Welcome to the House of Hackney

Welcome to the House of Hackney

I'm slowly conforming to the convention that I once flouted – steady boyfriends, nesting at home, cooking, eventually buying a house and possibly having little sprogs – well the last thing is still questionable for me but the cold fact of the matter is that buying my own place in London, something that I once guffawed at ("I'll be Parisian and rent for the rest of my life…!") is creeping into my head so much so that I've actually gone on scary mortgage calculators.  This need to nest is down to a few reasons but let's get to the primary one – that I currently don't have the ability to decorate my rented digs in the manner that House of Hackney have done. 

House of Hackney, tongue-in-cheekily named, is a new interiors/lifestyle brand conceived by couple Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle (yes, I did get glum over the dullness of my name…), who both previously worked in fashion.  Why I'm covering an interiors label, something seemingly more apt for Apartment Therapy than for a fashion blog, is all down to Frieda and Javvy's direction with House of Hackney.  The rise of blogs such as The Selby and our curiosity about people's hovels was one reason why House of Hackney came to be and another was that the couple felt a backlash towards whitewashed minimalism and generic identikit furnishings.  It goes without saying that food, interiors, fashion and general lifestyle are intrinsically linked with each other but it seems that relationship has been reinforced over the past few years with the style sectors creeping into each other.  You may not see it on this blog but I get just as excited over a new Fergus Henderson restaurant or a new Deborah Bowness wallpaper strip (though I have to pin my wallpaper up because I'm in crummy rented digs… grrrr…) as I do over a vintage Versace dress.  I'm certainly not the only one and House of Hackney recognises and salutes that.   

They describe themselves as "Colefax and Fowler on acid", which basically means that more is more and if it's not enough, then add a dash of more to it.  That was certainly the impression that I got when I entered their own home, which is quite literally a house in Hackney and is being used as a showroom for clients.  Their first outing consists of three collections, with the first being Hackney Empire, not necessarily a direct reference to the theatre but definitely one for people with a penchant for theatrics. 



Their inspiration for the Hackney Empire prints are derived from different periods and various sources of grandiosity but the final effect is something more intimate than that.  I love the illustrated quality of the animal print that isn't at all naturalistic which makes it all the more amusing to look at, which I did – I may have stared for a good two minutes…who doesn't want a koala bear swinging off their walls?




You haven't seen matchy-matchy until you've seen a House of Hackney room and the first thing that strikes you as you walk in is how complete their range of product is.  Frieda and Javvy didn't just decide that they'd quit fashion and put out a line of cushions.  Nope, it's the full shebang – porcelain, cushions, curtains, lampshades…



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… and more impressively, made-to-order furniture such as this Victorian conversation chair that has been repro-ed accurately from a Victorian original and has been clad all over with the print. 


The next part of the collection is named Dalston Rose, which by all accounts seems to be the overriding fave.  I'm personally undecided but give me a rose-print with a deep and dark degrade effect and I'm definitely not complaining. 


Frieda and Javvy's inspiration sources also stem a lot from fashion and I spot a few Tim Walker shoots on this mood board here.  The instant visual appeal of Walker's set-ups can definitely be seen in House of Hackney's work which is probably why I clapped my hands together as soon as I walked into another room as though I had discovered a whimsical escape…



The same furniture shapes and styles can also be covered with Dalston Rose fabric…


… and once again, the range is utterly comprehensive…


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The piece de resistance of the Dalston Rose bedroom is this carved wooden bed which can also be made-to-order.  Was I tempted to bounce about on the bed like I normally do in posh hotels?  YES!  Especially when you have an abundance of pillows and bolsters (I'm a big fan of having four or six pillows on a double bed…) and a BEAUTIFUL eiderdown.  The other impressive thing about the way House of Hackney works is their sourcing of home-grown factories.  For instance they've worked with one of the few remaining eiderdown makers in Britain to make these ones, an industry that's dying because apparently our generation aren't that into down-filled comfy blankets.  Let's get that rectified yeah?  I've learnt that spending a few more ¬£¬£¬£ on bedding makes for a fulfilling home comfort that really is rewarding when you curl up in bed.  Likewise, they've sourced porcelain factories, furniture makers and the best materials from Britain and Italy to ensure that quality, sustainability and a sense of tradition are instilled in their products.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… we've heard those buzzwords before bu you only have to touch the House of Hackney stuff to feel the immediate difference, especially in something like bedding…  



The last collection is Queen Bee, decidedly more grown-up than Dalston Rose and Hackney Empire but appealing in a more quiet and subtle way.  The colours of ochre and teal with gold accents give off a very Art Nouveau-ish feeling…





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Just to establish that link between House of Hackney and fashion, they have collaborated with Vogue Italia photographer David Dunan and stylists Celestine Cooney and Kimi O'Neill on these shots where the prints have been made up into garments (I can already greedily see the fashion possibilities…) and used to create the ultimate matchy-matchy set-ups…

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The website will soon launch with products available to buy on the site but for Londoners who are around the next few days, House of Hackney have set up a pop-up shop at 76 Stoke Newington Road (a beautiful Hackney townhouse owned by Castle Gibson) that's open until this Sunday 3rd April.  By night, the interiors and prints also take on a very different and slightly more subversive identity…



Everyone's cakey fave Lily Vanilli is also going to be hosting a high tea for the duration of the pop-up shop…


Lily's boyfriend was also on hand to type out people's fortunes whilst wearing a tattered suit…


At the opening party last night, House of Hackney helpers were also in outfits to match the prints of the collection, again asserting the lifestyle potential of this fledgling but utterly accomplished start-up brand.  Which brings me to ask what's on the horizon for HoH (did you spot a cheeky monogram on some of the pillows)?  For them there are immediate plans to offer services such as sourcing antiques for clients to go with all the lovely House of Hackney wares and also arranging wedding lists that are House of Hackney themed.  After a good look around the house and seeing the accompanying pop-up store, I got hella excited and started thinking about a House of Hackney empire – kitchenalia, lifestore stores, collaborations with fashion brands, House of Hackney pop-ups all over the world – who knows what else!  I guess what I'm trying to say is‚Ķ what's NOT to love about all of this? 





Leave a comment
  1. Ruby

    2011-03-31 at 9:37 AM

    lovely prints good covering for interiors

  2. january

    2011-03-31 at 9:40 AM

    that’s one thing that really depresses me about renting! the need to decorate is overwheeeelming aaaaaghh
    january, x

  3. Moly

    2011-03-31 at 9:51 AM

    ooohits look great! i want live here! :o)

  4. Jo

    2011-03-31 at 9:54 AM

    Wow what gorgeous images! Thanks for sharing! x http://www.lostinthehaze.com

  5. tomi

    2011-03-31 at 9:58 AM

    Loves it … but I totally can not live in such massive amounts of stuff and prints. However, BEAUTIFUL images!!

  6. michelle

    2011-03-31 at 11:28 AM

    arghhhhhhhhhhh this is my dream.
    The Dress Up Corner

  7. Nicole

    2011-03-31 at 1:49 PM

    I love your blog, how gorgeous!
    XOXO Nicole, VPV Team Member
    Check us out & follow @ http://www.vantagepointvintage.com/blog/

  8. michelle

    2011-03-31 at 2:04 PM

    beautiful 🙂
    recommend me some great spring songs @

  9. Geek

    2011-03-31 at 2:33 PM

    Great blog 🙂 Lovely photo’s!

  10. Aryn

    2011-03-31 at 2:41 PM

    Great post chocked full of content as usual! You must work so hard. Just so you know, we all really appreciate it :]

  11. Dan

    2011-03-31 at 2:56 PM

    Aahahahha from the title and he first few lines thought you were going to buy in Hackney….ahahahaha

  12. giulia

    2011-03-31 at 3:13 PM

    simply gorgeus I’d like to have a house like that

  13. Miriam

    2011-03-31 at 3:36 PM

    Too many prints, it’s tiring for eyes, looks nice, but less is more, you lose in details.

  14. Rowena

    2011-03-31 at 5:21 PM

    Nesting, Miss Bubble…? I LOVE those matchy house/fash shots. The fun you can have…

  15. passionlessfashionista

    2011-03-31 at 6:20 PM

    love, love, love this post; terribly well done and oh-so inspirational. happy home hunting.

  16. Denise

    2011-03-31 at 6:25 PM

    Thanks so much for this, my brain and eyeballs are blown. I love that they conceived of this in the first place and then pulled it off so exquisitely. We need more of this and less of the other.
    Less is NOT more!

  17. Annie Markantonatou

    2011-03-31 at 7:17 PM
  18. homestay in goa

    2011-03-31 at 7:51 PM

    Amazing pieces

  19. House of Hackney

    2011-03-31 at 9:28 PM
  20. Mila

    2011-04-01 at 5:39 PM

    Amazing furniture!!!

  21. Anna

    2011-04-01 at 8:51 PM

    I’m moving into new digs as we speak and while I hate packing/unpacking, I love getting to decorate a new space. I’m all sorts of inspired now 🙂

  22. Kate

    2011-04-05 at 5:41 AM

    I loved this post! It reminded me of the decor in a hotel room I stayed in while I was in Paris. I actually wrote about it on my blog and posted your link in it. Thanks!

  23. Lunet_Clipping Path Services

    2011-05-04 at 8:22 AM

    Wow ! awesome post the colors and designs are really perfect , also the model who wear matching to the wall color dress is so perfect . really nice collections thanks for sharing this.

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