Brabantia Taupe Touch Bin and Kitchen Canisters

Design Insights Interview: Interior Decorator, Writer, Blogger and Stylist for Vogue, The Guardian, Independent, Sunday Times Style & InStyle

Suzi BoyleIt’s our final Design Insights Interview for 2012 but what better way to end this year’s series than with an exclusive interview with interior stylist and writer Suzi Boyle.

She’s a true design and style guru having trained at British Vogue.  Her work has since been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Time Out Magazine, Dazed and Confused, InStyle and Home & Comforts!

We are truly honoured that she agreed to take time to chat to the Brabantialife team…enjoy!


1.0 What inspired you to have such a keen interest in interior design?

I’ve always been a very visual person, blessed with ‘a good eye’ as my mum would put it. From about the age of 6, I was picking out presents for our family friends. It took a lot longer for me to become interested in home decor though!

I’d been a lifestyle journalist for a while, working in London covering mainly fashion and beauty, when suddenly lots of interior articles started coming my way. I loved writing them so much! I was given the chance to decorate a flat in London and, after that, I just knew it was something I had to get into. I took a intensive course and I’ve never looked back!

2.0 What trends do you most enjoy writing about? 

I’m really interested in the way our day-to-day environments effect us on a far deeper level than most of us would ever imagine. I recently wrote an article on clutter and the influence it can have on your mind. It was such an eye-opener!

Scientific studies have proven links between hoarding stuff and depression, feeling stuck, unhealthy links to the past etc. Some people might think of decor as superficial but I really believe our home, health and happiness levels are linked in all kinds of ways.

3.0 What decorating techniques would you recommend to a homeowner who wants to update a room without spending a fortune? 

Painting! It is such an obvious one but wow does it completely change a space. Consider how much natural light the room gets and where it falls before you do anything. The same colour can look so different in a multitude of spaces, so always use a tester.

It used to be a rule of thumb that to make a small space look bigger, you’d use a cool, light colour. But now there all great kinds of warm/cool tones (such as Farrow and Ball’s Elephant’s Breath) which mean you can get the benefits of both.     

4.0 What is your favourite design magazine/website? 

Ooh that’s hard one- I’m such a sucker for design magazines and spend a small fortune buying them from all over the world! The UK World Of Interiors always has me ripping out pages for inspiration. I love Elle Decor US’s website for room ideas and, in Australia, I always make sure I buy Belle and Vogue Living.

5.0 How about your favourite website or blog?

If I’m feeling stuck for inspiration I always turn to 1st Dibs. Some of the furniture is so rare and one-of-a-kind that it’s eye-wateringly expensive. But I find the more you look at beautiful furniture, the better you get at trawling antique markets and thrift shops trying to find a really amazing piece on a budget.

6.0 Tell us about one of your favourite projects

My favourite project always tends to be the one I’m working on at the moment. So right now I’m having fun helping a client transform where he lives into his dream apartment. A lot of people don’t trust their own taste so it’s great getting to know what someone truly loves and helping them to create somewhere that really caters for all their needs.

Some people have been scared off interior designers, thinking they charge large commissions on the products they buy. But really having someone that can help you enjoy your home to its’ fullest potential is a brilliant thing. And we don’t all do that commission thing- I like to charge by the hour, then all the furniture discounts I get, my client gets too.

7.0 What’s your favourite colour combination for the home?

I’ve been using lots of bright colours and patterns lately in Sydney but, if I’m doing a bedroom, I love a good tonal scheme. You know sometimes when you see an array of soft blue and greens used together and a bit of you just breathes “Ahhh”?

Some people have a natural eye for colour but, if you find it difficult, look at the colour wheel. A tonal scheme is when you chose varying shades and tints of colours next door to each other. It has a very calming effect.

8.0 What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?

At design school they drummed it into our head that curtains were of paramount importance, but I actually think lighting is! My pet hate is when you see a gorgeous big room with some tiny little light fitting- it instantly cheapens the space.

Even in small rooms, something bold and over-sized usually looks great! So, if in doubt, always scale-up!

9.0 Are there any insider interior design top tips we should know about for 2013?

Ok, this is going to sound really boring at first (but stay with me here) – the progress in bathroom lighting is really pushing boundaries at the moment. I’m excited about this as I love the look of a fabulous chandelier hanging above a bath.

I don’t really go in for trends – I prefer non-fussy design that will look beautiful for years and years. But I am excited about that lots plastic and artificial materials seem to be on the way out. Instead, people seem to be trending more and more towards timeless natural materials – wood, bamboo, shells, stone.

10.0 And lastly…(cheeky I know!) what’s your favourite Brabantia product and why? 

No, not at all- I love Brabantia products! I am going to have to say the Retro Bin 30 liters (no-one wants a small and fiddly kitchen bin, right?). I have one in London and, I promise I am not just saying this because you are interviewing me, but it’s the best freestanding bin I’ve used. I really miss it!

To find out more about Suzi head over to Facebook or Twitter.
Design Insights Interview: Interior Decorator, Writer, Blogger and Stylist for Vogue, The Guardian, Independent, Sunday Times Style & InStyle was last modified: February 15th, 2017 by Aime