At Home in Wales with Penny Morrison

Penny Morrison drawing room

Just over the British border, in the breathtaking countryside of Wales, Penny Morrison and art dealer husband Guy retreat from their busy lives in London to their beautiful country home. While the house was originally built in 1790 with an addition thirty years later, the Morrisons were thrilled to discover when they purchased the property some 30 years ago, that it hadn’t been touched since 1910.  After a sensitive 18 month renovation, Penny put her own decorative stamp on the interiors, thus catapulting her interior design career. Please join Susanna and me for a heavenly video visit with Penny at her bucolic country home.

While the house certainly has an English country sensibility at its roots, it is made personal and unique with bold hues and scale, incorporating an eclectic mix of fabrics, accessories and art. Mixing classic chintzes with Indian, Moroccan and Turkish textiles and rugs, as well as her own fabrics, Penny has created a fearless and yet sublimely comfortable home.

Penny Morrison drawing room

With vast vistas and magnificent views,

Penny Morrison in Wales

all the main floor rooms, like the charming breakfast room below, have fireplaces and access to the terraces and gardens, making it a house that celebrates nature year round.

Penny Morrison breakfast roomThroughout, the oversized and extensive mix of artwork helps bring a dramatic sense of scale to the already generous space, from the traditional 19th century Robert Brough portrait in the drawing room at top to contemporary Scottish artist Robert Byrne’s piece in the dining room below.

Penny Morrison dining roomAnd it is these unexpected pairings that distinguishes Penny’s work. Over the years, she has gradually added her own fabrics and accessories to the mix, as in the guest bedroom (where I was lucky enough to stay), below, where her Begum wallpaper and Killi linen on the bed hangings live in bold yet harmonious contrast with a fun OKA throw and antique Bessarabian rug. 

Penny Morrison Wales guest bedroom, photo Stacey Bewkes for QuintessencePenny has, in my view, achieved the decorating trifecta – a home that is at once chic, comfortable and supremely personal. Grounded with a strong sense of place, yet not limited by its heritage, it is, most importantly, a statement of her own story. Thank you Penny (and Guy) for your hospitality – what a special treat to visit such a longtime favorite home!

Penny Morrison home in Walesall photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

And be sure to look for Penny and her darling dogs in Susanna’s upcoming book “At Home in the English Countryside: Designers and Their Dogs” with photos by moi!

31 thoughts on “At Home in Wales with Penny Morrison

  1. I had my finger hitting the pause button throughout in order to better appreciate the wonderful layering in every room. I subscribe to Penny’s collecting approach ( if you like it, it’ll fit in somewhere ) and, after years of picking up things at consignment shops and auctions, I can safely say, my space is unique, imperfect in many eyes, but all my own. Here’s to slightly muddy, complex colours and fabrics, a few dents and scratches and things with character, reflecting a life well lived. Please thank Ms. Morrison for sharing- I just wish we could see more but I completely understand the wish for privacy, especially in one’s sanctuary.

  2. Thank you S & S for this mini vacation, very much needed on this grey January day in New England. Every corner and moment held color and delight, a true respite and source of much design inspiration. And for me, an extra canine bonus of the house being 400 yards into Wales: Sealyham Terriers originated in Wales, how fun to virtually visit my doggie’s roots! Thank you!

  3. This is fantastic. What a wonderful place. I follow Penny on Instagram so it was fun to see her in person. Lovely collections. So great to see inside. Thanks for what you do and to those who share their homes. Happy 2020!

    • Thanks so much Kristin! I have followed Penny for years as well – such a treat to get to visit! Happy New Year!

  4. Hi Stacey,

    I love your work! Just thought I’d point out what appears to be an error as it looks like Penny and her husband purchased the property before they were born:

    Originally built in 1790 with an addition thirty years later, the house hadn’t been touched since 1910 when they purchased the property.

    Keep up the great work – it is very enjoyable to read and watch the videos.

    • Thank you Marianne! It wasn’t an error, just awkward wording which I have amended. So glad you enjoy the blog and video series!

    I decorate exactly like HER she just has MORE!
    THE ANIMALS, the buy if you like you will always find a spot,THE COLORS.
    It all speaks to ME!
    Does she have a book out?I would LOVE TO SEE MORE of her work and home!
    This gave me A BIG thrill this morning!I NEED TO SEE MORE PEOPLE LIKE HER!
    THANK YOU LADIES!You always put on a good show!!

  6. Another fantastic video. It has inspired me to take a lamp shade making course. I loved that Susanna was wearing her down jacket while Penny was in linen during our English/Welsh summer. Thank you both.

  7. Oh I’m a big fan of Penny Morrison and I can’t live without my British decorating magazines expensive though they are; this was a wonderful visit ! Looking forward to the new book!

  8. Dearest Susanna and Stacey:
    Ladies, you will never, ever know how much you two have enriched my life with your video tag a longs.
    I can’t stop grinning with supreme appreciation, joy and wonder at the creativity you have shared.
    Your most faithful fan and grateful admirer? indeed, I am.
    I am a much more valuable designer with the endless enchanting ideas I have shamelessly, relentlessly and freely stolen from almost each of your offerings.
    Thank you and bless both you and yours…

  9. Thank you so much for bringing us this captivating home!!!! I absolutely love Penny’s design philosophy! How fun to be invited in to her home. The layers and fabrics are so wonderful and used so tastefully. It looks so comfortable and interesting without being stuffy for sure. I just love that she says our homes should tell a story. And anything goes. Happy New Year! I can’t wait for your next “at home” visit to another extraordinary home!!!!

  10. Loved every bit of this—the location, the house, the designer, the gardens, the animals, all the art and books. You and Susannah are treasures for sharing all this so beautifully.

  11. Dear Stacey and Susanna,
    Penny is delightful and so refreshing. Loved every moment of this video. Watching again,
    right now. So much to take in. What fun!

  12. This is absolutely ONE OF MY FAVORITE episodes! I love her style, so REAL!
    Love your shows!!

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