is a lot of land for them to play with and, while I love the landscaped areas they’ve created, the large swathes of meadow with their beautiful grasses and wilderness speak to me the most. Looking beyond, you can see the North Wessex Downs in the distance and the most incredible skyscapes that just draw you in. I vividly remember the first time I went there because it was like a weird blind date!
It was 15 years ago and I was exhibiting my first ever interiors collection nearby. Tania came over, bought loads of my work and insisted I come and stay at her house as she knew that
I would adore the garden. Before I knew it, after about five minutes of knowing each other, we were walking around the meadows of Spilsbury Farm and she was talking me through all of the plants, and I knew we were on the same wavelength. The rest is history! Being in the meadow is like having someone curate inspiration for me – I’m surrounded by so many interesting plants that, to be honest, I don’t have to work very hard – it’s just all there for me!
I particularly love all of the beautiful grasses that populate the area, and I recently photographed three different variations of these and layered them together to create the Meadow Grass design for my Lilaea collection for Harlequin. I also enjoy creating ombré effects to mimic the varying skies over the hillsides. Autumn is absolutely my favourite time to visit as a lot of my designs are based on seedheads and grasses, and this is the best time of year for those.
I also love it when some plants have been parched by the sun, while others show off the most incredible leaf colours, from pale yellow-greens to deep wine-red hues. I’m not a morning person, but being there first thing is amazing because you can get lovely misty dawns with cobwebs collecting the dew and looking magical. Find the Lilaea fabric collection at Harlequin (harlequin.uk.com). Clarissa’s latest bedlinen collections, called Dusk and Angeliki, are available at clarissahulse.com.