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Royal Haslar


Style On The Solent: Trinity House's NEW Show Apartment Image

Style On The Solent: Trinity House's NEW Show Apartment

9th January 2024

Hampshire-based interior designer JoJo Macnamara is the creative force behind the luxurious interiors of the first show apartment to be revealed at Trinity House. We quiz her on her inspiration – and how home owners can create the look. 

You have a longstanding relationship with Royal Haslar. How did it begin?
When I was first invited to look around Royal Haslar in 2019, I was blown away by the history and maritime architecture. My husband comes from a long line of seafarers, so there was an instant personal connection. Since then, I have designed several homes here, at Canada House and Goodrich House. I was thrilled to be asked to design the first show apartment at Trinity House.

What made this project stand out?
All the buildings at Royal Haslar are fabulous – everywhere you look there are gorgeous arches, staircases, mosaics and mouldings, complemented by the wonderful earthy colours in the grounds. As the main Grade II listed Georgian quadrangle building on the site, Trinity House is particularly exciting. The first-floor two-bedroom show apartment has stunning proportions, with high ceilings and huge sash windows, which means the spaces are flooded with the most glorious natural light. 

How would you describe your signature style?
Period features are always my anchor point: I love the challenge of highlighting motifs in classical architectural features alongside ideas for modern living. I like to create depth by layering textures using a range of linens, as well as velvets, statement lamps, artwork, ceramics and mirrors, whilst adding contemporary twists with colour and pattern.  

How did you decide on a colour scheme?
The palette in the undressed apartment was neutral – there were pale shades on the wall and in the Berber Twist carpet, plus a lovely contemporary Shaker-style kitchen.  I drew on both classical sailing themes and the natural elements for inspiration – the fresh blues of the sky and sea, and the range of greens on show in the promenade walkways of Trinity House. 

Behind the long ivory wave-headed and trimmed linen curtains at the reception space windows, for example, the Roman blinds feature a green and white block print pattern, instantly bringing them up to date.  Scatter cushions on sofas and chairs are in jewel-bright colours, too, softened by ruffled edges. 

What about the furniture?
We try to reuse as much furniture as possible from past show homes. Here, we picked out lovely painted washed wooden furniture and pared-back stylish velvet sofas. A round, washed wood dining table has a coastal feel, with statement dining chairs carrying oversized studwork. Less is more, but the pieces themselves are impactful and relevant to the proportions and scale of the architecture. In the kitchen we added natural handcrafted homewares from one of my favourite suppliers, Nkuku (

How did you approach the interior design for the two bedrooms?
Bedrooms are just as important as any other living space in a home, and I like to give every square inch a truly luxurious, sumptuous feel. In one of them, we have made a real design statement with the bed, which features a navy-blue velvet headboard freshened up with a contemporary block-printed raspberry-pink pattern. 

What are your go-to sources for furnishings and textiles? 
I like to mix up high-end British brands with good-value ranges. My go-to fabric brand is Hampshire-based Linwood (, whose ecologically responsible range has everything from plain, natural linens to richly patterned and coloured textiles and  quintessentially English botanicals. I also love the ultra-luxe GP&J Baker (, suppliers to the Royal Household, and whose designs draw on their incredible historical textile archive. 

Prestigious Textiles ( offer great value for money. Nkuku  ( is brilliant for sustainable handcrafted kitchenware and accessories, and for lighting and lampshades, I’ll head to Pooky ( and Vaughan Lighting ( 

Studio Macnamara also has its own online range, Indigo Green, which sells its core collection of timeless, globally inspired furniture, from cabinetry to coffee tables, chaise longues and ceramics.

How did you augment the natural lighting?
The apartment was ready fitted with subtle LEDs to the ceiling, so I worked on adding layered light through shades positioned at different heights throughout the apartment. Particularly effective are big statement lamps, with glossy brightly-hued ceramic bases, topped with tall, elegant shades.  

You’ve avoided using the generic artwork seen in so many other developments’ show homes. How did you choose such interesting pieces for the walls?
Art is so subjective, so it always takes careful consideration. I have tried to make the artwork personal, thought-provoking and also fun, always bearing in mind that residents of Trinity House are likely to have a passion for history, and to be sophisticated and well-travelled. To add texture and interest, I’ve also hung large, brightly coloured baskets on the walls.

You’ve brought in lots of greenery to the apartment. Fresh or faux?  
Really high-quality faux flowers, plants and palms are a wonderful way to bring nature and colour indoors, and are also an ecofriendly choice. They can also be reused and rearranged in different ways, changing the atmosphere of rooms in moments. I go for faux blooms with big heads to really make a bold statement. 

How have residents at Royal Haslar - past, present and future – inspired your designs?
Members of the Haslar Heritage Group have helped me understand the amazing history that surrounds each and every building. I always keep in mind that by buying a home here, people are starting an exciting new chapter in their lives, so I want to inspire them to consider new interiors looks, while still being within their comfort zone. I imagine their careers and travels over the years, and try to bring in a truly global appeal. 

What advice would you give to new homeowners at Trinity House? 
A move to Royal Haslar may well represent a fresh start, and home owners could be downsizing from a larger family home. It can be really exciting to embrace the changes but equally daunting to think of what to bring and how to furnish. I always encourage my clients to take stock of their things and bring their cherished pieces – antiques and older pieces can be woven into fresh and contemporary schemes very easily. It is also okay to let things go, as they can be recycled, sold on or given to family members. Artwork that has filled lots of different walls in a larger house can easily be rehung as a gallery-style wall in your new home.

How did your career in interior design begin? And what’s next for Studio Macnamara?
My interior design career started about 10 years ago, when I worked with a business partner on the refurbishment of yachts and villas in the South of France, before moving on to London homes. I set up my own firm, Studio Macnamara ( a few years ago, and built up a Hampshire client base with both coastal and country homes, in and around Lymington and the New Forest. 

I have loved working at Royal Haslar, and hope to be involved in creating not only more show homes, but to help fulfil the style potential of Royal Haslar’s communal spaces.  

To book a preview tour of the show apartment please contact the sales team on  T: 023 9200 2087  or visit the Royal Haslar website here

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