5 Minutes With Henrietta Spencer-Churchill
By Inchbald Alumni, Interior
What influences Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, one of the UK’s leading interior designers and an Inchbald alumni?
My mother was artistic and I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by beautiful architecture, and I think that influenced me more than anything else.
Prior to arriving at the Inchbald School (age 18), I had lived in Florence and Paris which developed my love of European architecture as at that time I was studying History of Art and Languages. It was a very good grounding as I knew I wanted to continue in that field but I was not certain of exactly what I wanted to do. When I got back to London that summer I was adamant that I did not want to do a secretarial course, as many of my friends had, which is when I turned to thinking about interior design and applied to do the Inchbald course.
I was passionate about interior design and the motivation from the tutors at Inchbald helped me to excel. Following my time at the school I got my first job with Diana Hanbury; this was the perfect opportunity for me as it was a small company which allowed me to get exposure to clients and projects as Diana threw me in at the deep end. This installed a lot of self-confidence which has been vital in this industry.
My current practice Spencer-Churchill Designs and Woodstock Designs was started in 1981 with a shop in Woodstock and an office/studio in London. I often have interns from The Inchbald but also try to nurture and develop local talent from the community. Whilst I still take on commissions in London and worldwide ( I have a US company also Spencer-Churchill Designs Inc) I have built a reputation specializing in the renovation and refurbishment of listed properties, which hails back to my upbringing at Blenheim and my love of the Georgian era.