Another week has zoomed by which means I’ve recorded another Live Your Own Way Podcast. Episode Four is with Francesca Rowan Plowden chatting about her past acting work, interior design career to date and how she recently founded the brilliant Design Havens for Heroes charity where designer are making over NHS Staff’s rooms in their own homes.
There is so much planning at the moment with several teams to ensure a smooth running operation.
I’m honoured to be part of the brands team and also designing some homes in East Anglia. We have brands involved such as including Sofa Workshop, Little Greene, Sofology, Carpetright and Matthew Williamson to name just a very few. There are hundreds of designers looking forward to being assigned their rooms for the lovely NHS people – it’s very exciting.
Francesca tells me how the initial idea came about and what the future holds, now that we are on the verge of starting the physical work.
When it comes to her career, I found Francesca’s experience working on stately homes really insightful – the process from start to finish and of course the challenges that might come. It’s always interesting understand how other interior designers develop their concepts, especially on homes with such history.
These images are above are from Goodnestone Park where Rowan Plowden collaborated with Marcus Crane to completely renovate a deserted home.
This is her work at Battel Hall on Leeds Castle Estate which we also chat about. A two year restoration project completed in 2018. Maintaining the history and enhancing it with colour. Absolutely beautiful.
Kingshill Farmhouse on the Elmley Nature Reserve. Francesca transformed a once derelict 16th century farmhouse into a magnificent family home, ready to be let on the Air B&B holiday rental market. I really love the colours she has put together here.
A stunning panoramic view here. This 3 bedroom property was completely redesigned and renovated using modern, clean, minimal styling a few years back and we talk about it on the Podcast and how it has also been greatly received on instagram.
Really hope you enjoy this week’s catch up. I’ve given details on there but will pop some here too about the charity. Find the website here where you can nominate an NHS friend or family anywhere in the UK. Plus there are regular updates on the instagram page.
Here are links to episode one,two and three if you missed them.
It’s week three already on the my Live Your own Way Podcast which means a new guest. Thoroughly enjoyed talking to London based desinger Eva Sonaike about her business, life and journey to becoming owning her own successful interiors company.
A woman after my own heart, her passion for bold textiles and homeware is huge.
Her mission is to help people create unique homes full of colour and elegance inspired by her Nigerian roots combined with a love for Mid Century – inspired by her home in growing up in Germany.
It didn’t take long for a very big and well known store to spot her bold, unique work in the early days which quickly spurred the business on. The brand now stocks in five continents across the world having grown over the last eleven years.
Starting out with cushions, they now produce textiles, lampshades, pouffes, rugs with a brand new exciting addition on it’s way.
I found this chat so informative – especially for anyone wanting to enter the industry as she’s so generous with her experiences starting out and how she goes about running Eva Sonaike day to day with the process for creating each collection, from how she combines patterns with colours in the process – to making the business run smoothly in all of the countries she stocks in. There’s so much love and thought that clearly goes in to her work and we discuss this all in great length.
We also talk about Eva’s life as a journalist and TV producer prior to her starting the business. Also of course her own home colour schemes and whether they reflect what she designs herself.
It felt a bit like I was a bit like chatting to an old friend. We haven’t met before but hopefully we will cross paths soon as we seem to have a lot in common having both worked in TV and our love of textiles. Eva is absolutely lovely and her life is really fascinating to learn more about. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as liked recording it.
It was a great week for my new Podcast in the Itunes Design Charts with the first episode. Thank you for listening. For Episode 2, I’ve chatted to the very lovely Laura Jane Clark. She is an Architect and TV Expert on BBC2’s Your Home Made Perfect amongst other shows such as Shed of the Year and Ugly House to Lovely House with George Clarke.
I learned a huge amount during the interview about renovating do’s and don’ts and how Laura took on an extremely unusual project for her first home after qualifying, which was an unused old underground public lavatory … I know, you’re probably thinking ” What ? ” because that was my reaction initially but after years of back and forth conversations with various London Councils she got the go ahead and turned it in to the most incredible, stunning dwelling.
I’m sharing some images here so you can see the before and after when she talks about it on the Podcast. This is pre renovation.
Amazing isn’t it ? I love the light streaming in through the ceiling windows.
She also took on a tenament in Glasgow and updated it beautifully – a few images here to use while we discuss it.
Last but not least, Here a few images too below that we talk about, of her current Georgian home.
But look, I don’t want to share everything now – have a listen to our chat and find out more about her career. There’s some fantastic information about her new website to encourage diversity in her industry Siren Sister – and a little exclusive too at the end.
You can also have a look at some projects on her company website Lamp Architects.
Hope you enjoy it and please do subscribe. I’ve got another interesting one next week that I think you will enjoy especially if you love colourful textiles and homeware. Very inspiring.
Images copyright Laura Jane Clark 2020.
A few weeks ago I promised this post after showing you our newly painted in Mylands Mint Street and so here it is – we are going green for the teenager bedroom too, but a very different shade.
Finding the right colour and balance for a room that is being used for study and socialising you know that thing we used to do … and will again at some point – and also wanting to go for something a bit more grown up to see her through the next few years.
I let Mae decide on the colour and she was quite definite that she wanted a strong one and it ended up being a choice between Primrose Hill and this one Stockwell Green.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Mylands.
It was an excellent choice to be fair. In the morning and evenings, when the sun is rising and going down, it has a coppery warm tone to it and it’s very calming.
I think the teenager phase in a child’s life for finding the right colour is as important as when they are babies, but for different reasons obviously. They spend so much time in their bedrooms – thought it would never happen to us but alas it has ! If they are studying in the room then a balancing hue is pretty vital in my opinion.
Green is naturally associated with nature, serenity, the feeling of calm, refreshment and harmony. All the things that might be needed for long days and nights studying. I think we had opted for a red or orange then it would have been far too intense and definitely not conducive for good sleep and concentration.
It feels inviting and cosy in the room. Although I rarely get invited in these days… I have to invite myself.
The name Stockwell Green is taken from the site of the original Mylands shop opened in 1884. They call it a mixture of dark Georgian and rich apple green which sums it up perfectly.
Finish wise this is Marble Matt Emulsion which goes on really well. Two coats is completely adequate. It’s a nice creamy texture.
So this is the second time we have used Mylands and they are definitely on my recommend list. Still love Mint Street. I’m very picky about my paints so I don’t say that lightly. Hoping to do another room soon.
What do you think of the teenager colour make over? Leave us a comment – also do pop over to my instagram page; there’s lots of inspiration over there too.
Hope this weeks is a good one for you. I’m updating briefly because I’ve recorded the first in my new Podcast series called Live Your Own Way. Something that has been on the cards for some time and having a little more time over the last few months at home has encouraged me to start.
Each week, I’m chatting to interesting and inspiring people in the field of design and interiors about their careers, lives and their own homes. Feel really chuffed that guest number one is the lovely Horace Panter, contemporary artist and founder of Two Tone and Ska Band The Specials. I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time after attending one of his Exhibitions in London. His work is right up my street – colourful iconography in style, with a definite music theme running throughout – like his mix tape screen prints, which we have a few of here at home.
He’s had a fascinating career so far, I could’ve asked him a million questions but managed to whittle it down to just quite a few :)
The artwork above is from his Japanese Vending Machines Collection. Some of my favourites, we chatted about his travels and how he chose his colour palette.
Horace also creates Cassette Tape pieces. We have some here at home – If you like me, grew up in the era of recording ‘ off ‘ the radio and making up mix tapes then you’ll enjoy the selection of songs he selected as his ultimate 30 minute play list.
If you’d like to have a listen to Horace and I having a chat then here’s the link above.
I hope you enjoy it and if you do – subscribe for more by clicking on my apple podcast link in the right hand column. Next week is another really interesting one too.
Also I must add that my clever tech husband who does this kinda thing for a living usually in music, produced the Podcast. Thanks Andy :)
Really want to say a HUGE thank you to Karina Mansfield who produced the cover for my Podcast (at the top ). Karina is another artist that I love – and she kindly offered to create the artwork for me. Please check her website out. She does the most brilliant bespoke commissions of people and of pets. She also has a lovely vivid instagram page full of cool pictures. Do have a look !