The newly painted front room, used as the recording spot for Laura Jackson’s new podcast, So How Do You… The Podcast, is a picture of everyday calm. When one ill-judged comment on a recent work Zoom call described her chosen shade of ‘Fawn’, meticulously handpicked from the Farrow & Ball archive, as magnolia, however, that tranquillity was momentarily broken.
Of course, Laura’s mock horror was playful, but this fresh coat of paint, part of a recent toning down of her Forest Gate home’s colour scheme, is a big change for the TV star and founder of monthly supper club Hoste.
The room slandered with the use of the m-word was previously a jewel-like shade of green. And it’s not the only space in her once maximalist Victorian property to have undergone a transformation from dark to light.
It was during last year’s summer in lockdown, looking at the punchy mustard walls of her kitchen, that Laura’s colour journey began.
‘It was starting to feel claustrophobic; like it was giving me a tight hug,’ she says of the room. Initially, she considered giving it a Parisian café look, with gloss walls, but instead decided on a limewash paint from Bauwerk. Its soft, textural finish has meant that the room has now loosened its grip.
This transformation proved the catalyst for a refresh that has incorporated much of this family home, which she shares with her husband Jon Gorrigan, a photographer, and their two young children, as well as Barry the whippet.
‘I liked the serenity we had created downstairs, so decided to bring it into the bedroom,’ Laura explains. There, at the very top of the house, inspiration was taken from a boutique hotel she visited in Nantucket in the US. ‘It feels like I’m by the sea,’ she says. ‘It’s really light and bright. I have to wear an eye mask in the summer, but I love waking up to the sun.’
It’s in this room that she has also found a place for her favourite striped bed sheets – picked up at a roadside stall in France for five euros. They remind her of trips to Europe, hunting out vintage and pre-loved pieces.
And it’s the story of all of these finds that attracts Laura. From the toilet in her downstairs loo (formerly Mark Owen’s) to the marble table in her outdoor dining area (bought on her last antiques shopping trip to France and shipped back to the UK just before Brexit hiked up import prices), every item has a memory or tale attached.
She is, she professes, ‘definitely not a hoarder’, but there is a sentimentality to her decorating decisions. It’s the reason why, despite the past year’s big interior changes, she vows that she would never be able to bring herself to tear down the floral wallpaper in the living room. Belonging to the previous owner, it is yellowed by decades of cigarette smoke, but is also integral to why she first fell in love with the property.
‘The previous owner brought up her family in this home, she loved every inch of it, and not long after she left she unfortunately passed away. I gave birth to my son in the living room,’ says Laura. ‘The evolution of life feels very present here.’
Narrative will also be the key to Laura’s next big venture: a first foray into the world of homeware, Glassette, which will be launching soon. We’re sure its focus will be similar to that of her own home, where every piece, from the eclectic mix of furniture to the plethora of accessories, many of which are the work of up-and-coming British makers, has an emotional connection and a story to tell. hostelondon.co.uk; glassette.com