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Inspiration Profile - Bridie Hall

This week's Inspiration Profile is Kiwi expat Bridie Hall. She grew up in Taupaki, a little town north west of Auckland and went to London in 2000, straight after she graduated with a Bachelor of Design. She is now the Creative Director of the cool London company, Ben Pentreath Ltd and has her own homeware range.  Enjoy this great profile and happy Friday all.

Bridie Hall
Exterior view of Ben Pentreath Ltd.

Name: Bridie Hall

What do you do: I am the Creative Director for Ben Pentreath Ltd, where I have been since it’s opening four years ago and I have my own homeware range called Bridie Hall at Home

Where do you live: London, United Kingdom

What are you working on: At Ben Pentreath Ltd,  The Artists of Spitalfields Life exhibition, which  opened Wednesday 7thNovember. It brings together 18 artists that the blogger known as The Gentle Author who writes the daily blog Spitalfields Life, has featured over the last few years, its been an exciting collaboration.

For Bridie Hall at Home I am working on a new scent with my perfumer for a candle based on an Orangery that would traditionally be found in the great Manors of yore, its going to be called Pavillion. Each scented candle I create is based on a room from a Grand English Manor, so far there is ‘Obelisk’ (the study of a gentleman – notes of cedarwood and vetiver) and ‘Roses’ (the grand reception filled with the roses from the equally grand rose garden outside).
Stock from Bridie Hall at Home
Obelisk Candle
Who/what inspires me:The English culture, there is an appropriate way to do everything and the history behind everything is awe inspiring. I think I can say after living here for twelve years I can call myself an Anglophile, I’m a sucker for all of it, even a deep fried mars bar.
I work best: With structure. I’m a creature of routine so treat my days like anyone going to an office would, except if I’ve really sunk my teeth into something I’m making, I could go all night or not get out of my pyjamas all day.

What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: Forget about it all and do some cooking. Meet a friend for lunch, we never fail to reignite that spark in one another – wine and talking!

The best advice I have been given is: “Put your name to what you do” - I think you take it far more seriously if you do.
My latest discovery is: Faux Bois, I’m teaching myself how to do it….before I apply it to everything. (note from CM - yes, I had to look this up and it is 'an artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media'. Now you know too!)
The Scholars Set
Inside the Ben Pentreath store

Books that I get inspiration from: Anything with sexy pictures normally lures me in, I do love a good picture book, I wouldn’t even say mainly interiors books, anything goes when it comes to finding inspitation. Though looking at the stack on my bedside table  – Treasure Island, Celia Birtwell, Bringing Nature Home, English Country House Interiors, V&A Patterns for Papers, Colour, The Reluctant Gardener, English Decoration.

Magazines that inspire me: Again, I’ll let my bedside table tell me. British Vogue, House & Garden, US Elle Décor, Vanity Fair, The World of Interiors, Kinfolk, Grazia
My favourite room at home is: The Conservatory- after years of scratching our heads and wondering what to do with it, I finally had the brainwave to install a bookshelf down one full side, where before it just had this weird ledge (for a spider plant collection?). I’ve filled it with books and it now adds a weight and more of a purpose to the room. We’ve put a lovely table on one side for working and eating at and  arm chairs on the other for relaxing. We flung the doors wide open during summer and it was almost as if we were outside, just perfecting the heating aspect of it now winter is upon us as we still want to spend all of our time in there. It’s where everybody gravitates to when they visit.
The Conservatory

My office is: At Ben Pentreath Ltd, an Aladdins cave in the basement of the shop filled to the gunnels, sometimes I wonder if I won’t be crushed by falling enamel ware and dinner candles. For Bridie Hall at Home it’s the kitchen table, I keep meaning to find a studio but I love the idea of world domination at the kitchen table, that’s where my grandmother taught me that it happened.

What am I looking forward to: Seeing how Ben Pentreath Ltd and Bridie Hall at Home grow and develop in the years to come. Ben and I have come such a long way in the four years since we opened the shop. We are always looking for new directions to take things. I feel lucky to say I’m looking forward to everything.

Decoupage plates from Bridie Hall at Home

All photographs are used with permission from Bridie Hall.