The Resident catches up with interior designer Nicky Haslam, who has launched an eco-friendly palette of paints in an organic collaboration with Paint the Town Green and the Harrison’s Fund, and was recently named The Andrew Martin Designer of the Year

Nicholas Ponsonby Haslam (‘Nicky’) is the founder of the London-based interior design firm NH Studio Ltd. The notorious 77-year-old social butterfly was educated at Eton College, and famously shared a flat with fashion photographer David Bailey before going with him to New York, where he mixed and mingled with the likes of Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe, as well as throwing the odd party for The Rolling Stones.

Recently, he was named as The Andrew Martin Designer of the Year, an accolade fêted by The Sunday Times as the Oscar of the interior design world.

His dalliances with Jagger et al are referenced in the title of his new collection of organic paints, The Stones

His dalliances with Jagger et al are referenced in the title of his new collection of organic paints, The Stones, which he has created in collaboration with Phil Robinson of eco-friendly painters and decorators Paint the Town Green.

The new collection features earthy, neutral shades inspired by gemstones and minerals. To give you a flavour, there’s the vibrant mustard tone of Tiger’s Eye (‘like the sheen on brown silk velvet’) and the stylish grey of Diorite, which has just a hint of mauve – Haslam describes it ‘a sort of feeling of grey flannel, a soft, quiet sensation.’

Known for his outlandish sartorial style, Haslam has a distinctive aesthetic. ‘The point of decoration is to make people look prettier,’ he says. ‘That’s what it’s all about really, and these are very flattering colours. ‘They’re perfect backgrounds for people and things,’ he continues.

‘They are colours that pull the room in together. They’re embracing.’ They sit comfortably alongside Robinson’s signature collection of 36 colours, and match their range of vibrant and exclusive bespoke lampshades by local designer Marie Holt (

Haslam lovingly describes Robinson’s ethos as ‘gentle and good’, and the third strand of the collaboration is their work with the Harrison’s Fund, a charity to which a percentage of profits will go.

Haslam described trustee Karen Morris as inspirational, and shed a tear as she spoke about the charity at a breakfast launch at Paint the Town Green’s showroom on Allfarthing Lane.

Morris’s nephew, Harrison, has a fatal muscle wasting disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and the Harrison’s Fund seeks to raise money and awareness to find a cure, or at least a treatment.

‘It affects one in every 3,500 boys worldwide and at the moment there’s no real hope for them,’ she says . ‘I’m really pleased to be part of this and I hope that it’s really successful. It all just fell together – almost like serendipity.’

Robinson himself describes Morris as instrumental in bringing it into fruition. ‘The charity also hosts an annual ball,’ he adds. ‘It really is great fun. So, having bought hundreds and hundreds of litres of The Stones collection, if you want to support the charity further, do get yourself a ticket,’ he jokes.

Seriously, he tells me, he is ‘thrilled, and very excited’ to launch the collection, born of a partnership which has evolved as naturally as the fume-free, non-toxic paints he is so passionate about.f


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