We spoke to Jenny Hurren, actress turned interior guru on why she made the career change, her dream home and how she finds inspiration.
As an actress, most would have said that Jenny Hurren had made it in life. However she wasn’t satisfied – that is until her small business she started to survive between jobs, grew wings and took off in 2008.
You were an actress before starting your interiors business. Why the change?
I couldn’t bear the work I had to do to make ends meet in between acting jobs. I used to work in Harrods spraying perfume on passing shoppers and spent hours standing in silence dreaming up business ideas. I taught myself e-commerce with ‘For Dummies’ books and started a small giftware website. Whilst sourcing products for the website I stumbled upon a chest of drawers at a trade show that Mark and I had in our bedroom. We had bought it on eBay and discovered that the seller had completely ripped us off. So we bought five of them and put them on eBay at a better price. They all sold within a week and we bought some more. This process continued until we had filled the ground floor of Mark’s mum’s house with furniture. On the day she hit the roof (she couldn’t see the telly) we moved everything to a storage facility and Out There Interiors was born.
Have you always been interested in interiors?
Yes. Sabrina The Teenage Witch used to have hubcaps stuck on her bedroom wall. As a kid I spent years collecting hubcaps to replicate her display. I was also obsessed with candles and incense and hippy décor. My room was filled with hanging plants and cacti and stick insects… I was a strange child.
Where do you find inspiration?
Ever since purchasing my first home I have devoured interiors magazines. I subscribe to about 20 titles and there are literally thousands stacked up in my office. I also live in Brighton and spend most weekends pottering around the North Laine which is always so full of colour and quirky inspiration.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a career in interiors?
It’s a big industry so firstly decide what you want to do. I think starting a blog documenting your interests, ideas and style is really important these days. A strong online presence is going to be important no matter what area you end up in.
What is your favourite interior trend at the moment?
Without a doubt what Elle Decoration describe as ‘The New Modern’. This trend is characterised by rich, warm interiors that don’t take themselves too seriously but are expertly executed. Think jewel coloured velvet, lacquer, coloured marble and metallic. Bold, brave and individual. I am filling Out There Interiors with pieces that subscribe to this trend at the moment.
Describe your dream home and its interiors.
My dream home isn’t far off what I have at the moment so I am incredibly lucky. It’s a period townhouse close to the sea in central Brighton. If I’m going to get greedy I’d like another floor please (already thinking of digging down for a basement) and a large south facing garden. Oh and I’d also like a spa, a cinema and a parking space! The dream interior would include long shag pile carpets in every room (my partner can’t stand it) and an abundance of ornate mirrors, fairy lights and palm trees.