1.0 What or who inspired you to become an interior designer?
I’m not really an interior designer, more a lady builder / designer and I ended up working in property completely by accident in my mid-twenties. I started a specialist building company and fell in love with taking houses apart and putting them back together again, from this evolved a passion for design.
2.0 What trends did you most enjoy working with in 2011?
Hmmmm, as much as I adore seeing new interior products, reading style magazines and visiting trade shows like 100%, I don’t really do ‘trends’. I tend to take inspiration from the property itself or the owners and their personalities. I don’t believe in imposing my design style on everyone else’s home, every house is different and should be treated as such.
3.0 What decorating techniques/ideas would you recommend to a homeowner who wants to update a room without spending a fortune?
Painting is by far and away the cheapest way of updating a room. My tip would be buy samples, put them on the wall and live with them for a few days. Paint changes hue throughout the day, into the evening and in artificial light, so make sure you pick the perfect shade for your room. Good quality paint is worth investing in, it gives a better, longer lasting finish.
Think about bands of colour in a contemporary scheme instead of the whole room, or for vintage style designs, I’ve recently fallen in love with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint for upcycling furniture, it’s a delight to work with. This mahogany and faux leather toy box below was transformed in just a few hours. Also shop around and wait for those BOGOF buys in DIY stores, that way you get your paint for half price!
4.0 What is your favourite design magazine?
5.0 Tell us about one of your favourite interiors
I adore the design work of Marcel Wanders, it’s all so over-sized, magical and Alice in Wonderland. This image is from the Mondrian South Beach
Hotel in Miami – I would DIE for a staircase like that 🙂
6.0 What’s your favourite colour combination?
I usually favour simple schemes with a splash of colour. For Half Built House there are four very different homes with four very different colour schemes – I’ve tried to find the colour combo perfect for each property and opted for some unusual choices, including amber, verdigris, navy, turquoise and violet – though not all together! Personally I always seem to be attracted to monochrome schemes, black and white ticks a lot of my boxes…. it’s how I like life to be 😉 I rarely plump for pastels but lean towards vivid brights and I’m a complete magpie, loving my metallics.7.0 What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
Good decoration comes from good preparation. If you decorate yourself, never skimp on filling gaps, sanding down bumps, filling cracks with soft filler and always wet your caulking finger to get a smooth finish. If you have a decorator, never skimp on cups of tea.8.0 Are there any insider interior design top tips we should know about for 2012?
Watch Channel 5’s Half Built House
for some great building and design tips, of course!
9.0 And lastly…(cheeky I know!) what’s your favourite Brabantia product and why?
dryer because it’s just so cleverly designed for small spaces. Perfect for smaller gardens, neat and innovative.
Channel 5’s Half Built House is currently scheduled to begin at 8pm on Wednesday 11 July 2012. Sian’s blog is at www.moregeous.com.