Ben Pentreath: 10 design secrets revealed

1. My Design Hero

David Nightingale Hicks was a modern legend in interior design, most prominent in the 1960s. Hicks is my design hero for his ability to mix modernity with an imbued sense of classical tradition. I’ve been highly influenced by his use of colour, pattern and layering - his eclectic approach feels just as relevant today.

2. My Favorite Print

I first saw William Morris’s Willow Bough 
25 years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. The print was first produced in 1887 and so it’s been incredibly exciting to bring it back as part of my collaboration with Morris & Co.

3. My Small Luxury

A small luxury important to me is spending time in our bothy on the west coast of Scotland. Bothies are very simple buildings at the best of times - the name even comes from the Gaelic word for hut. Our bothy is basic accommodation - it's small and not very comfortable, but I love it.

4. My Decorating Rule

In decoration, the best rule is not to overthink. Follow your heart not your head. Hold on to the freshness of your first thoughts.

5. My One To Watch

In the age of Instagram everyone’s a 
new name worth noting! I’m looking 
forward to seeing a huge building in London designed by Adam Nathaniel Furman.

6. My Most Treasured Piece

The object I own that means most to me is 
a Fornasetti Palladiana chest of drawers I bought before I could afford to do so, when I didn’t even have a place to live. I'm pleased to say that I have never regretted that moment of madness.

7. My Favorite Design Shop

Apart from my own shop, Pentreath & Hall, co-owned with Bridie Hall, my favourite design shop is Tinsmiths in Ledbury for ceramics, fabrics and lighting. It’s perfect.

8. My Current Design Read

I recently enjoyed The Edwardians and their Houses by Tim Brittain-Catlin. The book is beautifully written and produced, looking at the era's domestic architecture and the British culture as a whole.

9. My Alternative Career

I expected to be an architectural historian, but part of me would like to become a letterpress printer - I’m obsessed with typography.

10. My Favorite Garden

I love the garden at Rousham in Oxfordshire. Favourite corners are the borders, the walled garden and the dovecote.

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