The Wicklewood Blog
- 11 May 2021
'Comfortably modern, yet historically resonant’ is Edward Bulmer's motto and approach to interiors. A leading interior designer and architectural historian; renowned for working on some of this country’s most historical and important buildings, Edward is in fact most at home making a home! ‘I’m a farmer,’ says Bulmer, ‘by that I mean that my farm is in a shared arrangement with my neighbours - they bring on the stock and manage the lays and I manage the financing, and the cider orchards…’ Something of a polymath, Edward founded his eponymous natural paint company in 2013. On launching his own brand, he says, ‘I worked at Goodwood, where environmental responsibility was an integral part of my brief. Since that project I have only used natural paints.’ His aim? To revolutionise the paint industry so it does not impact our earth and to bring a touch of interior design into people's homes. Hand painted colour charts and free colour consultancy are all part of the service. We met Edward to talk historic buildings, home comforts and, of course, colour.
WW: Why natural paint?
EB: My passion is to see this country’s great wealth of historic buildings preserved and enjoyed. My degree is in History of Art but my specialisation was always architecture. My first job was with David Mlinaric, working on Spencer House in London. I joined a picture restorer after a year or so and set up on my own as an interior designer five years later. I brought a lot of useful knowledge to work in historic buildings, but few clients then had any concern for environmental responsibility. Goodwood encouraged my deep enquiry into the way house paints are made. I created my own paint range a few years later.
WW: What’s your favourite colour?
EB: A well mixed green takes some beating! Paint colours and fabric colours are different animals - my job is to underpin a decorative scheme with a backdrop of creative inclusivity. When a scheme also respects the architectural bones of a place and lifts it with real drama, it’s inspirational. The Painters Passage at Althorp is a good example – the atmosphere of a Mayfair hosier was eradicated when we removed the acres of glass cabinets and replaced egg yolk yellow with a deep French Blue.
WW: Where is home?
EB: The glorious landscape of Herefordshire. We try out and photograph many of our colours in our own home – a William & Mary manor house. We decorate in stories. Everything here means something to us and in choosing what we use we consider what matters – do our decisions respect people and planet? We respect the historic fabric, reuse what we can and choose furnishings made by people who are fairly treated and who use non-polluting manufacturing and supply. We change colours often, but never the tonality, which makes our colours work with the hard finishes like old oak floorboards.
WW: Golden rules on colour in the home?
EB: Define what you cannot change or have already decided on before choosing a colour. Ensure that the tonality of the colour works, before choosing the actual hue. Then choose what you like and what strength of colour will really suit your lifestyle.
WW: What are you excited about this year?
EB: The Wicklewood X Edward Bulmer Natural Paint Colour Guide. Choosing Colours can be daunting. Colours don’t always translate from magazines and Instagram into our homes just the way we want them to. So we are here to help you find the perfect shade from our collection of beautiful colours. Then to take the stress out of ‘dressing’ your room, we have teamed up with the wonderful Wicklewood to inspire you, using some of our iconic colours as a starting point. We love the Wicklewood collections and have found they work naturally with our colours from the bold & bright designs to beautiful artisan textiles while championing true craftsmanship across the world.
CLICK BELOW TO READ EDITION I OF OUR COLOUR GUIDE:
CULT COLOURS & HOW TO STYLE THEM
WW: And, finally, what is your favourite Wicklewood cushion combo...