Penny Morrison Then and Now

Several years ago I wrote a piece about Guy and Penny Morrison’s charming house in Wales, below.

Penny MorrisonSince then, I have come to know Penny’s beautiful line of fabrics, and her chic collaboration with Carolina Irving, Irving & Morrison, below.

Irving & MorrisonSo I was delighted to see the marvelous cover feature on her home in the April ELLE DECOR beautifully captured by Miguel Flores-Vianna. The house has been updated since I last wrote about it with a marvelous sense of color and pattern. While it certainly has at its roots an English country sensibility, it is made personal and unique with bold hues and a stylish international mix of textiles, accessories and art.

Penny MorrisonThe oversized and eclectic mix of artwork helps bring a dramatic sense of scale to the already generous spaces, from the traditional 19th century Robert Brough portrait in the drawing room above to contemporary Scottish artist Robert Byrne’s piece in the dining room below. I love the exaggerated scallops hanging from the gilded pelmet – a dramatic and more unexpected version of a traditional treatment.

Penny Morrison dining room

Penny makes good use of her fabrics as in the library, below, where her Arabella linen hangs in bold yet harmonious contrast against walls of Farrow and Ball’s Arsenic. The charming lampshades and Pink Spot cushion are typical finds from the covetable stash at Irving & Morrison.

Penny Morrison

The outdoors is equally as alluring, “bordered by rolling lawns, a stream, a walled garden, and – further on – a forest.” Who wouldn’t want to luxuriate amidst the bucolic countryside in this enchanting garden terrace, looking especially appealing to those of us currently buried under feet of snow.

Penny MorrisonFour ELLE DECOR photos by Miguel Flores-Vianna

Penny has, in my mind, achieved the decorating trifecta – a home that is at once chic, comfortable and supremely personal. Grounded with a strong sense of place in the British countryside, yet not limited by its heritage, it is, most importantly, a statement of her own story. Brava! And congrats to ELLE DECOR on a fabulous issue. From a charmingly eccentric cottage in the Hamptons to a splendid centuries-old family castle in northern Italy, to an adventurous modern townhouse in Toronto, to a glam Beverly Hills makeover and stately Spanish Revival house in Santa Monica, it’s an issue chock-full of inspiration.

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