'If you really love something and you can afford it, buy it. You will never regret it.' - Kate Earle
We chat to Suffolk-based designer Kate Earle, of Todhunter Earle, about what makes her tick and where she gets her fabulous style inspiration from.
Some of my best ideas have come while driving, I drive a lot, in and out of London, site visits, school runs. I never listen to music, I listen to the radio and I think about the projects I am working on, occasionally I have a lightbulb moment, it’s the only time that I am ever on my own.
The thing I couldn’t do without is horses, they are a huge part of my life.
The place that means a lot to me is the North Norfolk coast, it is not too far away from Suffolk where we live. The beaches are the biggest and whitest in the world. Breath-taking scenery, space and calm.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is an Italian marble-topped serving table with a painted and gilded base bought in Florence on our 10th wedding anniversary. It is in our dining room in Suffolk.
The last thing I bought and loved was the Japanese embroidery from Justin Evershed Martin, for a new apartment that I have just completed for myself in London.
The best books I’ve read in the past year are Orlando King by Isobel Colegate, Meet Me in the In-Between by Bella Pollen, my sister and I argue about Bella Pollen, I think she writes really well, she doesn’t! Just about to start Young Bloomsbury by my great friend Nino Strachey.
The podcast I’m listening to is The Airing Cupboard, real-life stories read by my friend Zoe Brown in her amazing, chocolatey Belgian accent.
I placed a Lorfords Contemporary piece in a TP Modern sofa in a very contemporary beach house on the Caspian Sea.
In my fridge, you’ll always find a bottle of Belvedere vodka and some parmesan.
The event that changed everything for me was a school careers lecture by Jacqueline Inchbald when I was 14 years old. That was it, I knew what I wanted to do and never swayed. I had set up my own business by the time I was 21.
An indulgence I would never forgo is ready salted crips, I could happily live on them.
The last piece of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a yellow straw hat by Jane Taylor, I bought it in about two minutes whilst double parked outside the shop. I could see two policemen bearing down on me and I had to move fast.
My favourite building is ooo, I have a few….the Pantheon in Rome, the Brighton Pavillion, our tiny Georgian fishing hut by the river in Herefordshire.
My favourite room in my house is my bedroom, it is huge. I have a proper dressing table (my grandmother's), sofas and chairs, a fireplace and views over the garden. It's quite colourful but tranquil and full of interesting things.
The best advice I’ve ever received is if you really love something and you can afford it, buy it. You will never regret it.
I do not compromise on attention to detail when designing, I am fanatical about design detail.
I often compromise on my clothes, I tend to wear the same thing, or a version of, every day.
My favourite object to include in a project is antique or one-off lighting and lamps, we make a big effort to source unusual and interesting lamps, when budget allows we love to commission bespoke ceramics by Kate Malone, Rupert Merton etc.
My favourite Lorfords Antiques piece is an antique green and sienna marble table that we have bought for a house in Suffolk, due to complete in the Autumn.
What I love about contemporary living is open-plan living spaces that allow the whole family to be in one room but doing their own thing. I don’t actually have one but maybe one day.