June Summerill, of Summerill & Bishop, joins us for the latest instalment of Curated By…
Sharing her top tips for hosting and styling tables, plus details vis-à-vis Summerill & Bishop’s latest collaboration with Claridge’s (psst... inspired by Claridge’s inimitable Art Deco design, the collection is an ode to the hotel’s iconic checkerboard lobby) – it’s time to tuck in!
How did you first get into design?
I have always cared about interior design. Even as a young girl, I would pick and arrange flowers, and drape my scarves over lamps for effect. No formal training… Just my own sense of harmony in a room.
What was the catalyst that led to the creation of Summerill & Bishop?
The catalyst was spearheaded by a friendship between Bernadette Bishop and myself. We both loved to cook and entertain in our homes, gather friends together and we both had an interest in interior design.
What is your design philosophy?
That a home should be welcoming and comfortable, personal and original. It should reflect the owner’s personality as well as being functional and of course, beautiful.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Eclectic and inventive and personal. I love a room to look perfectly relaxed and natural and to flow. Almost as though it has all happened by accident… Which, of course, is not the case!
Nature always plays a big part in “my look”. Lots of flowers, branches of tree and twigs, fossils, books, candles, and art. A mix of vintage and modernity. An old wicker chair next to a modern piece pleases me. Textures of natural old French linen, contrasted with jewel-like colours. Personal and inventive.
Tell us about your collaboration with Claridge’s…
Something special happens when you sweep across the marble floor of Claridge’s lobby. Your gaze is met by the iconic black and white pattern in an instant as you tread across 165 years of history. The lobby is an everlasting symbol of classic Victorian architecture, so our design had to reflect this. You find yourself immersed in a world where warmth and hospitality reign supreme, a world where love is poured into every little detail in such easy elegance, to ensure you find your joy at every turn. Claridge’s is truly the epitome of timeless glamour and we’re so proud to share this new table linen collection with friends who strive to be the best possible hosts, just as much as we do.
Talk us through some of your favourite projects to date…
- The wonderful tablecloth from the iconic menu of La Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence. My husband and I were there for our honeymoon many moons ago and the menu remains now, as it was then.
- The River Café tablecloth – it was wonderful to work with the amazing Ruthie Rogers and to capture the energy of this wonderful restaurant.
- [Working with] Luke Edward Hall, the artist and designer, whose work is very poetic.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from Mother Nature and art and from our beloved garden in the South of France.
List some designers and makers you really admire and tell us why you admire them…
Jaqueline Moribito, who works from the South of France. Her style is pure and very inspirational. Mostly in shades of white, she engages with modern and reclaimed vintage pieces. Her style is exactly what I love. Also, Paul Anderson, who works from Devon. He designs and makes the most beautiful wooden furniture from salvaged wood. Modern and romantic at the same time, and often with a little touch of humour. I have several of his pieces.
Some of your favourite places to shop for homewares…
Petersham Nurseries, Richmond; Myriad Antiques, Portland Road; Designers Guild, Kings Road; The Antique Market in Nice each Monday.
How does travelling influence your designs and tastes?
All my vintage pieces are from either France or Sweden. There is a purity about design there that I love.
What are some tips you have on how our readers can bring a touch of S&B magic into their homes?
To throw a beautiful cloth over a sofa or chair can change a room. Flowers… always flowers, on a table, mixed with candles and beautiful ceramics and glassware. I love the Clair glasses and their jewel like quality, and I love to assort the colours. They light up the table with whichever cloth I have chosen. Music playing, hopefully Mozart Adagio, is as important an element as is the scent of candles. All of these things create magic.