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Interior Makeover - Greta Bellamacina

Dreamers & Schemers: Greta

Greta Bellamacina is a poet, actress and filmmaker. The epitome of elegance, her creative capabilities permeate the pages of two celebrated poetry collections. In 2020 Greta's renowned work ‘Tomorrow's Woman’ was published - alongside a collection of feminist poetry she edited titled ‘SMEAR’. From the perfect prose to the silver screen, Greta’s directorial debut ‘Hurt By Paradise’ saw her performances both in front and behind the camera applauded by audiences and critics alike. ‌

Though Greta’s words reach a global audience, the magnitude of her talent is hard to encapsulate. But who better to trust to do so than her equally as inspiring husband, Robert Montgomery. A conceptual artist, together the pair produce elevated and expressive works; made as apparent in their home as in their oeuvres. Collaborators in life; Robert pens the foreword in the acclaimed ‘Tomorrow's Woman’, describing beautifully what lays at the heart of Greta’s work…‌

Dreamers & Schemers: Greta

Greta Bellamacina is a poet, actress and filmmaker. The epitome of elegance, her creative capabilities permeate the pages of two celebrated poetry collections. In 2020 Greta's renowned work ‘Tomorrow's Woman’ was published - alongside a collection of feminist poetry she edited titled ‘SMEAR’. From the perfect prose to the silver screen, Greta’s directorial debut ‘Hurt By Paradise’ saw her performances both in front and behind the camera applauded by audiences and critics alike. ‌

Though Greta’s words reach a global audience, the magnitude of her talent is hard to encapsulate. But who better to trust to do so than her equally as inspiring husband, Robert Montgomery. A conceptual artist, together the pair produce elevated and expressive works; made as apparent in their home as in their oeuvres. Collaborators in life; Robert pens the foreword in the acclaimed ‘Tomorrow's Woman’, describing beautifully what lays at the heart of Greta’s work…‌

"In her poetry, we feel our bodies connected back to nature, but it is a nature that encompasses our buildings and our wild cities and our arranged trees. These things, after all - being the things we have made - must somehow be connected to our true nature. She takes our bus stops and our ordinary things and connects them back to stars and eclipses and equinoxes and mystical water."‌

The couple’s creativity culminates in their breathtaking country home in Kent. From the moment you step in the door you are transported into a whimsical wonderland; each room revealing an exciting new environment in which to venture. Greta’s love for colour is clear. Walls are adorned with vibrant prints, an array of rainbow ribbons hang from the ceiling and her husband’s ‘text art’ creations take pride of place, punctuating the space with a personal touch. Watching Greta gracefully tour the home she shares with Robert and her two sons we are reminded of the Rolling Stones’ ‘She’s A Rainbow’.
“She comes in colours everywhere…”‌

And come in colour she did, as we sat down to talk interior inspiration, her approach to design and of course, how this House of Hackney dream became a scheme (or two)...‌

HOH: Welcome Greta and thank you for dreaming and scheming with House of Hackney. As you know, this series is all about telling the stories and design journeys of creative people we find inspiring. As someone whose work we have adored for a long time, we're so honoured to be helping you scheme your dream! Do you mind telling us a little about yourself and your beautiful home in the Kent countryside?‌

Greta: We were looking for a house in which we could really daydream and forget ourselves in. An old house with a bit of land on the edge of London. A place to lose our inhibitions and let the sunlight dictate. This old house felt right, it felt sort of Mediterranean with the terracotta tiles, arched entrances and the old stone swimming pool. We’ve hung lavender everywhere and almost every window has a geranium. My days are rarely structured so this house felt like a new symbol of peace. Robert has moved his art studio into one side of the house, the boys also have an art studio. I have the smallest room with a desk in it where I write, read scripts and learn lines. I’ve always felt most creative in small rooms.

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HOH: From the outside, you might think you'd get lost in the vastness of its size. But as soon as you step in the door you feel this overwhelming welcoming energy that instantly makes you feel at home. As creatives, yourself and Robert inspire so many, but what inspires you both when it comes to your home?‌

Greta: For us there is no divide between our creative lives and our house. ‘A House Is A Dance’ is the name of the book we have been making about the house. The rooms are not just rooms but extensions of a mood and a place we want to hold onto. I think it takes time to understand a space. I am always moving things around and painting things on the walls. Like anything, there needs to be a sense of brokenness and lived-in-ness to really hold beauty. Some of my favourite houses are the ones that are continually evolving but also have red wine stains and smoke filled curtains. Those are the ones that often last in my mind. ‌

HOH: Both artists, yourself and Robert play with words and language; experimenting with what they represent. Do you find your approach to design and style to be the same or do you challenge each other in the process?‌

Greta: I think it’s like editing a poem. In poetry the editing process is just as important as the idea, the words, the phrases and the general energy of the poem. I think we have a similar approach to designing. There are many processes in bringing a room to life. Starting with colour and then finding things. I like bringing objects into a space and then moving them around until they settle. ‌

HOH: We worked closely with you on two rooms in your home, one in our new-season print ‘EMANIA’ and the second in our House favourite ‘HOLLYHOCKS’. The first was used to create a magical world for your son, the latter to imbue the beauty of spring into your guest room. What were the spaces like when you first moved in and what vision did you have for each of them?‌

Greta: 
The ‘EMANIA’ print reminded me of an old Moroccan tent, something you would find in a dessert after a long walk. I think it appealed to the nomad in me. The wallpaper seems to hold a certain amount of mysticism to it. I knew it would be perfect in my son’s room, a way to create a sense of adventure, a magical tent where he could create stories and go on mad adventures. We made a ‘tent’ of ribbons on the ceiling and also added an old vintage red and white tent we bought from a theatre set maker who was selling their old things. On the fireplace we wrote a poem that says,
“Blown here by the wind…”‌


As soon as I saw the psychedelic ‘HOLLYHOCKS’ wallpaper I knew it would be perfect for one of our guest rooms. It is so rare to find a wallpaper with so many colours. I love how the flowers are sketched in the colours of spring. Everything connects and nothing connects, as if the flowers are all blowing in the wind. And the room transports you to spring. The season of hope. I like that idea for a guest room. To lie in bed and watch the blowing flowers. In the ‘HOLLYHOCKS’ room we have also hung paintings by two of our friends - Heath Lowndes and Elaine Speirs - we like the idea of sharing the work or our friends with other friends in that way.

image_4image_4
image_1image_1

HOH: Do you find yourself led by a feeling when you decorate or is there a real process and plan you follow?‌

Greta: The inspiration can come from anywhere. I’ve just come back from acting in a feature film which we shot in Rome for a whole month. It was strange being in Rome in the winter. I was cold, colder than I expected, but the days were bright and the sun always seemed to set on the burnt orange and pink walls. This colour is now something I would like to bring into the house. It reminds me of that feeling of looking at the winter light of Rome. ‌

HOH: What led you to the ‘EMANIA’ print and how have you styled it in the space?‌

Greta: We styled the wallpaper with these theatrical pink victorian draping curtains that initially came with the house. We have tried to recycle old things that we inherited with the house as much as possible. They have swags and tails and they sort of remind me of old stage curtains. I also made the ribbon ceiling, a sort of rainbow canopy. I had a dream about them; I woke up the next morning and found a shop in Soho that had every colour of ribbon. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but as soon as they were up, it really brought the room together and created that mythical tent-like effect I wanted as soon as I saw the wallpaper. ‌

image_4image_4

The couple’s creativity culminates in their breathtaking country home in Kent. From the moment you step in the door you are transported into a whimsical wonderland; each room revealing an exciting new environment in which to venture. Greta’s love for colour is clear. Walls are adorned with vibrant prints, an array of rainbow ribbons hang from the ceiling and her husband’s ‘text art’ creations take pride of place, punctuating the space with a personal touch. Watching Greta gracefully tour the home she shares with Robert and her two sons we are reminded of the Rolling Stones’ ‘She’s A Rainbow’.
“She comes in colours everywhere…”‌

And come in colour she did, as we sat down to talk interior inspiration, her approach to design and of course, how this House of Hackney dream became a scheme (or two)...‌

HOH: Welcome Greta and thank you for dreaming and scheming with House of Hackney. As you know, this series is all about telling the stories and design journeys of creative people we find inspiring. As someone whose work we have adored for a long time, we're so honoured to be helping you scheme your dream! Do you mind telling us a little about yourself and your beautiful home in the Kent countryside?‌

Greta: We were looking for a house in which we could really daydream and forget ourselves in. An old house with a bit of land on the edge of London. A place to lose our inhibitions and let the sunlight dictate. This old house felt right, it felt sort of Mediterranean with the terracotta tiles, arched entrances and the old stone swimming pool. We’ve hung lavender everywhere and almost every window has a geranium. My days are rarely structured so this house felt like a new symbol of peace. Robert has moved his art studio into one side of the house, the boys also have an art studio. I have the smallest room with a desk in it where I write, read scripts and learn lines. I’ve always felt most creative in small rooms.

image_3image_3

HOH: From the outside, you might think you'd get lost in the vastness of its size. But as soon as you step in the door you feel this overwhelming welcoming energy that instantly makes you feel at home. As creatives, yourself and Robert inspire so many, but what inspires you both when it comes to your home?‌

Greta: For us there is no divide between our creative lives and our house. ‘A House Is A Dance’ is the name of the book we have been making about the house. The rooms are not just rooms but extensions of a mood and a place we want to hold onto. I think it takes time to understand a space. I am always moving things around and painting things on the walls. Like anything, there needs to be a sense of brokenness and lived-in-ness to really hold beauty. Some of my favourite houses are the ones that are continually evolving but also have red wine stains and smoke filled curtains. Those are the ones that often last in my mind. ‌

HOH: Both artists, yourself and Robert play with words and language; experimenting with what they represent. Do you find your approach to design and style to be the same or do you challenge each other in the process?‌

Greta: I think it’s like editing a poem. In poetry the editing process is just as important as the idea, the words, the phrases and the general energy of the poem. I think we have a similar approach to designing. There are many processes in bringing a room to life. Starting with colour and then finding things. I like bringing objects into a space and then moving them around until they settle. ‌

image_3image_3

HOH: We worked closely with you on two rooms in your home, one in our new-season print ‘EMANIA’ and the second in our House favourite ‘HOLLYHOCKS’. The first was used to create a magical world for your son, the latter to imbue the beauty of spring into your guest room. What were the spaces like when you first moved in and what vision did you have for each of them?‌

Greta: The ‘EMANIA’ print reminded me of an old Moroccan tent, something you would find in a dessert after a long walk. I think it appealed to the nomad in me. The wallpaper seems to hold a certain amount of mysticism to it. I knew it would be perfect in my son’s room, a way to create a sense of adventure, a magical tent where he could create stories and go on mad adventures. We made a ‘tent’ of ribbons on the ceiling and also added an old vintage red and white tent we bought from a theatre set maker who was selling their old things. On the fireplace we wrote a poem that says,
“Blown here by the wind…”‌

As soon as I saw the psychedelic ‘HOLLYHOCKS’ wallpaper I knew it would be perfect for one of our guest rooms. It is so rare to find a wallpaper with so many colours. I love how the flowers are sketched in the colours of spring. Everything connects and nothing connects, as if the flowers are all blowing in the wind. And the room transports you to spring. The season of hope. I like that idea for a guest room. To lie in bed and watch the blowing flowers. In the ‘HOLLYHOCKS’ room we have also hung paintings by two of our friends - Heath Lowndes and Elaine Speirs - we like the idea of sharing the work or our friends with other friends in that way.

image_4image_4

HOH: Do you find yourself led by a feeling when you decorate or is there a real process and plan you follow?‌

Greta: The inspiration can come from anywhere. I’ve just come back from acting in a feature film which we shot in Rome for a whole month. It was strange being in Rome in the winter. I was cold, colder than I expected, but the days were bright and the sun always seemed to set on the burnt orange and pink walls. This colour is now something I would like to bring into the house. It reminds me of that feeling of looking at the winter light of Rome. ‌

HOH: What led you to the ‘EMANIA’ print and how have you styled it in the space?‌

Greta: We styled the wallpaper with these theatrical pink victorian draping curtains that initially came with the house. We have tried to recycle old things that we inherited with the house as much as possible. They have swags and tails and they sort of remind me of old stage curtains. I also made the ribbon ceiling, a sort of rainbow canopy. I had a dream about them; I woke up the next morning and found a shop in Soho that had every colour of ribbon. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but as soon as they were up, it really brought the room together and created that mythical tent-like effect I wanted as soon as I saw the wallpaper. ‌

HOH: We would love to know if these walls could prose, what would they say?‌

Greta: “Nothing is real and nothing is true unless I am here with you.” - A quote from a Rowland S Howard song.‌

HOH: Lastly, any personal tips for our budding dreamers at home who might be starting out on their own projects?‌

Greta: To think of the rooms as a dance, they are ever-evolving and growing, like a sort of living memoir. These rooms are all a part of the story. ‌

If Greta is a dream you don’t want to wake from; here’s where you can find her next.‌

FOLLOW:‌
@gretabellamacina‌

On-Screen:‌
As Sally in Jamie Adams’ ‘Venice At Dawn’. ‌
As Cleo Watson in Micheal Winterbottom’s ‘This Sceptred Isle’.‌
As Irene in Riccardo Vanuccini’s ‘Commedia’. ‌

On Paper: ‌
Coming soon: ‘Biography Of The Wind’, a new poetry collection. ‌
But if you just can’t wait, you can buy ‘Tomorrow’s Woman’ here

Greta's edit

You've journeyed through the dream, now it's time to shop the scheme.

 

EMANIA BORDER

Wallpaper - Plaster
 

HOLLYHOCKS

Wallpaper - Spring
 

HOLLYHOCKS

Velvet - Spring

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