The Interview: Julie Hall

The brand new collection of bed linen and homewares from Murmur has arrived and is making waves! We speak to head of design, Julie Hall to find out more...


The Interview

With its subtle palette, beautiful collection of patterns and understated design philosophy, the brand new collection from Murmur is fast becoming a designers’ favourite. Quietly stylish and utterly effortless, this range of bed linen, cushions, tableware, bath linen and homeware accessories fits seamlessly into any interior scheme and exudes a feeling of tranquillity that the Houseologists have fallen in love with.

To celebrate the arrival of this brand new collection and to give you all a little more insight into where the wonderful Murmur aesthetic comes from, we grabbed a chat with the brand’s head of design, Julie Hall. From the travels of Murmur’s creative team to a palette inspired by the dyes of nature, the Murmur range is filled with thoughtful detailing and inspirational ideas…

Julie Hall interview - Murmur bed linen collection

Q: How would you describe the Murmur collection?

A: Murmur is the first homeware collection from Bedeck and has a relaxed, easy-to-live-with style that is flexible enough to work with a variety of settings. We wanted to create something that was simple but also had an honesty and integrity about it. It’s an exciting new development for us as the range is multi-category and includes ceramics, glassware, bed linen, accessories, towels, stationery and home fragrance. The natural materials used, which include wood, hand finished ceramics, cotton, linen and wool, are key to the Murmur look, adding to the unique handcrafted aesthetic.

Q: How is it different from the other Bedeck ranges?

A: Murmur very much has its own handwriting, which sets it apart from our other in-house brands; Fable and Bedeck 1951. Murmur brings confident simplicity to every area of the home. We wanted to enable the Murmur consumer to incorporate pieces from the range into their current living space and quietly refresh and update it. The soft colour palette of faded indigos, blushes, greys and chalks are balanced with sophisticated patterns which add a relaxed feel to the collection enabling it to work in a variety of settings. It allows the customer to create their own story.

Julie Hall interview - Murmur Still Navy bed Linen

Q: Where did the inspiration for the brand come from?

The Murmur design process was very organic. My brief was to create a new homeware brand that would easily translate across a wide range of product areas from soft furnishings through to ceramics. The Murmur design team gathered ideas and inspiration from our travels around the world, pulling together images, fabric swatches and artwork that we combined to create mood and colour concepts. We used these ideas as a basis to evolve the brand identity and develop the final product range.

Q:Were there particular places, materials or eras that were considered when the designs were being created?

A: I recently travelled through India and found it truly inspirational. The beautiful use of hand-dyed colours and patterns in textiles combined with the hand-applied techniques were fantastic, not to mention India’s amazing architecture and culture. The thriving markets were a real treat, full of coloured gemstones, spices and beautiful handmade Kantha throws. These experiences have subtly influenced the development of the Murmur collection through our use of natural, honest materials and the variety of printing and finishing techniques that will feature in future Murmur collections.

Julie Hall interview - Murmur cushions and baskets

Q: Where are the pieces created?

A: The Murmur designers have worked with artisan suppliers and craftsmen from around the world to develop the different elements within the collection. The wide variety of pieces within the collection have been sourced from as far away as China, India and Thailand, but we have also used European and local suppliers to create the perfect elements we wanted to include in the range.

Q: The pieces have a beautiful pared-back palette – what was the inspiration behind the colours?

A: The colour palette was inspired by nature and beautiful natural dyes, which were historically extracted from plant sources. Indigo, being one of the earliest dyes used, is core to the Murmur palette, we balanced this with the warmth and inspiration of madder to create the beautiful rich red and a tint from this gives us the soft blush. The neutral colours were based around the beautiful soft tones of natural linens, flax, and chalky greys and whites. The colours are tonally balanced so they will look wonderful used alone, but also work when mixed and matched and layered with each other.

Q: What kind of feel do the pieces create in an interior space?

A: The Murmur look sits well in a very relaxed interior space. The beauty of the collection allows the consumer to experiment with pieces and colour-ways and they all sit harmoniously together.

Julie Hall interview - Murmur cushion collection

Q: Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

A: The cushions are some of my favourite elements of the collection. They come in a range of soft shades and patterns and the fabric and finishes make them really tactile. They’re like the mission statement underlining what Murmur is all about – natural materials, block prints and organic shades.

Q: We love the acacia tableware, what kind of dinners do they lend themselves to?

A: Food and entertaining are so much a part of our daily lives now. The wooden elements add to the unique handcrafted aesthetic of the table. These pieces are for everyday use: to use and to love and to become part of family life. They’re about enjoying the company of family and friends gathered together over relaxed, informal meals; it’s about helping yourself or sharing a plate with a friend. It’s about taking more time than you think you have to enjoy lunch.

Julie Hall interview - Murmur tableware collection

Q: How would you describe your own style?

A: My personal style is very understated. As my role at Bedeck involves working with colour and pattern all day, I prefer to keep the interior of my own home more tranquil with a pared-back look. Chalky white walls and pale wooden floors provide the perfect backdrop for some of the antique furniture I have invested in over the years, but I also add more modern pieces so it doesn’t feel stark.

Q: What do you love to use when you are decorating a room? Particular colours, prints etc?

A: I have used neutral colours and textures to decorate my home so that I can showcase my collection of antique textiles and Kilim rugs that I have collected over the years. Many were bought in Istanbul about 20 years ago and have lovely faded colours.

Julie’s top tips for styling the Murmur collection:

1. Tone and texture can be mixed and matched for a relaxed, comfortable look. Handcrafted finishes and textural contrasts will quietly update your living space.

2. Bed linen is at the heart of the Murmur collection. Smooth cottons and linen blends in natural tones are layered with cushions and throws in a range of soft shades and subtle patterns to create your own personal sanctuary.

3. Kitchens have become social spaces, perfect for informal entertaining. Mix handcrafted stoneware and artisan glasses with wooden bowls and platters to create an informal setting to gather with family and friends.

4. Towels and robes in understated patterns and softy sculptural textures can be combined to transform your bathroom into a serene and stylish environment in which to relax.

5. Murmur has a down to earth simplicity. Its handcrafted heritage and relaxed aesthetic allow every element of the range to blend seamlessly into your home mixing old and new, vintage with contemporary, designer with high street finds. It’s all about creating a space that is stylish, relaxed and effortless.

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