Grace & Thorn founder Nik Southern reveals her favourite possession

A life in flux sparked a poignant purchase for the founder of the cult florist brand. She tells us all…

nik southern grace and thorn
Mark Cocksedge

Just over 10 years ago, I left my job in recruitment and set up Grace & Thorn. I got divorced too, and was really starting my life from scratch. I worked hard for years to get myself back on the property ladder and when I did, I decided to buy a piece of art to celebrate.

I was looking for something abstract and have always loved oils, so I reached out to my friend Jarelle Andre Francis, who is an art curator. He put me onto a great artist called Kate Dolan. Browsing her Instagram, I spotted a painting called Blue – which was the name of my little rescue whippet who had just passed away. The grief had unexpectedly knocked me for six.

Every time I look at this canvas I see something different, like the two drips that run down that I noticed just the other day. Blue is my favourite colour, and this is such a beautiful piece. Kate recently told me that there’s actually a self-portrait underneath the painting; she hadn’t liked it, so one day painted over it in a burst of inspiration.

When I bought my home in Norfolk, I asked her to create something unique for my living room and sent her photos of the landscape there. The sea and sky are stunning. She’s since painted pieces for the shop we’ve opened up here.

I do love stuff: rugs, lamps, plants, old furniture mixed with new– I’m certainly no minimalist. I’ll always bring something back with me when I go to Morocco, and if the last piece of homeware at the shop doesn’t sell, then I just take it home. But there’s so much feeling associated with this painting. graceandthorn.com

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