London-based designer, Henry Prideaux, opens the door to a trim-filled townhouse and shares with us his design philosophy, including his unique approach to trimming unexpectedly.
Samuel & Sons: Tell us about the project.
Henry Prideaux: We were delighted to be appointed on this project with an exciting brief of creating a ‘country house in the city’ for our American client who spends a significant amount of time in London. and wanted a place to call home rather than staying in a hotel and living out of a suitcase when traveling and working here. The 3- bedroom terraced townhouse had been given a developer’s makeover of grey and white tones when we first visited and we knew it had the potential to be invigorated with layers of different fabrics, wallpapers, rugs, lighting, and decorative trims, to fulfill the brief and create something special.
S&S: How would you describe your style?
HP: We like to create comfortable interiors that are functional and practical yet filled with plenty of colour and interesting detail. We try to ensure every project is original and tailored to the requirements of each individual client brief and to design every room within a project to be different from the rest yet with a common thread providing a sinuous link and a satisfactory flow throughout. If we can, we will always try and use some embellishments with layers of trim adding a final flourish to a room.
S&S: You used our trim throughout this project. How does passementerie add to the overall design?
HP: We like to use passementerie in unexpected ways, not just for finishing upholstery. Cushion fringing and piping on chairs and sofas are details that we will always include to help elevate our designs but applying grosgrain ribbon on the walls as faux panelling or to frame a view within a room or adding brush fringe to the outside of a mirror, helps to add more unusual elements to a space. The tones within the passementerie help to unite other colours in a room, creating an altogether more cohesive scheme. For example, a flash of red or blue on the edge of a cushion will allow the other red or blue details across the space to sit more comfortably because they have been subtly yet intentionally referenced in the trim elsewhere.
S&S: We love your use of color in this space. Is there a specific palette that you’re drawn to? If so, why?
HP: Classic colour palettes appeal to our British design style when we are creating rooms and we like them to have longevity which classic combinations will often deliver. Blending blue with rust and green with pink are favourite colour combinations featured recently. For our Chelsea Townhouse project, we also combined lots of red, white, and blue elements as a nod, not only to our client’s American roots in England, but also their affinity with France, to reference the flags of all three countries.
S&S: What is one tip you have for designers looking to add more trim to their work?
HP: If you are afraid of decorating with passementerie, I would recommend starting with some simple flanged piping. It is so easy to put on cushions or as piping on upholstery and can be a very successful way of adding a hint of contrast colour without having to be too impactful. Try and think of it as an accessory to help complete the colour palette and tie other fabrics and finishes all together, a little like matching your shoes with your handbag to complete an outfit.
S&S: If you could only use one S&S trim for the rest of your career, which would it be and why?
HP: I’m going to cheat here and use two! The first would be the 977-44931, 1" French Grosgrain Ribbon, which I love to apply to walls as a cornice replacement around the perimeter of a room. The second would be the 983-56131, Aurelia Brush Fringe which I use all the time as a contrast colour on the leading edge of curtains and on cushion edges. These two pop up in every project almost without fail.
Interior Design: Henry Prideaux
Photography: Tom Sullam
Stylist: Amy Paice