182 episodes

Welcome to the House Guest podcast, where C&TH Interiors Editor Carole Annett chats with experts from the world of interior design and decoration, the people behind the houses and hotels you see in glossy magazines like ours. Some of the names will be familiar, and others may be less so, but we’re sure you’ll recognise the hotels and restaurants they’ve designed. And if you’re in the middle of your own building project or re-style, we hope you’ll pick up some tips. Enjoy!

House Guest by Country & Town House | Interior Designer Interviews Rebecca Cox

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 138 Ratings

Welcome to the House Guest podcast, where C&TH Interiors Editor Carole Annett chats with experts from the world of interior design and decoration, the people behind the houses and hotels you see in glossy magazines like ours. Some of the names will be familiar, and others may be less so, but we’re sure you’ll recognise the hotels and restaurants they’ve designed. And if you’re in the middle of your own building project or re-style, we hope you’ll pick up some tips. Enjoy!

    The Evolution of Home - Carole Annett chats to Interior Designer Emma Sims Hilditch

    The Evolution of Home - Carole Annett chats to Interior Designer Emma Sims Hilditch

    My House Guest this week is someone I have known and admired for many years and, full disclosure, who helped me on a house project a few years ago. Interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch grew up in a creative home where her mother loved to follow decorating trends, from 70s swirls to 80s swags. Emma inherited her mother’s creative gene but, ‘I wouldn’t follow a trend,’ she says, ‘because if you’re not careful trends move on and then you’re stuck’. We chat over coffee in Emma’s London home she shares with husband John, founder with his business partner Giles, of the successful Neptune furniture company. The conversation rolls from Nick Kamen’s famous Levi 501 launderette advert (if you’re too young to remember then Google it) which Emma worked on while assisting film producer Ridley Scott in her first job, then moving from London to Wiltshire and starting a family along with a curtain-making company, to how her own business grew alongside John’s.
    She has just launched her first book - The Evolution of Home, with Giles Kime, a fascinating dive into how English country house style has changed. Tune in for more including great tips on how to bring atmosphere into a house (you need a multi-faceted approach) and why the dining room is back in fashion but not in its traditional guise.

    • 25 min
    An Inspirational Lady - Caryn Hibbert of Thyme talks about creating the new Breathing Bothy in the spa at her hotel and restaurant venue in the Cotswolds

    An Inspirational Lady - Caryn Hibbert of Thyme talks about creating the new Breathing Bothy in the spa at her hotel and restaurant venue in the Cotswolds

    My House Guest today is Caryn Hibbert, a lady for whom I have the utmost admiration. Following a career in obstetrics and gynaecology where she specialised in cervical cancer, she moved to the Cotswolds with her husband in order to raise her children in the countryside. They found a house in Southrop and after a few years of bedding in and enjoying a quieter pace of life, some local barns came up for sale. Deciding to buy and restore them and having always been a foodie, she decided to create a cookery school - Thyme at Southrop was born and now includes a hotel, restaurant, spa, boutique and a homeware brand, Bertoli. Her latest venture brings in her medical background. Caryn has always been fascinated by breathing, having studied women giving birth, how the correct breathing can help the body and how we breathe inefficiently when we are anxious. With well-being in mind, she has created a Breathing Bothy, a special hammam-style building with moulded resin interiors (Caryn oversees all the interiors and garden design at Thyme). Being a passionate gardener, she also created a special balm using herbs from the water meadow, which is the scent used in the bothy. Tune in for more and discover how to breathe...

    • 25 min
    Special Edition - Lee Broom Is Today's House Guest

    Special Edition - Lee Broom Is Today's House Guest

    Very excited to announce today’s House Guest - Lee Broom is one of the UK’s leading furniture and lighting designers and a premium global design brand. His Crystal Bulb launched one of his earliest designs, and was an instant hit, making him a darling of the design world and one who has continued to reach new heights with everything he does. He has had an interesting career path, starting out in theatre school (age 7) and working with the Royal Shakespeare Company to catching Vivienne Westwood’s eye when he entered a competition with The Clothes Show (remember that?!). Thinking his future was in fashion, he stayed with Westwood until embarking on a course at St Martins (against her advice) which led him into interior design and finally product design. “You get an emotional connection to design in the same way you will with art or a theatrical performance. I don’t see why we can’t have similar emotions when looking at a chair or lamp or whatever it might be”.

    He has a new book, just out, called ‘Fashioning Design’ (Rizzoli) and has won many awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace (wearing a Burberry suit). Tune in for more

    • 19 min
    Olga Polizzi of The Polizzi Collection

    Olga Polizzi of The Polizzi Collection

    In the run up to Christmas we have some special guests and this week it is hospitality guru, Olga Polizzi talking about her own 3-hotel collection, The Polizzi collection, as well as her role at Rocco Forte hotels where she is deputy Chairman and director of Design. She says of Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, ‘I bought it with my heart rather than my head,’ and of her first hotel, The Tresanton in Cornwall, which is about to celebrate its 25th birthday, ‘It’s been the most fun thing I’ve done but the agony, the excitement the tears… we used to watch Fawlty Towers on tv after an exhausting day and laugh and laugh thinking “this is us!”’.
    Tune in for more

    • 24 min
    How to Balance Work and Pleasure with Karl O’Hanlon

    How to Balance Work and Pleasure with Karl O’Hanlon

    I am in awe of people who follow a dream and Karl O’Hanlon did just that after leaving London and a secure job to head to France to a place he and his wife Anita had always loved - the Languedoc. His dream was to venture into the hospitality industry and after an initial false start, in 2008, Domaine & Demeure was born - three beautiful wine estates brought back to life with a discerning eye and a passion for design.


    I visited Karl at his latest venture - Chateau just outside Narbonne a small hotel and wine estate with 44 villas (mostly now privately owned) available for rental. Staying here you get the charm and authenticity of a working wine estate, and the style, service and laid-back ambience of a private club. It’s fascinating to hear how it all came together. ‘For us it was important that the whole estate is integrated into the environment and that we contribute to its ongoing development”, says Karl. That means creating a landscape without using chemical or irrigation (Languedoc is renowned for its dry countryside which gives the wine its minerality). One of the commitments to the local community was that they wd not use irrigation hence he engaged award-winning garden designer James Basson and plantsman and botanist Olivier Filippi, ‘a legendary figure when it comes to ‘dry gardening’” explains Karl. Karl designed the interiors of the villas using polished concrete (often used in wine estates) and colours of the landscape. One of my favourite features, his idea for using olive trees instead of sun umbrellas by the pool - ’so much nicer reading under the shade of a tree,’ he says. Tune in for more

    • 22 min
    How to Use Colour in Interiors with Mike Fisher

    How to Use Colour in Interiors with Mike Fisher

    Mike Fisher founded Studio Indigo in 2005 and it now employs over 50 interior designers and architects. 

    He says, 'Architects are often monochromatic and rather restrained in their use of colour. I soon realised the architect wasn’t most important person and if I wanted to be in control, I had to be an interior designer too’.
    Mike chats to host Carole Annett about choosing colour in a northern climate such as the UK, how to use colour to make a statement and how one of their projects for a Scandinavian client involved a brave choice - a mustard-lacquer sitting room (the client loved it). They also discuss paint finishes and why some paint brands have a reputation for being difficult to apply. Mike offers lots of colour and paint choosing tips as well as wonderful insider stories including installing a dog lift in his London house for his much-loved pooches. He also has a new book out by Vendome Press - Studio Indigo, Architecturally Creative Interiors.
    Tune in for more

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
138 Ratings

138 Ratings

sm5576 ,

Love it

I love Carol’s interviews, she is very natural with her well choosen guests. Always relevant and interesting. Also, I’m so pleased the audio quality is much better now, not sure what you’ve done, but I’m grateful, there were a few episodes which were really uncomfortable to listen to.

louisa eggleston ,

Best Interiors Podcast !!

I love this podcast with Carole Annett, she always secures the most interesting guests and the topics are wide ranging and so interesting. In the world of interiors, there is nothing else like it!

Spidermouse ,

Enjoyable, but ..,

Really enjoyable. Carole is a great interviewer and the guests are some of the best. However the audio quality is very poor. Can this be fixed?

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