MY FAVOURITE VIEW

Tex­tile de­signer Clarissa Hulse

Country Homes & Interiors - - NEWS -

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.

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