Five Minutes with Interior Designer Nina Campbell

Words by
Nina Campbell
Photography by
Paul Raeside

18th April 2023

Nina Campbell's A House in Maine, published by Rizzoli, charts the renovation of a family home on an idyllic waterside retreat in Maine. Nina shares the story behind the book with SPHERE, as well as some of the design secrets of this spectacular house.

A House in Maine explores enduring themes in Nina's work, from the evolution of home through generations, the importance of place, and the creation of an oasis amid a bustling world. Next month Nina Campbell opens a new design studio and retail space in Pimlico Road, marking a return to the street she launched her business on 50 years ago.

I'd love to have a daily routine, but it's so hard when everyday is so different...truthfully everything is a little bit of a whirlwind at the moment ahead of opening our new store on Pimlico Road.

On top of the store, I'm working on a beautiful private residence in Jordan and a few other projects in the US. I’ll also be launching my first ever online course with Create Academy - ‘The Definitive Guide to Decorating’ - next month. It never stops - the pace only ever seems to accelerate, but I honestly feel so lucky to spend everyday doing something I love so much.

Bedroom detail
A child's bedroom nook featured in a House in Maine by Nina Campbell, photographed by Paul Raeside and published by Rizzoli.

I'd say my ‘core’ interior style is looking to design spaces that feel welcoming, comfortable, harmonious, practical and importantly – fun.

My new Book A House in Maine is about the importance of place, the sense of finding as 'oasis' as the pace of life gets faster.  Really, for me the importance of a place can’t be underestimated - home is everything. For me home means family, happiness, retreat... Home should be a reflection of you, what you love and what makes you feel good, and it must reflect your personality, how you live and how you want to enjoy and live in your home.

View into a bathroom
View into a bathroom from A House in Maine, by Nina Campbell.

For the family whose house we decorated in A House in Maine, their family colour is actually this beautiful soft lavender so we knew that would feature quite a lot in the house.  We wanted to keep it coastal and fresh, so the lavender was combined with duck eggs, crisp whites, soft greens keeping it calm and pretty and reflective of the beautiful green landscape outside as well as the ocean. 

A bedroom suite decorated by Nina Campbell
A bedroom suite decorated by Nina Campbell

The staircase wallcovering is a textured wallpaper which was then hand-painted with these beautiful trees.  It makes a statement when you walk in but is also very gentle and calm. The pool house where the blue paisley bedroom is is a palette of blues, white and red. Opposite the blue and white bedroom is a fabulous and fun red and white guest room.  In addition to the family bedrooms, we were able to design a number of guest bedrooms which meant we could have some fun and go a little more mad and make them all different to each other.

Entrance hallway decorated by Nina Campbell
Entrance hallway decorated by Nina Campbell

My number one priority when creating a home for someone, is to listen.   By listening you learn.

Designing the original Annabel's was totally fabulous, as you would imagine!  The first time I met Mark (Birley - founder & owner at the time), propelled by the confidence of my youth I told him the bar design was ‘awfully ugly’ - his quick return was that if I was so clever why didn’t I do them myself… The rest is history. 

A view through to the stairwell designed by Nina Campbell
A view through to the stairwell designed by Nina Campbell

My most treasured possession is without doubt, our dogs. I also love my ceramic collection by the wonderfully talented Kate Malone, MBE, and a photograph of my father, Archie, by Norman Parkinson which is in my bathroom and I see everyday.

If I could be anywhere in the world right now, it would be at Lyford Cay, Bahamas where I have just had the most blissful weeks holiday, and it is such a special place for me and my family.

Close to home, my favourite London restaurant is... Dinings SW3 

For interiors and beauty, I live by... everything from Santa Maria Novella.

A House in Maine, published by Rizzoli
A House in Maine, by Nina Campbell, written by Giles Kime and photographed by Paul Raeside is published by Rizzoli

Most exciting upcoming project is our new store and showroom of course!  We're opening in really feels like a special homecoming of sorts as Pimlico Road is actually where I originally began to build the brand, 50 years ago now. It’s also the first time we will be housing our interior design studio with our retail space - it will be wonderful to have everyone together under one roof! 

Nina Campbell on location in Maine
Nina Campbell on location in Maine

Nina Campbell's A House in Maine, with Giles Kime and photography by Paul Raeside, £45, is published by Rizzoli with signed editions available at Nina Campbell, and nationally at all good booksellers.

Nina's new showroom, opening in May, is at 43 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE