The Mysterious Art of Interior Design

Watching the latest episode of The Apprentice, which entailed designing a hotel room interior. I was a mix of bewildered, despairing and ultimately, lost in admiration, for the real life interior designers I work with, who are artists really.

I regularly talk up the work of Jessica Buckley, whose eye for colour and verve with pattern can literally bring any space to life with the flick of her dazzling selection of wallpaper samples. Jessica has opened a shop now on St Stephen street in Edinburgh, which means this incredibly talented lady is even more accessible for advice and consultations.

Glasgow designer, Catherine Henderson, has used a more subdued palette in her Pollokshields living room. Creating an interior scheme that actually works and is really pleasing is very much like doing a painting and not something anyone can do. You can train and you can learn tricks that work and you can educate yourself on trends and styles that you may wish to adopt, but you do need to have some talent in the first place.
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Going back to my roots

A little bit about me РI was born into quite straitened circumstances: my parents were a middle class, educated couple, who, somewhere along the line, had taken a vow of poverty: they met at a communist party meeting in Hampstead Рcute I know. This weekend was a nostalgia trip for me because I went on an Abigail Ahern masterclass, in Islington, where I lived for the first three years of my life, in a prefab estate on Brecknock Road.

I stayed in a smart hotel in Bayswater, The Shaftesbury, where my parents later lived, in a beautiful council flat, until they very sadly died when I was 21. After a long train journey, listening to a guy behind me talking Hungarian for the last half of the journey (my Dad was Hungarian) I was predictable a heap by the time I arrived, I phoned my cousin, who has heroically carried on the London baton for us and with whom I normally stay, and who completely understood – thank you Gaby, you are so kind, and I calmed down!

Abigail’s workshop was nothing short of amazing, you are greeted by this beautiful overgrown fig tree in the front garden (yes, she plays with scale a lot.)

The small group walked round enraptured, as we were treated to a house tour.
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Ode to a mouse

Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Written by Robert Burns after he had turned over a nest of a tiny field mouse with his plough. Burns was a farmer and farmers in his day, were typically far too busy to be concerned with the state of the mice in their fields. This poem shows Burn’s concern for all creatures and his innate humanity.

The ensuing verses should be compulsory reading for all builders and renovators, for whom consideration for every detail is of the utmost importance. Skirting and mouse mouldings can make or break the interior architecture of a home. Once you have decided on the style of your project, every detail needs to adhere. Whatever the period of your home, the skirtings and architraves need to be carefully chosen.
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Sophie Robinson

Have had a fab couple of days hanging out at the Life & Style Show in Edinburgh’s George street, with fellow design enthusiasts/anoraks: textile designer, Mairi Helena and artist, Tessa MacGregor, soaking up fashion, beauty and interior goodies. The Highlight, apart from being filmed and interviewed at the end, which was very flattering, had to be broadcaster and all round interiors supremo, Sophie Robinson‘s talk on ‘Interior Design Crimes’

Sophie straight up admitted that she had been given the brilliant title, by the organisers, but boy did she rise to the subject.
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Wallpaper in the kitchen?

This is an absolutely surefire way to add individuality to a kitchen. Is your kitchen chosen on a budget? Or one that is already there and you cannot afford to change? Leave it and splurge on some gorgeous wallpaper instead.

Imagine being able to enjoy some of these designs from Cole & Son while you were cooking up the supper?

You will need a splash back though. You can order clear perspex sheet online effortlessly, just type in the dimensions you require, a polished edge can be requested and holes for fixing – gosh is it good value compared to glass: less than half the price… and much easier to wield and handle…
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