It was while decorating her own home, 10 years ago, that Frieda Gormley realised she wanted “to save up for pieces that would become memories, that were made in the UK, but that were more of my tastes, rather than the style that my parents might choose”.
She and her husband spent six months driving around the UK, finding British manufacturers to make high-quality wallpaper, furniture and fabric but to their own quirky aesthetic, and founded their homewares brand, House of Hackney.
At the time, they were 30-somethings selling to other 30-somethings – who were perhaps more used to Ikea prices. “We had a lot of work to do to educate the customer about why our products were that price: the materials, the quality of the craftspeople involved.”
Their furniture is made in Nottingham, textiles are printed in Lancashire, lampshades handmade in Wales and fine bone china in Stoke-on-Trent. “We’ve grown massively, but we’re using the same artisans,” she says.
They have added more suppliers, including the royal-warranted Titchmarsh & Goodwin in Sussex, which has made wooden beds by hand since the 1800s, and Axminster carpets, which first wove carpets in the Devon town in 1755. “There is a positive energy that comes from knowing something has been made well by people who are passionate about what they do,” Gormley says.
Gormley says one of her big regrets in life is that, during a house move, she lost a patchwork quilt that was made for her by her grandmother. “So we’ve decided to create a quilt for our new range.” Woven, printed and sewn, of course, in the UK. “It weaves together a story for me, and for those who buy it, it will be something to love forever and pass down,” she adds. “It will start new traditions.”
Prices start from £185 per roll of wallpaper; houseofhackney.com.