Designer We Love: Nina Campbell
Website Address: www.ninacampbell.com
Quotable Quote: Decorating has much more to do with confidence than taste, and certainly shouldn't be dependent on prevailing fashions. It's important to follow your heart, and your eye. After all, it's your home that you are decorating and you must be happy living with the results.
Background: Thirty years of decorating fashionable, high-end interiors from her London home base shop and offices behind Harrods. Born end of World War II (on the last day, to be exact). Helped her mother select wallpaper, rearrange furniture. The seed was planted. Inspired by mother's post-war improvisation, e.g., dark green art felt stair runners secured by brass stair rods. Plunged into apprenticeship at age 19 with impresario John Fowler of Colefax & Fowler, high-end fabric and wallpaper design firm. Big decorating breaks started with Cullen House in Banffshire, Scotland, proceeded to toney spots Annabel's Club and Mark's Club. Reputation grew with her fabric and wallpaper designs, distributed through Osborne & Little. Books, home fragrance, tabletop linens, blankets, furniture, gift wrap, and other merchandise have expanded her empire and influence.
What We Love: Can we say that we truly love her heart-shaped signature glasses? The heart motif in her personal designs is a big seller, and it shows the wit and expansive personal style of this decorating diva.
We love any designer who says she was inspired by American decorator Elsie de Wolfe, a professional who fell into her profession accidentally and effortlessly. Her self-promotion and ability to try things nobody else had done before has inspired Ms. Campbell to be adventuresome, too.
We love how Campbell does exhaustive research on her clients, from how they live and entertain to how they spend their weekends and the children in the family. She plunges into the personal relationship side of our business, which always makes for a satisfying result.
We like her approach to budgeting design projects, too. As she says, "I believe in extensive discussion and all-inclusive estimates, so that everyone concerned knows exactly where they stand. We can then, if necessary, add, cut down, or find alternative ways of doing things." That sums up precisely how any excellent interior designer should approach the Art and Science of our business.
Nina Campbell's decorating philosophy encourages clients to think about interior decoration in the same way one thinks about clothes. Make everything suitable and practical and avoid putting in white carpet in a room opening out into a garden where you can truck in loads of mud and slush. We love her decorating flow, where one room goes smoothly to another.
Finally, we love the following: her sense of color is fresh and unexpected; she uses traditional design elements in a non-stuffy way; and her fabrics, furniture, and product lines are elegant.
Nina Campbell Sampler: