I have to try out designs at home because I need to know what it’s like to live with my designs. It helps me to understand what works and doesn’t work and what I want to do next.
The textile designer Margo Selby still lives in North West London, in the family home that she grew up in. These days Margo shares the three bedroom Victorian terraced house with her daughter Cleo and the house provides the perfect canvas for her to try out her textile, wallpaper and furniture designs. She has decorated every room in the house with her trademark vibrant palette of rich colours and uses her home to try out new ideas.
“I have to try out designs at home because I need to know what it’s like to live with my designs,” she says. “It helps me to understand what works and doesn’t work and what I want to do next. I’ve realised that I love living with yellow and green and that I like light spaces.”
When Margo’s father first moved into the house with his young family it was decorated with wood chip wall paper and gas fires hung precariously from the walls. He updated the property, adding an industrial style kitchen from which he ran a successful catering and event business. Now that Margo shares the house with Cleo, she has softened the kitchen by painting it bright colours and altering it to suit her needs. Still it remains at the heart of her home, adjacent to the vibrant sitting room and leading to a pretty courtyard garden.
Margo has laid new wooden floors throughout the house and painted the few walls that she has not covered in her wallpaper designs with bold colours. The house has a warm and welcoming feel, enveloping friends and family in its rich colours and patterns, luxurious fabrics and personal touches.
Various designer-maker friends often give Margo pieces of their work at craft and design fairs, swapping them for her pieces from her collections. These pieces now have pride of place in Margo’s home, complimenting the hand made quality of her own work. A sofa, the first piece of furniture designed by her, takes centre stage, while her luxurious textiles are found everywhere from the cushions in the sitting room to the vibrant runner on the stairs to the colourful bed spread in the master bedroom.
Her work cleverly combines surprising colour combinations to create stunning three dimensional designs. “I’m influenced by the emphasis on making art, and my work evolves on the hand loom, where you have to learn to mix the colours with your eye” she explains. “I’ve always loved bright colour combinations, repetition and order and I’ve done a lot of travelling and been inspired by craftspeople.”