Whistles women: Lulu Roper-Caldbeck
Lulu Roper-Caldbeck is co-owner of Darkroom, one of London’s most pioneering retail destinations. Selling an eclectic range of interior pieces and accessories, Darkroom has swiftly become a hot spot for shoppers in search of the hand-made, the unusual and the one-off.
A true arbiter of style, we talk to Lulu about how her enviable taste translates from her workplace to the North-East London family home she shares with her partner and son. This charming townhouse has been lovingly renovated with each thoughtfully curated space emanating her distinct personal touch – quirky, unique and undeniably stylish.
Do you have any top tips for styling your bedroom?
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. For me I always like dark walls, lots of comfortable bedding and to fill the walls and shelves with pictures and objects that add to making it ours, as it really is the one space that is. I grew up in a home where interior design was always important and my mum was always so meticulous about everything - the one place she backed down would be our bedrooms where we had free reign to do what we wanted. In a way I still feel a bedroom should have that freedom to design it as you wish, as apart from a partner, no one has to share it with you.
Who do you most admire?
I have constant admiration for my son Oscar. I am always inspired by his carefree approach to life which is ungoverned by the realities of being a grown-up and free from any worries or insecurities that stifle us as adults.
What attracted you to interiors and accessories?
Interior items and fashion accessories have always felt more lasting and permanent unlike the frivolity that sometimes surrounds fashion purchasing. Special pieces should last indefinitely without being governed by trends. I love the way a new accessory purchase such as a necklace or a clutch bag can instantly make an outfit feel different, likewise a room can be transformed with new cushions or ceramics.
What's a typical day like for you?
Busy. I have a 9-year-old son so our mornings are usually fairly fraught running around and getting out the door in time for school. At work things are equally insane especially because running your own company means you always have so many different roles to fill, which at Darkroom includes everything from shop keeping, buying, product designing, book keeping, PR, marketing and so on.
Who are your female icons?
All of the important ladies in my life who are so completely different but all give me the drive, determination and encouragement to achieve as much as I can.
What are you doing this weekend?
A good mix of everything - sleeping, eating, partying and generally hanging out with close friends and family who I rarely get to see as everyone seems so busy nowadays.
What inspires you?
I don't really have a list of music, songs, events, books or paintings that inspire me, but instead find inspiration anywhere – it comes from something intangible. It’s important to remember to directly experience something and I am always amazed at how people can discuss an exhibition or film they have read about online, without actually feeling the need to see it first hand.
How do you relax?
Head to the countryside - my parents live in the Cotswolds which is extremely beautiful and quiet. After a few days recharging, I always look forward to getting back to London.