We talk to Judy Hutson to find out how she created The Pig Hotels style and find out a bit about the secret to their success…
When The Pig opened in Brockenhurst four years ago, Judy and Robin Hutson redefined the look of country hotels. Here, Judy tells us about the secret to the Pig hotel aesthetic, garden inspiration and the fictional Great Aunt Dorothy.
Judy Hutson’s Interior Style Q&A
What inspires your interior style aesthetic? The building I am working on and the views from the window, whether a walled garden, trees or sea.
What’s the secret to The Pig hotels interiors? An easy, relaxed style; nothing challenging or over precious. I use an eclectic mix of old and new to give the impression that the interiors have evolved over a number of years. We are forever sourcing pieces when we are out and about, and we have a large storeroom in the New Forest to keep it all.
What’s been your most challenging project to date? It’s always the latest project! One of many concerns is always whether a fabric selected keeps to its lead time and availability. If not then I have to go back to the drawing board and create a new scheme with the clock ticking. The possibility of furniture being delayed in a faraway port is also a worry.
How does your personal interiors style compare to The Pig hotels? Surprisingly, or perhaps not, it’s very similar.
What’s the last thing you bought for your home? A lovely garden parasol from Sunbeam Jackie and some of their gorgeous vintage fabric cushions.
What’s on your bedside table? A note pad for those middle-of-the-night thoughts and a groaning pile of books I never seem to get through. On the top is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I long to finish it rather than reading a few pages and falling asleep.
Favourite room in your home? The garden room. It’s surrounded on two sides with views onto our garden so I look out at a wonderfully shaped magnolia, hydrangeas, and ferns.
The Pig is renowned for being a real foodie spot. How do you create a relaxed dining atmosphere? Obviously, it is different in a home but in our restaurants, we try to bring the outside in with lots of culinary plants like basil, thyme, and marjoram. We have lots of old pots and containers on window ledges and restaurant tables. Our art on the walls – paintings of greenhouses and kitchen gardens – also reflects the garden outside.
What’s the next big thing? Our new venture The Pig at Combe, Devon. I start by creating a character in my head who could have lived there. For example, Great Aunt Mabel lived at The Pig. She was faded gentry, had dogs and wore tweed skirts and a baggy home-knitted cardigan. Great Aunt Dorothy, at The Pig on the Beach, was an eccentric artist who wore a smock and painted on the lawn overlooking the sea. Once I have a character, I forage for fabrics before taking my final selection to the site and trying them at the windows.
Originally posted in September 2015.