a piece of home: with Alice Palmer
Plaid, pleats, prints…thanks to Alice Palmer, lampshades these days have never looked so good. Her clever creations may have snuck up on you overnight, upgrading all the best bedside tables on social media (Laura Jackson opted for the blue ikat shade in her bedroom) and bringing a lovely pop of colour to your day.
(Laura Jackson's bedside table / the ric rac shades that broke the internet)
“The idea for the lampshades came from my husband’s granny,” Alice says. “Visiting her over the years, I was always drawn to an antique broderie anglaise lampshade cover she has. It sat alongside a Toile de Jouy wallpaper. I always had that in the back of my head.” When it came to decorating her house, Alice spotted a gap in the lampshade market, so she decided to craft her own. One year on and her experiment turned into a full-time hustle.
PIECES visited Alice at home to get a closer look at the beautiful corners of her home that she teases on her ‘gram. Like her lampshades, expect a riot of colour, prints and vintage influences – and a home that has evolved to meet the needs of a growing family (Alice welcomed her third baby, Basil in July!)
“I did an art foundation at Camberwell and then went to work for various restaurants, including my parent’s restaurant Brinkley’s. While I worked there I did up my first flat which I absolutely loved. In fact, I got obsessed, so I did an interior design course at KLC for three months and learned how to do architecture plans on Vectorworks software. I designed all the architecture here. When we bought this house, the previous owners had pulled everything down. They had started to convert the loft but got cold-feet. We came in and bought it half-done. I did it all when I was pregnant with Margarita, and we moved in when she was one."
"My parents modernised their house and gave loads of their old artwork to me. Some is from my husband or wedding presents. I love Kempton, Ardingly Antiques Fair in Sussex and Chiswick car boot sale for vintage art. These are pictures of me on my wedding day. My friend who runs Morv London designed my wedding dress. I only tried it on two days before the wedding which was nerve-wracking."
(Pooky pendant lights, OKA botanical frames, Alice Palmer lampshades)
"I switch-up my lampshades all the time. I love experimenting with new fabrics. I’m quite instinctive. I know what I like and I don’t. I love vintage fabrics from eBay and Etsy but they can be risky. Sometimes they arrive and the quality is poor. You can’t get it to work and you can’t send it back. One lampshade takes up to an hour and half to make- depending on what mood I’m in and if I have to breastfeed half-way through! I find it really therapeutic...especially the ironing bit."
"We spend a lot of time in the living room. The kids hang out and watch TV here. I love this fabric wall-hanging from BFGF. The big abstract artwork is by my best friend's husband, the artist Patrick Jones. I really loved the colours. He is such a talented artist. And, if you look closely the walls have a linen effect. Hughie Turner did it for me."
"One of my prized possessions is this Picasso print. It's from my husband’s godmother's shop Ramsay prints in Belgravia. It was my sister’s. She loved it and bought it originally, but didn’t have a house or a place to put it so now it’s with us."
"My favourite places for fabric are; Robert Kime, Penny Morrison, Lewis & Wood and Tissus d'Helene in Chelsea Harbour. Nicholas Herbert, Palm Orleans and Tasha Textiles are also on my wish list. Beata Heuman is great too. I love her Farao and Palm Drop prints."