A Wallpaper & Fabric Expert Shares Her Little Black Book

Former lawyer Ottoline Devries used to spend much of her spare time restoring and decorating antique furniture. But when she couldn’t find the fabrics, papers or patterns she wanted, she set out to create her own. Known for her playful use of colour and composition, her eponymous brand’s bold wallpaper and fabric designs have become a go-to for interior designers the world over. Here, she shares the names and places she goes back to time and again.
By Georgina Blaskey /

If I could only buy homeware from one place, it would be The Socialite Family. It stocks so many minimalistic, timeless pieces and a few fun products, too. It would be so easy to create an exciting mix of items with the more classic furniture in my home.

The most interesting interiors shop is Howe London on Pimlico Road. The team’s passion for quality craftsmanship is very contagious.

The best department store in the world is Liberty London. I love all the new brands the buying team is able find – there’s always lots of colour and pattern in there.

The coolest independent interiors brand is Balineum. Not only because it sells the prettiest and coolest tiles on the planet, but also because it has an amazing brand ethos. Owner Sarah Watson is incredibly generous with her time and advice, and she’s such good fun too!

There are so many great independent homeware destinations, especially in London. But if I had to name one, it would be The New Craftsmen in Mayfair. It curates work from independent artists and makers and it's impossible to leave without making a purchase.

The under-the-radar brand I’ve recently discovered is Nonna’s Napkins. She embroiders words onto vintage tableware by hand. It's ridiculously cool!

The item I regret not buying is A RUG I SAW ON HOLIDAY IN TURKEY. I should have thought less about the practicalities and more about HOW VERSATILE IT WOULD TURN OUT TO BE.

The best vintage stores in the world are Adam Bray , Retrouvius, Max Rollitt, 1st Dibs and  Gonnerman. I love combining new and old, and adding character and interest with unusual vintage finds. My favourite vintage piece are probably the vintage chairs in my home that I’ve had reupholstered.

The best sustainable brand is The Light Clinic. It sources old vases and turns them into the most charming one-off lamps.

For something really special I go to Glassette.  It's the best online marketplace for independent brands. It's so easy to find something special on there and much harder to resist buying anything at all.

The best interiors gift I’ve ever given someone else is a set of beach towels I designed for my parents, inspired by their house and garden. They always miss home when they go on holiday, so now they can take a piece of it with them.

The best interiors gift I’ve ever received is our kitchen table, which my husband and I were given by my in-laws when we got married. It's been the centre of our family life – so much history has been happened around that table!


The most recent items I bought for my home were some photo-frames from Host Home to frame a painting from SJ Axelby, who also painted a room in my house for her new book Interiors Portraits.

The most expensive investment I’ve made in my home are my vintage pieces, which I’ve then had restored and reupholstered. It’s expensive to do, but at the end of the day you get something unique, and it feels like you’ve create a future heirloom.

For tableware I love everything at Summerill and Bishop. For bedlinen, I like the scalloped sets from Sophie Conran and for glassware, I go to Bias Editions – it has great tumblers. I also like Domenica Marland for art.

For lighting it has to be Rosi de Ruig. She sells these timeless, wooden lamp bases in co-ordinating colours with beautiful shades she makes at her London workshop. She uses beautiful papers from different designers – my Improvisation wallpaper is part of her collection.

The item I regret not buying is a rug I saw on a family holiday in Turkey. I should have thought less about the practicalities and more about how versatile it would turn out to be.

Visit Ottoline.co.uk 


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