The Handbook meets one to watch on the interiors scene, decorative artist Meg Boscawen…
Everyone wants their home to be unique, an expression of their own style, and, if we’re totally honest, a place to impress. We’ve found a bright young thing bridging the gap between the interiors and the art world who can offer all three.
Meg Boscawen is a decorative artists whose distinctive use of watercolour and nature-focused pieces are making their way into her clients’ homes, but in a very unconventional way. In addition to her stunning canvas paintings, Meg takes her brush to walls, furniture and finer home details, transforming a space into something gloriously unique, interesting and beautiful. Think wall panelling peppered with pretty florals or wardrobes edged with scalloping in soft pastels, hand-painted vines trickling down a bathroom wall and one of a kind murals used in place of wallpaper.
Meg’s work adds a certain magic to homes, it adds texture and depth and can transform something as mundane as a lampshade or a wardrobe into the star of a room. Here, we find out how she found herself in her unique job, how she works with clients to transform their spaces into something truly unique, and steal some of her design knowhow to inspire our own homes.
Your job is so unique, tell us how you got into doing what you do?
Lockdown gave me the ability to experiment and I started pushing my skills in different disciplines. I originally started doing portraits of people’s homes and interiors which led me to doing murals for clients. Last summer, I worked under Lizzi Porter and Alistair erskine – two very influential decorative artists – and they taught me techniques and tricks of the trade which were so valuable.
What do you love most about your job?
Transforming a space and making a change to someone’s interaction with their home, all while also making it aesthetically pleasing.
The house portraits you do are stunning. Tell us about those.
Originally, I started painting house portraits which then lead onto interior portraits and they have become so popular. I’m also starting to experiment on larger scale pieces for clients – sometimes working on a small scale can be quite restraining with the level of detail it permits. I’ve also just been commissioned to paint a large scale interior portrait of a bar in Singapore which I’m really excited about.
When you work with clients, how does the process start?
It can start with a painting or piece of furniture or something as simple as a colour scheme. Sometimes clients come to me with lots of their own ideas, sometimes I have free rein to do whatever. If I’m honest, the latter can be the most overwhelming and sometimes it’s nice to have some sort of navigation. But it’s very satisfying when you both align on the same page and are wanting similar outcomes.
Where do you find the biggest source of inspiration for your work?
Truthfully? Instagram. I religiously follow Homes & Gardens, which is very inspiring as it always celebrates upcoming businesses, artists and designers. I also love the elegance of World of Interiors, I’m always folding over the pages and stimulating new ideas for projects.
For those looking to transform a space, where is a great place to start?
I think colour is key, newly painted walls may be the golden ticket to transforming a room. Or even just up-cycling some old furniture can transform a space.
Are there any golden rules of interior design you swear by?
Apart from not mixing the obvious colours, I would say there is a lot of luck that also comes from within the industry. Never be too restricted, it’s so important to keep yourself as free as possible…some people’s best work comes from chance.
Any tips for creating beautiful children’s rooms?
Children’s rooms are the most playful for a decorative artist, and if I am allowed to say, the most exciting. Don’t hold back with a child’s room, it is supposed to be their happy place where they are allowed to daydream and be transported into other worlds. I always say go wild. There is an artist who paints the ceilings of children’s rooms as tents, which I love the idea of doing.
How can you use art on a wall instead of wallpaper or a statement paint colour?
Wallpaper can be a great staple to any room, however, decorative art is totally bespoke to the client. I can also offer finishes on walls, whether this is to create texture or a simple mural. Even just art going along the skirting can transform a space.
A project can start with a painting or piece of furniture, or something as simple as a colour scheme. Sometimes clients come to me with lots of their own ideas, sometimes I have free rein to do whatever. It's very satisfying when you both align on the same page and are wanting similar outcomes.
Your art typically works well in period properties, but can this look be incorporated into more modern spaces?
Most definitely. It obviously has to fit within the space but decorative art in a modern space can be more expressive and bold in colour and form. I don’t think there should be any restriction to decorative art and I’ve enjoyed constantly pushing and developing it further.
Which homeware brands do you love?
Rupert Bevan’s furniture is incredibly chic, Collagerie and Tat London also are insightful for any designer. Like many, I am forever inspired by the interiors at 5 Hertford Street and they have just launched a homeware collection called Birley Official. Rifat Ozbek is a total genius in my eyes.
What’s next for you and your work?
I am moving into a new studio space soon which I am very excited about, as it will allow me to be more experimental. A new project – that I can’t let off too much about, sadly – is going to be in a commercial space, involving muralling on a large scale. I am taking in furniture and lampshades at the end of this month. Finally, I’ve been commissioned to do a large scale interior portrait on canvas of a bar in Singapore, which I am excited to get my paints on. The future is looking very bright.