I grew up in a barn conversion just outside St. Ives in Cornwall that my parents completely renovated over about fourteen years. We moved there when I was 7, and it wasn’t supposed to be such a big project. However, as we often see on TV programmes like Grand Designs, once you start it can be like opening a can of worms. There were even rat runs in the granite walls (these don’t exist anymore you’ll be pleased to hear)!
Surrounded by exposed granite walls and stripped wooden beams, as a teenager I tip-toed over wooden joists bolted to bare concrete floors (they were awaiting the underfloor heating pipes before the wooden floor could go down), I dreamed about how I would decorate, if it were up to me, once the work was finished.
Later, whilst working on my Graphic Design and Illustration Degree Show, I designed a range of soft furnishings and styled my area of the studio into a cosy corner. I illustrated and screen printed wallpaper, and also screen printed my illustrations onto fabric, which I used to make a range of cushions, handbags and beanbags using my old Elna sewing machine.
This long-term interest in the world of soft furnishings and interior design has led me to collect web links, photos and magazine clippings from a number of my favourite interior brands and designers. Actually, I have boxes and scrap books full of magazine clippings.
If you’re renovating a property, or thinking of giving a room a lick of fresh paint, here are some luxury interiors and homeware brands to look at for inspiration. Some might be obvious, others less so, find out here.
House of Hackney, London
“The luxury British interiors, fashion and lifestyle brand which reworks tradition for a new generation” I am utterly in love with their Hackney Empire wallpaper and fabric print (shown here). It features badgers drinking cocktails and raccoons drinking tequila, of course! It was one of their first prints and I’ve loved it ever since it was brought out.
Farrow & Ball
Farrow & Ball is famous for its edited palette of 132 eco friendly paint colours, each with its own unique story and name – from Dead Salmon to Elehants Breath, there’s a colour for everyone. Especially popular in affluent areas of the UK!
OK, my obsession with Anthropologie is becoming a little extreme, but in my eyes they can do no wrong! Check out their blog for inspiration galore.
The legendary fashion and lifestyle design store on London’s Regent Street. Always pop in if I’m passing and never disappoints.
Packed full with stunning architectural and interior design photography, each issue is more like a book than a magazine. Fits in well on the coffee table. Their website’s pretty slick too!
Catering for a wider range of budgets and tastes, Elle Decoration is great for more sensible yet stylish pieces and ideas for the home.
At Design Boutique, we’ve designed and built websites for a number of interior design businesses, architectural designers and soft furnishings suppliers.
And in case you’re interested, here’s the old converted barn!