working for many years at BBC Wales in Cardiff, Ruth
took the plunge in 2006 to set up her own interior design
and decorating business. She had been growing increasingly
interested in home renovation and decoration and realised
that a demanding full-time job did not afford her the
time or opportunity to express herself in this area.
Having studied Fine Art at Christ Church College, Canterbury
and worked as a painter of porcelain and enamels prior
to joining the BBC, it seemed a natural return to visual
Shortly after making her decision to leave the BBC,
Ruth suffered a life-threatening asthma attack and spent
a week in hospital and a month recuperating at home.
Having never suffered from asthma before, and considering
herself to be quite fit and active, it came as a huge
shock and caused her to think seriously about the life-change
she was about to make. Would working with paints, varnishes
and thinners trigger further asthma attacks? Had the
products she was using to decorate her own lounge shortly
before the attack had any part to play in causing it?
The lung consultant at the hospital had been unable
to pinpoint the cause, but had not ruled out a chemical
sensitivity to VOCs, the volatile organic compounds
found in most conventional paints.
quite by chance, she heard about natural paints from
two different sources, and this was the breakthrough
she was looking for. The more she learned about these
natural paints and decorating products the more she
realised that these were the way forward, and when she
started to use them there was no going back. They smelt
fantastic, they looked great, they’d been produced
without harming the environment, and they posed no risk
to the user.
had always been interested in environmental issues but
motherhood and the seriousness of her asthma attack
really brought home to her the need for a huge change
in our relationship with our planet. So Pink Hat is
all about creating wonderful environments in which to
live and work, without using harmful, polluting chemicals,
without plundering the planet’s precious resources,
and without leaving a big carbon footprint.
is what Pink Hat set out to achieve; simple and stylish
interiors with the emphasis on natural, reclaimed and
sustainable materials. Ruth uses wooden flooring from
sustainable timber sources; natural fabrics dyed using
organic pigments; low-energy lighting; reclaimed fixtures
and fittings etc. No petrochemicals are present in the
products she uses and she ensures that all the raw materials
come from environmentally managed sources, produced
using a sustainable ecological cycle.
is passionate about her work and the small, but vital
role it allows householders to play in protecting the
environment and their own well-being.