I live with my husband and three boys. People often ask how we keep our home so tidy with the three of them, but they are really good boys who watch how hard mum and dad work to pay for nice things and they have respect for this. It is also important that it is a home too – where they can relax and forget any worries they may have.
We live in a cottage that is 400 years old – we have added an extension to increase the space with our growing family, and when this was designed we made it much more practical by adding a downstairs cloakroom, larger open plan kitchen and an extra bathroom upstairs. What we didn’t plan for is that our eldest is now 6ft 5″ and the ceilings are very low – we may need to look for our next project soon!
What inspired you to become an Interior Designer?
I have always loved interiors – even as a young girl at my parents I would clean and rearrange my bedroom most weeks! since then we have renovated all our homes, and I was always obsessed with home magazines and house programmes (especially Phil & Kirsty!)
I took my interior design qualifications over 12 years ago, and it was my sister who encouraged me back then to set up my own business. I would never have had the confidence if she hadn’t, and now – with a thriving business and many wonderful clients, I am so glad she gave me the push I needed.
Where’s the best place to start when re-decorating a home?
I would always say to focus on what element/colour that you already love and want to keep within the scheme. It can be a favourite work of art, cushion or item of furniture. Then, let the design evolve from there – it is so much easier when you have a starting point.
Do you have any top tips when looking to create a new style for home?
Use Pinterest and create boards for your room/s – it is a huge library of different designs/styles/ideas and can really help to show you what you are drawn to. It will also keep you focussed if you begin to feel overwhelmed at any stage and direct you back to your own path.
Make sure you use paint samples (large areas too) in each room – your natural light will change the paint colour quite significantly. Rather than paint the wall – you can use lining paper for this and move the samples from wall to wall.
Work out your budget at the start and stick to it – it is easy to get carried away and make costly mistakes if you don’t lay out your wish list at the start.
What do you recommend to clients on how to use colour?
Colour can be very personal and evoke different feelings too. The light in your own home will also dictate to some extent what colours are best to use ( ie if it is North facing – this is a cool light and the room may appear darker, so it is best to work with lighter shades to keep it feeling bright but with warm undertones so it doesn’t feel cold. You can also work with the dark/cooler light by going very deep and bold creating a dramatic atmosphere)
What do you consider to be important when choosing a new sofa and fabric?
I would definitely consider who is going to use the sofa – for me, I have three boys so as much as I want it to look stylish it also needs to be very practical. The best sofa fabric I have found for this purpose are velvets – they look stunning, feel warm and cost but are also extremely practical and can be washed/rubbed clean very easily.
It is also important where the sofa is going to be placed, if it is in a bright window consideration has to be made for fabric fading so lighter colours would work best. Lastly – for me, it has to be really comfortable and make you want to snuggle down and relax easily. I always suggest to clients to try before they buy for this purpose!
What made you choose our Walter sofa… and has it lived up to expectations?!
I simply loved the Walter sofa for how comfortable it was – every time I went to the Cabyn showroom and I sat down – I couldn’t believe how cosy it felt. It also looked great too and I was able to choose any fabric for it to be made in. I totally love him still and would highly recommend the Walter to anyone looking for a simple, stylish and cosy sofa option.
How would you describe your own interior style?
My own interior is very homely, modern country with a nod to a Brocante theme too. It is a mixture of old, loved treasures – all with their own stories, together with more modern touches. It is a home first and foremost, where the boys feel happy and safe.
Do you have any favourite pieces of furniture or homeware?
I still love my old, antique kitchen table. I bought it from an antique shop over 20 years ago – it had painted legs (before painting furniture was back on trend!) and has watched my three boys grow around it. We need a new one now really to fit us all around, but I can’t part with it – it holds lots of stories for me!
Which is your favourite space and why?
I love our newly revamped bathroom! I love a bath most nights, my 30 minutes of peace…..and now we have a newly tiled patterned floor, panelling and lovely new finishes from ‘Bristan’ it really is a lovely place to be.