Joie de vivre is possessed by Gilly Hernandez in armfuls. Just a glimpse of her Instagram feed tells a story of a lady who really and utterly celebrates life.  Perhaps this is no surprise as Gilly was born on the Carribean Island of Trindad and Tobago, a place which has been awarded by the United Nations the status of the Carribean’s Happiest Island on more than one occasion.
Living in London and blogging at London Hummingbird, tastemaker Gilly shares stories of her life, her passions and her influences.
Like me, Gilly shares a love of creating beautiful tables to share and enjoy with her friends and famiy.
An English Garden – a charming table by Gilly 

It is such a delight for me to share with you this exuberant and colourful At Home Style Series Interview with Gilly, enjoy!

Describe your personal design style in 3 words?

Cultural, creative, considered.

Take a walk on the wild side – just one of Gilly’s beautiful tables 

Favourite room in your home?

I love alfresco dining.  My favourite room is my garden which in the summer doubles up as a dining room as well as an outdoor cinema!

Recently, I created an outdoor cinema; by simply attaching white fabric on my garden fence we can watch all our favourite shows and films on a small projector which I bought from Amazon.  In the evenings we curl up with blankets, Pimms or a hot drink;  we have enjoyed the most memorable times under the stars.

Making the most of outdoors as an entertaining space is often overlooked.  Whether you have a country garden or city patio, extending your living space outside can be so rewarding.

A night under the stars, Gilly loves to entertain and make special memories in her London garden

What inspires you?

Almost anything in my surroundings really, though mostly travel.  I like to experience places the way locals do and prefer to take an off the beaten path approach to travel.

I really enjoy setting my table; my table settings are an expression of my travel experiences in destinations such as Africa and of my birth home, Trinidad and Tobago.

The worlds of art and fashion also inspire me and in fact I do consider my table settings to be a form of art; I adore playing around with colour and placement and take joy in photographing my tables and focusing in on one place setting at a time.

When life gives you lemons… a tropical inspired place setting 

Dining alfresco – bamboo, rattan and the most colourful Carribean fabric create a magical tropical setting

Your greatest home extravagance?

This has to be my antique bow front chest of drawers which has pieces of pearl inlay.  It was not intended to be an extravagance; it actually was a bargain find in a charity shop!

A couple years ago I sent a photograph of this piece to Christie’s and was shocked to learn of its value! Let’s just say it was very swiftly removed from my son’s room where it was piled high with video games and now resides happily in a more stately corner of our home.

Textures, pattern and placement – all important elements in Gilly’s gorgeous table settings 

What’s on your wish list?

Paintings for my home.  I am coveting a mixed media piece by Dutch Artist Carla Kranendonk whose work is inspired by her travels to West Africa.

I would also love a Callaloo Gouache painting by fine art painter who happens to be my bestie’s daughter, Alex Dukes.

On Gilly’s wishlist, this marvellous piece by Alex Dukes whose recent works are centred around Carribean food.

Your favourite interior designer?

Kit Kemp, Founder and Creative Director of Firmdale Hotels in London and New York.  Her style is playful yet classic and full of pattern and colour.  Her schemes make me so happy!

A beautiful bedroom designed by Kit Kemp © Kit Kemp

Thank you so much Gilly for sharing your time with us and letting us have an insight into your life, style and influences.  Keep up to date with Gilly on Instagram

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