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With Wool House in full flow, we were lucky enough to get together for an interview with antiques dealer-cum-interior designer Josephine Ryan to talk about all things Wool House.

Read on to find out what Josephine had to say about her part in the Wool House celebrations

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• What excites you about participating in the Wool House showcase?

“I am totally enraptured with this project.  This show is enthralling, has totally captivated my imagination & fired up my creativity.   Sheep are supposed to help you sleep (at least the counting of!) but the blasted little creatures are keeping me awake as I can’t think about anything other than this show at the moment!  So much so, I have been neglecting my business & driving everyone at home wooly!”

“If truth be told, I am always like this when I get involved with a project.  Who could not be grabbed by what the wool campaign is about? – it’s safeguarding the future of sheep farming and promoting the wool industry.  I particularly love the global aspect of the campaign.  “Rustic” is my middle name, so going out to find woollen rugs and blankets has been an absolute joy.  I have also loved discovering the who’s who of all things wool – the talented designers and artists who have contributed to this exhibition.  Being able to work in the magnificence of Somerset House is also something any designer would die for! And I love working on a project that is not (directly) about selling as it allows one to be truly creative & innovative.”

“Simply put, I am thrilled, delighted & very very flattered to have been invited to participate.”



Josephine’s work strongly favours the rustic and the antique aesthetic
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• What properties of wool do you find most valuable in your work?

“There is a piece in the current House & Garden magazine about Wool House where Arabella McNie, the curator of this show, states that I normally only work with linen.  She’s right! In general, I am always drawn to completely neutral colours and natural fabrics. Linen has always been my fabric of choice, although I have chosen wool in the past to upholster chairs.  I don’t use many carpets in my interiors, but in designing this room, I have thoroughly enjoyed using wool in many different guises – on the walls, floors and shelves. It has certainly inspired me to use it as much as its poor relation, linen, in my future work.”

“The star pieces in my room, a large pair of c19th English ‘Howard’ armchairs have been given a unique make over being covered in a patchwork of old aran jumpers.”

• What would be your dream project to work on?

“Now there’s a question! “

As I’ve said this has been an amazing project & I hope hundreds of people will visit. It will all be pulled down in only 12 days so if just one person walks through my space & is captivated by what they see & has the vision & trust to allow me, carte blanche, to create a whole home for them that would be one dream fulfilled.  “

“I’d love for my new shop in Langton Street in Chelsea to become a great success, and to be as well known & patronised as the likes of The Conran Shop which I admire hugely.”

If you want to find out more about Josephine Ryan and her work, you can visit her website here.

There is still plenty of time to come down to Wool House! Entry is free and each day is packed with things to see and do.  Take a look and see what events are on by visiting our Events Calendar and head down to Somerset House and join us in celebration of all things Wool!

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