“Working in one’s pyjamas is always a perk” says artist designer Sonya Rothwell, alchemist-in-chief of award-winning, eco-ethical art + interior décor boutique GalleryBeautiful, who let's us peek inside her enchanting home studio to see how she hand makes her pearlescent lampshades with matching wallpaper.
WHERE DO YOU CREATE FROM ?
Home is where the heart is, so there’s no better place to create from. My daughter Peony and I found a house large enough for all our big ideas, within a secret garden, walled and full of magic. A beautiful Georgian grade II* listed National Trust manor house in England’s West Country, surrounded by a magical garden that's open to the public.
Our home's also Gallery Beautiful HQ. We work across the entire house. Our formal drawing rooms are also showrooms displaying our statement pieces in an elegant home setting and many of the bedrooms have become studio spaces – Peony has her own art studio too.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AND HEAR FROM YOUR WINDOWS ?
The most enchanting garden in England – National Trust The Courts Garden. It’s my joy, my solace, my inspiration. I begin each day strolling in our garden accompanied by the cat, noticing the details of Mother Nature’s gifts. This moment of quietude and stillness brings peace to my whole day. Inspired ideas come from this peace.
WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF WORKING FROM HOME ?
Working in one’s pyjamas is always a perk, but I try to make myself presentable by 11 o’clock when visitors enter the garden incase they peep through the window which often happens. When the garden’s open it’s like living in a beautiful park. When the iron gate is closed it becomes our own private world; a sanctuary brimming with wildlife and poetry.
IS IT HARD TO SWITCH OFF FROM HOME ?
(Smiles) There’s no switching off, I’m an artist – life is art, art is life. Makers don’t just make it – we dream it, live and breathe it.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW YOU ‘DREAM IT’ ?
The (Magic) Maker is still enough to notice the flutter of a dream hovering about barely detectable. Acting swiftly, Knowing dexterously catches the whisp before it floats away. Holding on, but not too tight, Love feeds it an attentive elixir of soothing words administered freely – really good ideas come from dreams of those who throw them sticks and let them stray 'off lead' no matter how far they go. When the dream feels brave enough symphonious bells begin to chime prompting Vision to take flight pulling it up and up to giddy heights, soaring, swooping and swirling on Wind's warm currents. Unwavering, Focus shields the fledgling from Faultfinders, offering double-thumb-ups and quartered oranges to keep pace before passing the baton to Action, who gently coaxes the now fully formed idea down from the Heavens, landing it ever so lightly on the ground. Only then does The Maker begin to make. Dreams are drawn to inspired Action like fire flies fluttering against lit glass, all wanting to come in at once. Most lose patience and drift away, leaving only the very persistent ones to Become.
COULD YOU EVER GO BACK TO WORKING IN AN OFFICE 9–5 NOW ?
I’ve never worked 9 to 5, even as an art director I worked long hours and weekends. I still do this, but now have the freedom to work remotely whenever I can and always be there for Peony, my raison d'être.
WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM ?
I create from the heart, that is, I journey within to the source of my inspiration. For me art's a spiritual alchemy – the divine dance of turning inspiration into form. I like to call it 'cosmosis' – subtly absorbed minglings with universal forces.
DO YOU USE MOOD BOARDS TO INSPIRE YOU ?
Life inspires me. My passion is to see for myself, to know – to leave no stone unturned. I have a deep love for Mother Nature and her people, so I travel to explore, observe, absorb far flung places off the beaten track, rich in texture, colour + culture, and new ideas. Life is my mood board – like Matisse, everywhere I go, I draw with my eyes. Everything I have ever lived pours out of me into my art.
WHAT DO YOU MAKE ?
I reimagine my celestial oil paintings into mandalaesque patterns reminiscent of my travels throughout India and Nepal, as well as my journeys within. I then apply them to various surfaces. Like space, my creations expands in all directions, off canvas onto clothes, ties, scarves, cushions, fabric, wallpaper, lampshades and interior décor accessories, blurring the boundaries of art and design. My art and home furnishings are available from gallerybeautiful.om
Following last year’s success as winner of ‘Best Luxury Interior Accessories’ Award – Build Magazine, Gallery Beautiful won two more awards this year, both from the Southern Enterprise Awards established by SME News; ‘Best Luxury Interior Décor Brand’ and ‘Eco-Excellence Award For Sustainable Products.’ It’s always wonderful to be recognised for ones work, as it’s such a labour of love.
WHAT MAKES YOUR PIECES UNIQUE ?
Quality and Values. We make unique, high quality, luxury interior décor pieces that are eco-ethical, sustainable – made in Heaven, handcrafted in Britain locally to order because we love our mother Earth.
I make our pearlescent metallic lampshades in-house myself, by hand. They match our wallpaper and look fabulous paired together. Making to order means we can create bespoke pieces in custom sizes and colours. I love making huge drum shades. Oversized lampshades look fabulous above tables or as ceiling lights grouped together in different patterns at varying heights is really magical.
When I have a big order some of the elves that live in the garden help me. Winky smile.
CAN TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST PIECE OR PROJECT ?
Taking an inclusive approach to contemporary art, I’m very excited about the launch of our new museum quality, affordable fine art prints available from gallerybeautiful.om
Don’t forget to use your Tribe Beautiful discount for 15% off your first purchase site wide by creating an account Stay up to date and inspired, follow Sonya Rothwell on Instagram @gallery.beautiful
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For press enquiries please contact:
+44 (0)1225 635 443
Sonya Rothwell creates from the heart seeing Art as a spiritual alchemy – the divine dance of bringing inspiration into being. Her oil paintings of empyrean consciousness expressing itself (from which her décor designs are derived) are created by what she calls 'cosmosis' – subtly absorbed minglings with universal forces. "We are all made of stars, interwoven and infinite.”
British artist designer Sonya Rothwell is recognised as a prolific creator of highly collectable, contemporary bespoke statement pieces infused with spirit. Renowned for her signature aesthetic ‘Space Age Glamour’ – celestial motifs, intricate pattern, shimmering pearlescent texture + kaleidoscopic colour inspired by her oil paintings of the cosmos. Sonya's eye for style, colour, composition and extensive knowledge of print is built upon many years as a designer, art director and fine artist following her formal arts training at renowned Central St Martins, London.
Sonya Rothwell is Alchemist-in-Chief of Gallery Beautiful – an eco-ethical art + design house renowned for its award-winning art, luxury décor and home furnishings. Available from the gallery (by appointment only) which is situated within her beautiful grade II listed National Trust home surrounded by an enchanting National Trust garden in Wiltshire. And online at
Being a nomadic free-spirit ever in search of colour & culture Sonya loves adventure. Her urge to leave no stone unturned regularly steers her off the beaten track allowing for sacred time out to also journey within – the source of her inspiration and essence of her work. Wanderlust abound, she climbed the Himalaya to Heaven (known as Swargarohini in Sanskrit; Swarga meaning 'Heaven' and Arohini meaning 'ascent’) to reach for the stars from the highest place on Earth, as she made her own journey to Swarga.
Sonya Rothwell art + luxury interior accessories are eco-ethical, sustainable and made to order encouraging people to #BuyLess. Their sales support Sonya's umbrella charity Temple Beautiful – a centre of spirit; the arts, meditation, wellbeing + higher consciousness – helping deprived children live better lives. Formed from her desire to, as Gandhi said, ‘be the change’ she wishes to see in the world and empower many of the beautiful children she meets on her travels.
Tribe Beautiful – a global community of magic makers; conscious co-creators restoring our beautiful world. As the Dalai Lama says; “The planet doesn’t need more successful people, it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”
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For press enquiries please contact:
+44 (0)1225 635 443
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