Top designer who inspired Carrie Symonds' chic eco-makeover

Top designer who inspired Carrie Symonds’ chic eco-makeover: Mixing bold colours and old-fashioned glamour, Lulu Lytle is one of the country’s most successful interiors experts

  • Lulu Lyte is is passionate about sustaining traditional British craftsmanship
  • Her Soane Britain studio combines bold colours and old-fashioned glamour 
  • Clients include five-star hotels, restaurants, private members’ clubs and yachts

The woman said to have inspired Carrie’s lavish makeover is Lulu Lytle – one of the UK’s most influential and successful interior designers. 

Her designs combine a riot of bold colours and showstopping old-fashioned glamour.

Think oiled-oak shelving, rattan furniture, shimmering gold wallpaper and intricate textiles. A marble bathroom, perhaps, with wrought iron finishings.

Downing Street’s restyled décor is said to have been inspired by celebrated eco interior designer Lulu Lytle (pictured)

The founder and director of Soane Britain ‘designs and makes British-made furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics and wallpaper’ (sample designs pictured)

She is especially passionate about sustaining traditional British craftsmanship.

She built up her Soane Britain interior design studio by scouring the country for the best artisan blacksmiths, cabinet makers, upholsterers and stone carvers creating furniture, lighting and fabrics using skills going back to the 18th century and beyond.

In 2011, she put her money where her mouth is and bought the last rattan-weaving workshop left in England and started an apprenticeship programme. 

Prince Charles, himself passionate about sustaining traditional craftsmanship, visited the Leicester workshop a year ago, just before lockdown, to admire its creations.

Lytle’s designs (pictured) combine a riot of bold colours and showstopping old-fashioned glamour

Soane’s clients include five-star hotels and restaurants, private members’ clubs, boardrooms, yachts and private houses all over the world

Soane’s clients include five-star hotels and restaurants, private members’ clubs, boardrooms, yachts and private houses all over the world.

Mrs Lytle, 49, says her furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics and wallpapers all aim to ‘contribute to the joyful atmosphere of any interior’. 

Born and raised in Worcestershire, the youngest of four sisters, Lucy Elizabeth Kottler, known as ‘Lulu’, developed a romantic passion for Egypt and took a degree in Egyptology.

She met her husband Charles Patrick St John Lytle, known as Charlie, when he was training as a barrister. 

Mrs Lytle, 49, says her furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics and wallpapers all aim to ‘contribute to the joyful atmosphere of any interior’

Born and raised in Worcestershire, the youngest of four sisters, Lucy Elizabeth Kottler, known as ‘Lulu’, developed a romantic passion for Egypt and took a degree in Egyptology

He is now a senior investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Mrs Lytle worked in antiques for four years, before starting Soane when she was 25, originally from the couple’s one-bedroom flat in Notting Hill, west London.

Her plan was clear and has never changed — to create beautifully made contemporary furniture based on antiques. 

She said: ‘The life of an object is endlessly fascinating, there’s a depth to old things.’ The Lytles moved to a flat in one of London’s nicest squares, close to Hyde Park, in 1999.

She built up her Soane Britain interior design studio by scouring the country for the best artisan blacksmiths, cabinet makers, upholsterers and stone carvers

They then bought its neighbour and knocked through to create a £4million home, which is now a stunning exhibition of Mrs Lytle’s interior design genius and often showcased in glossy magazines.

It mixes old and new Soane pieces, along with textiles collected worldwide, paintings, maps and artefacts. 

Searing Chinese yellow walls make a study area dramatic, while hand-painted lapis lazuli rocks bring luxury to the master bedroom’s Carrara marble ensuite bathroom.

The couple share their home with their three children Tom, 20, Bunny, 18, and Xan, 15 – as well as a greyhound named Panther and Hammy the hamster.

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