Decorator Index: Studio Gabrielle

Newcomer Louise Parker’s practice combines an architect’s sensibility with an artist’s feel for the serene

Louise Parker from Studio Gabrielle
Studio Gabrielle

Who is she? Dynamic designer and stylist Louise Parker (below) set up Studio Gabrielle in 2017, when she was just 25. She was always destined for a career in design – her father, a quantity surveyor, has worked on high-profile projects including the British Library. ‘Some of my earliest memories are of accompanying him to work – I was always surrounded by plans and technical drawings,’ she says.

Eaton place residence by Studio Gabrielle
Studio Gabrielle

Parker completed a degree in architecture at De Montfort University, and then moved to Melbourne, Australia, to work for a series of architectural practices before returning to the UK. ‘Melbourne’s focus on wellbeing and holistic living inspired me to set up Studio Gabrielle in Essex rather than London,’ she says. ‘The calmness of my surroundings filters through into the stillness of my designs.’

What’s her style? Parker describes her aesthetic as ‘sculptural purity’ and cites designers Vincent Van Duysen and Ilse Crawford as influences. Her designs have the tranquillity of still-life paintings, with understated colours and objects that take on a sculptural presence. ‘I use a restrained, neutral palette to celebrate attention to detail,’ she explains. ‘Natural and sustainable materials work well with my style, so you’ll see rattan, marble, leather, wood and linen in my designs.’

Studio Gabrielle

Recent projects The revamp of a grand Grade II-listed Victorian townhouse in Eaton Place (right) is a lesson in how to make white interesting. ‘We embraced its original features, but added contemporary flourishes, such as Florence Knoll sofas, bespoke flower arrangements and Scandinavian accessories,’ says Parker. Last year, she made her mark on the (now closed) Skandium Townhouse (below) in Kensington, playing on the idea of blending still-life and interior elements. ‘We used simple forms and rich textures.’

Studio Gabrielle

Current projects Parker’s putting the finishing touches to a new interior for a medieval Norfolk cottage, as well as working on a penthouse project in Miami and a four-bedroom home in Hong Kong.

She says ‘I love that interior design fulfils all of my creative passions, embracing architecture, photography, product, branding, floral design, colour curation... no two days are the same.’

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2020

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