Swatch this space: At home with Parker and Jules

Juliet O’Carroll, an interior designer and co-founder of fabric house Parker and Jules, lives in an eco-designed home in Gloucestershire with her husband Dero and their daughter Lyra, 12, son Oscar, nine, and dog Pippi.

The former ‘1970s horror’ (Juliet’s words!) has been transformed into a two-storey zinc and Siberian larch-clad home. Surrounded by rolling hills, its landscaped gardens were created to help the structure flow architecturally with the rural habitat. Image: Brent Darby

You know you have entered the world of someone who appreciates great design when their sitting room is filled with a covetable collection of beautiful classics: Willy Rizzo console, Squint sofa, Russell Pinch cabinet and Maison Jansen lights, peppered with exquisitely reupholstered antique chairs, stylish Sylvac mid-century vases and an array of swoon-worthy textiles – think bold ikat weaves, classic chintz, contemporary geometrics, simple folk florals and zigzag Darbyprints. Then there’s the panoramic view – a glorious, uninterrupted outlook from the top of the Slad Valley in the Cotswolds, taking in its towering woodlands and natural wildflower meadows.

The upstairs picture window gallery is a vibrant mix of colour, texture and detail. The chair (chelseatextiles.com) is covered in Parker and Jules’s Trees and Folk Floral fabric. The curtains are made in Kit Kemp’s Travelling Light fabric (chelseatextiles.com). The table (habitat.co.uk) has been spray-painted in Layer Cake (farrow-ball.com). Image: Brent Darby

No surprise, then, that the location has been a major source of inspiration for homeowner and interior designer Juliet O’Carroll and her business partner, print designer and trend forecaster Nancy Parker, who launched their dynamic new interiors fabric house Parker and Jules at the start of this year.

‘We modernised the house throughout and juxtaposed contemporary finishes with classic decoration,’ says Juliet. The kitchen units (howdens.com) are painted in Oval Room Blue (farrow-ball.com) and the floor tiles are from mandarinstone.com. Image: Brent Darby

The partnership is a perfect match: at the age of 30 Juliet set up her own homeware brand, selling to clients including Liberty, Le Bon Marché and ABC Carpet and Home, before retraining as an interior designer and studying for a master’s degree in the history of decorative art and interiors. Meanwhile, Nancy has spent the past 13 years creating distinctive fashion prints for the likes of Donna Karan, Zara and J Crew. ‘Introduced by local friends, we’ve had a great opportunity to combine our creativity,’ says Juliet of Parker and Jules’s classic English design meets evolving contemporary style. ‘My house has become our testing ground for ideas, patterns and scale.’

‘I found the ornate Casa Pupo lamp base in an antiques shop in Stroud. The silk lampshade [samarkanddesign.com] adds a beautiful finishing touch,’ says Juliet. Image: Brent Darby
Juliet, who describes her home before its eco-makeover as a ‘1970s horror’, says, ‘When I returned to the Cotswolds in 2015, after four years in Dublin, I decided to give the old house a much-needed renovation: raising roof heights, introducing natural materials and textures, reconfiguring the layout and modernising throughout.’ Of the interior mix of authentic country style and eccentric collector, she says: ‘I grew up trawling antiques shops and French brocantes. For me, my collections of cabbage ware, art, mid-century pottery and period lighting resonate far more than any high-street purchase.’

The wood-burner (charnwood.com) brings cosiness to the double-height dining area. The handblown glass pendant lights are from curiousaandcuriousa.co.uk. Image: Brent Darby

As a new member of the London-based Fabric Collective showroom, Parker and Jules is being recognised as a major design force. ‘The landscape is always changing but home and work are a visual manifestation of my life, family and story,’ says Juliet.

‘This antique love seat has been reupholstered in our Lace Fern fabric [parkerandjules.com] with a bullion trim [turnellandgigon.com],’ says Juliet. The upright chandelier was bought on London’s Portobello Road ‘with money my grandparents gave me when I got married’ Image: Brent Darby
parkerandjules.com

Report by Ali Heath