House Envy: Diana Civil

For this month’s House Envy feature, we have the privilege to sneak a peek inside the wonderfully eclectic home of interior stylist, art director and journalist Diana Civil.

Diana Civil

Where do you live?

I live in Bushey, Hertfordshire – just on the outskirts of London at the end of the Jubilee line.

As I shoot on location all over the place It’s a fantastic place to live as a stones throw from the major road networks and only a short commute from the West End – I sound like an estate agent but it’s a great mix of city and suburbs everything at your fingertips and a bit more space and a lot more affordable than in an inner London house.

Sum up your interior style in 3 words

Endlessly changing, eclectic.

What is your favourite room in your home & why?

I love my TV room – it’s one of the the smallest rooms in the house but is painted in a deep dark brown (Tanners Brown by Farrow & Ball) on walls and ceilings making it feel really cosy and snug.

Diana Gallery at Diana Civil's house

The room is referred to as the ‘Diana Gallery’ by all of our friends as I’m constantly adding pictures, books, and all sorts of bits and bobs to the room so it’s always evolving with all sorts of things I love.

Diana Gallery with orange sofa

One wall is taken up with a huge Ligne Roset Togo sofa in a vivid orange Alcantara fabric– it’s the most comfy sofa ever which looks great against the dark brown walls and is just the thing for stretching out and watching a good film.

What is your favourite object in your home & why?

With my rather diverse tastes and the job I do where I see new things all the time, I love all sorts of things in my home which have been gathered over the years – I’ve got a eclectic mix of old family antiques, that have been handed down, retro furniture and accessories and then really contemporary designer classic streamlined pieces that I adore.

I love my Voliere Pendant light by Mathieu Chalieres that my partner Russell, a photographer bought me – it’s a giant copper bird cage light with a menagerie of decorative birds – it makes an eye catching feature and really brings a smile to my face.

Bird cage light

But because it’s home everything sits alongside each other and works together – it’s all about choosing things I love rather than things that should go together.

The cupboards in my snug are old family military chests that had drawers inside and were designed to be packed up and carried on the march to war.

I use the drawers upstairs in my house but the cupboards have become fantastic units to hide a multitude of TV paraphernalia.

TV ornaments

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from anywhere and everywhere – I love everything from rummaging in junk shops and flea markets to getting inspiration from shop windows, exhibitions, a fresh new fabric or colour as well as blogs and Pinterest.

Diana Civil's dining room

I’m always asked about trends and where I get ideas from – but it’s all about being visually aware and soaking up what’s happening around you – there’s always something exciting to look at and see. Just sitting in an office waiting for an idea to strike is not going to happen – get out and discover it!

What is your view on D.I.Y?

I love DIY and I think it’s very sad that not many people these days attempt it or know how to do it.

I’ve just painted my hallway black, which looks amazing as it creates a dark entrance which then opens into a bright light open plan space – the contrast works really well.

Diana Civil's hallway

I wallpapered my bedroom when I was about 16 – and my mum was a real inspiration as did and still does all kinds of practical things from chair caning, sewing, picture framing and tiling, so I grew up with a real ‘have a go’ attitude.

I think wallpapering is a fantastic way of creating a completely different look in a room really quickly and it’s so satisfying.

Whose home do you have House Envy of??

My favourite house of all time has to be The Tracy’s house – Tracy Island which even as a small child had a major impact on my house envy awareness. It was so cool – just like the houses in the James Bond films!

White room with table and chairs

Back to reality and as with my style, I have very diverse house envy from the stark simplicity of John Pawson’s bare minimalism, to the easy living style of Terence Conran’s home or the very curated looks that Kit Kemp has put together for the Firmdale Hotels.

I suppose I just love to keep seeing fresh and exciting things and I am not afraid to experiment or change as the mood takes me!

If Diana Civil’s interior design ideas have got your creative juices flowing, take a peek inside the home of designer and blogger Teri Muncey for even more style inspiration.

Get plenty of ideas for your house along with how to guides, interior design tips and more in our inspiration and advice section.