When I got a phone call from a lovely young lady saying ‘I’m really excited about buying our brand new house soon, but then my heart sinks because I have no idea what I want it to look like… and I don’t know where to start!’..’Can you help?’
‘Haha, yes of course!’ I smiled.
In situations like this when a client has absolutely no idea what’s so ever what it is they want, I start by asking is there anything at all you wish to incorporate in your house? This could be anything from the sofa to a little trinket box.. something which can inspire and kick start the design.
‘No, I want everything new!’
In this situation I would then suggest getting onto Pinterest and look at as many interiors on there until you see a style which makes your heart skip a beat.
My client did exactly this and fell for the fresh clean look of the Nordic Design.
As their property is a brand new house, I was pleased she had chosen this style which I knew would make their new home sing!
Here are the results…
Design & Design
I thought what a cool gift to give a Daughter .. An Interior Design Makeover! I wouldn’t usually load my car with interior sample books of wallpaper and fabric, as I think it’s best to keep an open mind for my clients until I have met them. I like to chat and build up a profile of info such as their personality, their lifestyle, the style of the property together with their likes and dislikes before embarking on the Design or the Sample Book path.
Not in this case.. ‘bring tons of samples!’
Within 30 minutes, Katie chose the latest and hottest design by Clarissa Hulse who is associated with Harlequin.
Good on ya .. !!!! This girl’s got seriously good taste.
Katie wanted to keep her colourful headboard and the rock ‘n’ roll light fitting .. so right there, we get the design flowing.
Making sure we keep One Direction popping and a bopping around her room too.
Had a lot of fun with Katie and her family pulling it all together! And have been commissioned to design the remaining rooms.
Here are the Before and After shots..
Last year, we had a distraught customer who came into Flair Interiors exclaiming his despair of how he wanted his home to be made into a place to love, ‘as at the moment I’m not loving it,’ and went on to say he really didn’t know where to start. ‘Let’s start with the kitchen!’ I suggested.
On arrival, I saw that the ceiling had collapsed.. I listened to the explanation that his eldest Son had left the bath running.. I said ‘well at least the plumber has easy access to the bathroom!’.. Which was to be on going at the same time.. ? I’m a fan of kitchen nooks if there is the golden opportunity to create one, as they tend not to be too formal, and add a welcome and relaxing space in a room where it is buzzing with family life.
This is one of the four bedrooms of a project which has been ongoing for over 12 months now. It has been a challenging project as there have been damp issues which needed addressing. So we have had new windows fitted, new roof, pointing etc etc.. which has a knock on effect within the interior of the property. So, a slow interior design project, however, needs must, and thankfully I actually enjoy all aspects of bringing a house back into shape with the craftsmanship, hard graft and talents of my workmen.
I have ‘before’ photos somewhere.. but it’s such a while ago when I took them I’m struggling to find them. 😱
My clients Son wanted colour, fun and the biggest desk we could fit in. Considering the room is quite small, by making use of the alcove, we managed to squeeze in his large desk along with a bed, drawers and wardrobe. Yaahhh
So here the design brief consists of, industrial, masculine, and ‘attitude’!
It can be tricky working with a small room which requires storage for clothes, shoes etc, a double bed, a bedside table and working around a window. However, I Spy an alcove which is crying out to have fitted wardrobes/shelves built in that space, bearing in mind I am working on a budget here. So we got to it, and by using ‘mdf’ materials, once built in, which we then painted and chose nice handles, we (well, my super duper workmen 😬) created plenty of storage space which doesn’t encroach into the room, on a budget. Again this design suits the character of my clients son who is currently away studying in Bulgaria..
What I love about interior design is discovering how different we all are. As our personalities are different, then so will our tastes in clothes, food, humour, music, films, and of course, decor. So, right there, my job is never boring.
A fine example here is showing how this bedroom is so different from my clients Brothers’.
The previous bedroom design is from the youngest of 3 siblings, (16) and this bedroom design is from the ‘middle’ Brother who is studying in Cork, Ireland.
He wanted calm, classical, masculine and no fuss. Oh, and a chaize!
Courtney Birchall wanted a change from her Scandi style apartment & wanted a nod in the direction towards colour, pattern and glamour.. As soon as I showed her the latest designs from Clarissa Hulse from Harequin, Courtney knew immediately which she loved.. ‘I want that, that , that and that…’? Ok!!! I’ll get them in perfect pattern clashing order!! Here are the results..
The Great Interior Design Challenge
I had a mad moment one Friday morning when I suddenly decided I wanted to be a part of this new Interior Design show which everyone was talking about.
I wrote out a little bit about myself and my background.. Hovered around the send button.. Then pressed it?
Within a few minutes I was contacted by the producer and the rest is history..
I felt chuffed to be chosen as one of the 16 designers out of thousands to be given the opportunity to express my design creation and I felt excited, and scared too!
My homeowners were a lovely German couple, Lucas and Elaine.
The brief is emailed exactly one week before filming commences. A budget of £1,250.00 is given. A producer is at the end of the line/email for assisting in sourcing the items necessary which I require for the design. Moodboard, floor plan to scale, a sketch, time spreadsheet, and budgeting is all emailed to the producer .. A lot going on .. A definite challenge, and that’s before the designing has begun.
Ok, everything is in place.. Ready for setting off to my location… Croydon… GREAT!!!
I set off on Friday morning at 10am and arrived at my hotel at 6.30pm.
Filming starts in the morning.
I have already met my camera man, Charlie, at my house which was twice to film.
Twice because .. 2hrs filming my home interior and an interview from me for the GIDC and BBC producers. Once both parties are satisfied, Charlie returned to do another 4 hours of filming for clips for the show.
Everything which I have sourced, both online and locally from my end, is collected and gathered together for my arrival on set. Everybody who I meet, the Director ( who called me up four times on my journey down to check I was ok), the remaining producers, the other 2 designers, the homeowners and the judges, Sophie and Dan. All lovely and friendly.
The next 3 days are packed with dilemmas, hard work along with total exhaustion. However the adrenaline is helping me get through it.
Ok.. 3 days in and the design is finished..
It’s a wrap..
Homeowners thrilled and I’m totally whacked!!!!
But I’ve had a blast and it was a cool way to spend a weekend.
I learnt so much, gained experience, a little more confidence, fulfilment and gained some great new people to keep in touch with.
I’m on my way home.. And I’m laughing at the conversation I had with Charlie, my cameraman.. I asked him to come in on a group photo with the homeowners and Martin the Director.. He said, ‘no, I’ll skip it if you don’t mind’! ‘Why’? We all asked.. ‘Because I’m camera shy’! He said…
Had such fun…
It’s a huge pleasure to be commissioned to design this characterful, charming farmhouse which is nestled within the beautiful and infamous Ribble Valley. Working with these two busy, dynamic and arty enthusiasts is an absolute pleasure and I’m thrilled to be involved with their passion for design, art and most definitely their love for Rock ‘n’ Roll briefs.
The kitchen was already underway when I took this project on. However, Louise had another cupboard ordered to go in this unwanted window space but I felt it would look a tad random because of the stone around the edges. So another cancelled cupboard! This area was for Louise’s Daughters baking ingredients, I suggested putting them out on display.. Here is the result… Perfect styling for a farmhouse kitchen.. Bake away….
The Drawing Room
I have a bug bearer for how furniture is situated in a living space.. Sofa’s on an angle – not good! Sofa’s pushed right back to the wall – not good! Sofa’s and chairs too far apart from each other – also not good!!
Zoning is key to a drawing room. It has to be sociable, inviting and welcoming, a place to relax either alone or with your chosen loved ones.
Once we have the furniture displayed correctly, we can now steer into the interior design aspect, moving towards making the drawing room a favourite space to hang out in.
What I picked up on immediately in Justin and Louise’s drawing room was Justin’s creative and beautiful art work – paintings, sculptures, vases and his love of the outdoor life. My eye went on to capture Louise’s cushions made from her late Fathers shirts, his sword, his walking sticks and shoes played a part, therefore, Louise wanted a presence of her Father around her, which meant the design had to be based around Justin’s art and Louise’s Father.
Structural work was involved – Where the double doors are present now, before, this area was blocked off, and the TV was here. The sofa’s were at an ‘angle’?, and the flow into the adjoining room was fiercely blocked off, therefore, it was screaming to be knocked through to create a natural flow into the dining room which is the hub of this busy family’s life.
Here are the before shots…
Yes, the drawing room is very calming, elegant and … A place to escape!!!
As Justin and Louise are eclectic in their design style and lifestyle, I felt the need to create a sitting zone for their loved ones and friends to hang out in, to chill, listen to music, catch up on the gossip .. Yes, just simply switch off!!
This was the dining room before, and the seating area was situated at the bottom end of the dining area. I immediately could see it was screaming to be switched around. Creating a snug space where the dining area felt poky, and the dining area into the large space where the seating area looked too spaced out.
Here are the results..
I have not taken a before shot of this .. Why??? I don’t know!!! Before it was a bright orange, which Justin said gave him a headache .. So you get my drift of what we had before .. Orange was once hot.. But NOT now!!! Louise had a display cabinet ordered for here, matching the kitchen. As storage space wasn’t necessary I suggested some pattern, lighting and some farmhouse furniture.. To which Louise said yes!! A huge financial bonus too, as the expensive display cabinet was now cancelled. This alcove is in the dining area where the remaining walls are a light shade if country grey. Adding the harvest table and soft lighting creates an area which says.. Look at me.. Don’t I look great..!!
What I sooo love about Interior Design is working with the different design trends which are out there! I’m a country girl at heart, so I tend to hang out with the designs which are a constant reminder to me of nature and the wonders of the beautiful countryside in which we are surrounded.
So it came as no surprise that I squealed with joy when my gorgeous client Louise Birchall said she would like the design to compliment the view of the countryside, and a space she could feel relaxed in as she would like to work from home at times too!
We decided to go for the rustic Scandinavian style design, and here are the results…
Totally enjoyed working on this modern/retro house belonging to a Gentleman who wanted a home to look forward to relaxing in at the end of his long days.
I felt the need to mix logs, modern elements and colour to Ian’s house, as I had picked up on his calm, sensible and fun character.
Very important to capture the personality of who I am designing for, as we need to make the space right the the client or it is not going to work.
We decided it would look great to have a piece of art work in the large space behind the dining table. Together we chose the colourful landscape piece (Ian is a landscape gardener) and dragged those colours from that into the sitting area.. Creating a coherent flow which allows the eye to capture.. Bringing balance.
Together with moving and changing the style of the radiators,(ugly radiators must be hidden or changed) changing and adding crucial lighting elements in all the necessary areas, we have created a practical, relaxing, fun and coherent vibe in both the kitchen and the sitting room.
Here are the results….