Hello hello, design luvas and welcome back to another episode of Design Talk. This is not just the last interview for 2019 but also the last for this season! What! I know its cray-cray!
Now I usually realise this on a Friday but as I have been a little busy setting up for next season and also trying to get myself organised for Christmas I said I would treat you to a bit of design inspo today :) I wanted to finish off this season with a bang! SO who better to have in the design hot seat then the lovely Fiona from the Monochrome Stylist.
By day Fiona is a fashion brand manager and by night she gets creative in her Cheltenham home creating a monochrome wonderland! So let's sit back relax and see what design secrets and info Fiona has for us!
1: So :) Can you tell me a little more about you and what you feel best describes your interior style?
By day I'm a brand business manager for a major Fashion Brand, and as much as I love the role, it doesn't enable me to get that creative, which is where 'the monochrome stylist' came from.
I have always had an interest in Interiors so when I was working on my previous renovation I thought I'd join the insta community and share the progress.
This has since then progressed and I also have my own Etsy store selling greeting cards and monochrome prints. (The Monochrome Stylist)
My interior style definitely originates from Scandinavia, I love their minimalist approach to interiors; muted colours, the connection with nature, and the idea of creating a hygge home. I guess I take this one step further and mix it back with a slight industrial vibe and my love of monochrome so it's my own take on Scandi design.
2: What has been your favourite interior project you worked on and why?
I think my latest renovation has been my favourite. I had done period properties before, and this one was a house from the 60s/70s so it was great to do something different. It pushed me to create features and focal points where originally the house didn't have these and was quite bland. I needed to add some more interest to the house, for example, the wood clad wall in the dining room, which brings great texture and warmth to the space, and the floor to ceiling fireplace in the lounge with the addition of the electric panoramic fire
3: What was the inspiration behind this interior or where do you usually draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from all over. From spending hours scrolling through pinterest and instagram, to drawing ideas from places I visit. I am lucky enough to travel quite a lot with work, and I get to stay in some fab hotels, and dine in great restaurants, so I quite often pull ideas from these commercial places and use them in the home environment. I also love flicking through interior magazines whenever I get a small window - usually at an airport!
4: What are your go-to interior shops and why?
As I mentioned, I love Scandinavian design so I love most interior stores over there, one of my favourites being house doctor. They also have an awesome store called 'Lagerhaus' It kind of has an Ikea vibe, but more on trend and forward thinking, it has great designs at really competitive prices, the only downside is they don't ship to the UK or have any stores here.
I also love to find small businesses at pop-up markets and on Etsy/Instagram. You know when you buy from these places you're really making a difference to an individual rather than a giant corporate machine, and if you find people who share a similar style to yours, they curate the most fabulous ranges so you can go back time after time.
5: What in your view makes a great designed interior?
I think a balance of pleasing visual aesthetics with functionality. When designing any space, commercial or residential I think it's really important to have functionality. For me a minimal approach to my surroundings is key, so it's important for me to have loads of accessible storage, so I can pile things away so everything looks neat and tidy, but I know exactly where everything is and it's easy to get to.
In a home environment I also like to have a flow around the house, rather than each room doing something totally different and crazy. So in our latest renovation you'll see a monochrome palette grounding the entire house, and some details in the open plan kitchen downstairs are also translated into the bathroom. For example, the wood clad wall is replicated into tile form, the marble worktops are changed into wall tiles and we have the same Mandarin Stone flooring so there is a bit of consistency between the floors. I also like to keep some details the same running throughout, like door handles, light switches and woodwork, this again maintains that flow around the house.
6: Finally, What interior designer has inspired you the most in your design career and why?
I don't think any one designer has inspired me. As I mentioned earlier, I take inspiration from all around. There are so many amazing creatives out there and with platforms like instagram and pinterest you get to see so many different styles and meet so many different people and I think it's those people that inspire me the most. People like me who have a day job and then use Instagram as a creative outlet to share their wonderful ideas.