A sanctuary of rest AND renewal


Hello reader, this is Louisa Eggleston, Creative Director at HM. I wanted to share some of the thoughts I had when designing these rooms at our home in St. Albans. I’ve already talked about the kitchen and dining space here so this is very much a part II. In looking back over these photographs (so exquisitely captured by Paul Craig), I found it very tricky to define my own taste when it comes to interior design. Not a great start (!) but this is actually something I discuss frequently with clients at Humphrey Munson. How do you describe your own interior design style / aesthetic? I am someone who is very susceptible to falling for every interior style I see. I find such a lot of joy and enjoyment in experiencing different interior design styles – whether that is the pared back serenity of walking into the Rose Uniake store in Pimlico Road, to the quirky often chaotic maximalism of Estelle Manor.

I always loved the Goose Iron colour at HM ever since we used it in the pantry at the old showroom on Holywell Hill. We used it again in the laundry room in Felsted, colour drenching the walls, skirting boards and door architrave. I never fell out of love with it, and I wanted to create a cosy feel in this space as this room would be predominantly used in the evening. I also knew it would make the artwork and window treatment really pop. It’s not for everyone but it is for me, and that is all the matters when you design your own home. If you love it, you will always love it. (And if you don’t, you can always repaint the walls!)

This side of the room has the Crosby console table finished in Berkeley oak which I love with the Verbier flooring, such a great combination of finishes and I love the polished brass Carton handles and corners. I made the potted olive tree myself using an old pot that started off a really lovely grey colour and then I left it outside for a year (it was not made for outdoors as it turns out) but it did weather beautifully so I got some wood chips and set the olive branch inside. I like it because of the height and it’s not possible to unalive it with lack of care.

It looks so pristine in the photos but I’ll let you into a secret – the drawers are full of bits and bobs, things that need a home but don’t have one – these are the secrets of good design. People sometimes think I live in a supremely neat manner, and I do like the order of clear spaces, but this doesn’t exist without good concealed storage. And if I’m looking for the button off my white shirt when I get around to wearing it next time, I’ll know where to go.

Get The look…

  1. Vermont Mirror by Humphrey Munson
  2. Crosby Console Table by Humphrey Munson
  3. Verbier Engineered Oak Flooring by Humphrey Munson 
  4. Wall Sconces by Ralph Lauren 
  5. Roman blind fabric by Kravet
  6. Baies Extra Large Candle by Diptyque
  7. Bookshelf cabinetry by Humphrey Munson (only available as part of a project)
  8. ‘You are my sunshine’ print by David Spiller
  9. Coffee Table Book by Architectural Digest 
  10. The World of Interiors Magazine
  11. Lampshade and Rechargeable lamp base by Pooky 
  12. Cushion by Tori Murphy
  13. Cushion by Village London 
  14. Sofa by Sofa.com 

GUEST Bedroom

In the house I lived in before this one, there was a bookcase in the stairwell, and the same in the house before that. Here, I didn’t want all the books downstairs so I added the bookshelves to the right of the chimney and then edited it right down to what would fit. A great friend told me not to hoard books but to share, pass them on and it’s such a good thing to do. One book I will never give away is Castaway by Lucy Irvine – it is an utterly fascinating story, and you are with her all the way through it. Well worth a read, I go back to it from time to time and re-live the same feelings each time. Very occasionally when people stay they mention they have read it too which makes me feel part of a very niche club.

This room feels like a sanctuary to me and hopefully a home away from home for guests staying over. I always go back to rest and renewal. Come in and relax. The Jasper chest of drawers is a recent addition and suits the space perfectly with its beautiful Portman oak finish and dark bronze waxed handles. I can see this as I go up and down the stairs and it’s nice to appreciate the beauty of the design even though I don’t sleep in here myself. It’s also home to my favourite Anton & K lamp which is my most prized decorative accessory, silly to get excited over an antique lamp but I just love the scale of it and the history too. A real classic. The curtains were inspired by an interiors showroom – Rooms & Gardens – I visited in Santa Monica about 15 years ago. The fabric is Les Indiennes, it’s hand-printed and super thin, not the easiest to make curtains with accordingly to the ever patient Linda, but the end result was fantastic. Somewhere years ago, I either read or was told to always use a bit of black in a scheme – gives a bit of crisp freshness, hence the curtain pole. Not sure if it’s true but I do always obediently include this in rooms at home.

The double wardrobe (also finished in Tailored Grey) was designed as a multi functional space for guests – some hanging space and shelves and then larger shelves at the bottom for extra pillows / blankets etc. Simple, effective storage will always triumph. I always appreciate some hanging space when I stay away so this was a must.

Get The look…

  1. Antique Chinese Pots
  2. Jasper Chest of Drawers by Humphrey Munson
  3. Side table lamp by Anton & K Decorative Antiques
  4. Bedroom carpet by Brockway 
  5. Everlasting faux plant by Celeste Rose Design
  6. Ravello flower jug by Garden Trading 
  7. Curtain fabric by Les Indiennes
  8. Bedside table lamp by OKA 
  9. Bedside table lampshade by Pooky 
  10. Blanket by The Britsh Blanket Company 
  11. Bedroom wardrobe by Humphrey Munson (only available as part of a project)


This was the quickest room to design in terms of aesthetics, but the longest in terms of getting everything to fit in. It’s a tiny bathroom and we debated moving it but I was keen to keep 3 double bedrooms so the bathroom stayed put (also less expensive than moving it). The marble tiles and dado rail and skirting were not inspired by anything I’d seen I just really liked the look and the finish and how they looked with the paint colour ‘Half Windsor’ by HM.

The brass v nickel debate went on a little while, I decided on nickel in the end for ease of maintenance and I knew it would look good after 5 years. I like the rose undertone of polished nickel, chrome – will cheaper and easier to clean – would have felt too cold. Lefroy Brooks were a natural choice for a classic English look and I’ve been so pleased with the quality. For a small bathroom it ticks all the boxes. The wall lights are my favourite thing – the alabaster shades by Tigermoth are just incredible, I marvel at them each evening and I love the muted light they emit – very kind and flattering too.

The Branscombe tile worked out so well, it’s a wood effect and so natural – the perfect foundation for this room. I picked a grout colour that was as close in tone to the tile as I could find and this also has been super useful in being low maintenance.

Get The look…

  1. Kensington Marble Brick by Humphrey Munson
  2. Kensington Marble Dado by Humphrey Munson
  3. Basin Taps by Lefroy Brooks
  4. Basin with Pedestal by Lefroy Brooks
  5. Handsoap by Wildsmith
  6. Showhead and Valve by Lefroy Brooks
  7. Roman blind fabric by Tori Murphy
  8. Mirror by Lefroy Brooks
  9. Glass Shelf by Lefroy Brooks
  10. Bath taps by Lefroy Brooks
  11. Diffuser by Soho Home
  12. Wall lights by Tigermoth Lighting LTD   
  13. Lavatory by Lefroy Brooks
  14. Waste Bin by The Basket Company
  15. Branscombe Porcelain by Humphrey Munson

I hope you’ve enjoyed these thoughts behind the design, you can see more on the website here.

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