Delighted to be featured in today’s edition of Scotland on Sunday’s At Home Magazine. Jane Barlow’s photography is mouth-wateringly delicious and it was equally delightful spending a morning chatting to Fiona Reid about interiors. Can’t wait to create cards from Jane’s stunning images and to leaflet Edinburgh with details of my interior styling classes in February and March.
We bought Woodlands because harsh winters, wet summers and the dismal parking situation meant we’d fallen out of love with Georgian and Victorian architecture. Frequent trips to the US meant we longed for an American style double garage with interior access, lower heating bills, a vast open plan kitchen and sealed windows. Our triple aspect place in Strathearn Road was beautiful but eventually the arctic windows, draughty fireplaces and a distinct lack of underfloor heating got to me. My then partner’s love of tennis meant we hoped to find a house with tennis court but soon discovered there are fewer than 5 such homes in the Grange (most on Whitehouse Terrace). Not thrilled with the idea of taking on a vast Georgian property complete with dodgy roof, lacklustre plumbing and heating bills that would trouble Russian oligarchs we agreed to look at one new build, Woodlands.
I didn’t need much persuading to move round the corner to a warm modern home with underfloor heating, floor to ceiling windows and a vast modern kitchen overlooking some of the most picturesque grounds in Edinburgh. But it was daunting moving into a minimalist blank space with 2 young children and an absent partner working in Australia and the US when he wasn’t on the tennis court. What to do? Where to start? Where to go for help if you don’t know any interior designers?
Many people live in homes they don’t know what to do with. My advice is make the most of what you have, anchor your home to your identity and fill and style your home to suit your lifestyle. Colour, flowers and whimsical unexpected touches in a home attract interesting people and create their own beauty. Beautiful rooms ebb and flow and are ever changing, like the seasons. A little chaos in the mix stops rooms feeling ‘forced’ or ‘put together’. There should be a constant stream of new finds, exotic buys and daring pieces that push the boundaries. Rooms should entice of their own accord and invite you to linger. You should love coming back to your home and spend many pleasurable hours snuggled up in it. Then spend yet more entertaining or celebrating at home in it with friends. But if you never want to leave and move on there’s something wrong.
Great retail interior design shops like Acanthus, Brunstfield (owned by good friend Rebecca Currie) and Casa Morada, Causewayside (owned by best friend Eva del Hoyo) offer free interior design services as well as vintage, one off pieces at a fraction of traditional interior design shop prices. They’ll visit you at home, give you lots of ideas and help you realise the interior of your dreams.
But if you want to live with what you have, feel something isn’t working, but can’t think what it is then that’s where an interior stylist can help. It doesn’t cost much to transform a living space. Just a few tricks to learn how to make the most of what you have, create what you can’t afford and source the stunning one off pieces you can’t find or live without.
My passion for Nordic Black interiors began with embracing the dark stuff in my life and decorating my home to suit cold, Nordic climes with warmth and cosiness. I added dark colours, black home accessories and faux vintage fireplaces, chandeliers, mirrors and silk flowers throughout in place of neutral, minimalist tones and pale ubiquitous, boring stuff. It worked wonders for my spirit and if you’d like to see what I’ve done in person or want to explore interior styling further, come along to a styling course in February at my home, Woodlands, 139 Grange Loan. There’ll be lots for you to see and learn about interiors – especially interiors that aren’t working – not to mention, ideas a plenty and tours to my favourite vintage and interior shops.
Have a lovely Sunday everyone and look forward to meeting some of you in February.