I have a problem and it is rather embarrassing. I can't help it, I go into peoples homes and the temptation just proves too strong to resist. It seems I am obsessed with other peoples bathrooms (and the odd, occasional downstairs loo). Well obsessed is rather a big word but I definitely have a stronger interest than would be considered normal. I'm not looking for hygiene or cleanliness or even loo paper softness. Nope, I am looking at layout, use of space and the type of fittings used.
I have put my increasingly odd behaviour down to my deep dissatisfaction with the small, cramped and storage lacking bathroom that I have to put up with at home. Now that Andara have ventured into a bathroom range, things have gone from bad to worse. I need help. Luckily my very talented friend Izzy Reeves, interior designer extraordinaire and founder of White Designs was willing to talk me through her thoughts on all Bedroom and Bathroom dilemas.
Bathrooms are usually quite simple and practical- what is your one tip to add interest and design to a bathroom?
There is a fashion these days to go for a completely beige and white bathroom. Although this is nice and easy on the eye, I think it is much more fun to make them slightly original; bathrooms are the one room in the house that you can go a bit crazy in as they are the room that you tend to spend the least time in.
And for a downstairs loo?
For a down-stairs loo I would always go for a fun wallpaper (Timorous Beasties have really quirky wallpapers which provide great reading material for those that like to spend time on the loo!). I also love going for fun tiles- there are some great hand-painted ones you can get which come in a variety of designs. For smaller changes I would always go for fun accessories, like the bon bon jars or the storage pots and candles from Andara.
|Timorous Beasties, Napoleon Bee Wallpaper, £103 per roll|
|Zoffany wallpaper, Rome £48 per roll|
|Khajana Pots- Set of 2 as seen, Andara, £28|
Apart from Andara (obvy) where is your favourite place to shop for bed/ bath accessories and why?
I shouldn’t admit it as it is a high-street brand, but I completely love the White Company for all bedroom and bathroom accessories. I particularly love their Bon Bon jars, which you can then fill with things like shells and cotton wool and they become a bit of a feature. I think it is fine to use high-street brands for the smaller things, as long as you mix it up with more unique items from markets, individual suppliers or smaller unknown companies.
|Bon Bon Jars, The White Company, from £45|
What is your biggest 'do' and 'don't' for decorating a bedroom?
Personally I would never paint my bedroom in a bright colour. It is great to be bold in your choices but you can easily get bored of something which is too in-your-face. It has also been scientifically proven that people generally don’t sleep well in brightly coloured rooms, and that sleep pattern and dreams can be effected by wall colours. Having said this using a different colour or a fun wallpaper on a feature wall (I know- I hate the term too!) can be fun and can bring a bit more life to the room whilst not being over the top. My number one priority for a bedroom is to make sure that the bed looks (and hopefully is...) unbelievably comfortable. I always have a large white bed spread to cover the bed completely, and then have a big rug or quilt over the top, with a few cushions at the top end. All men will see this as a waste of time and money but it does make a big difference.
What one item do you think can immediately transform a bedroom?
Any soft furnishings can completely transform a room, so in a bedroom I would use a nice bed throw or some cushions to give the room a new look. I have got one client who likes to change the look of her house according to the seasons and so she has a very neutral finish to all hardware and furniture but then has a winter set of accessories and a summer set of accessories. It is amazing how different the house looks once the little details have been changed. Obviously we aren’t all in a position to do this and so it is sometimes fun to go for items, such as a quilt or cushions, which are reversible.
|Contrasting Reversible Quilt for 2 different looks, Les Indiennes, $622|
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I always loved art but was never good enough to make it as an artist and so Interior Design was a way of making a living out of art. I particularly fell in love with residential interior design as you are creating a home, and no project is ever the same. I knew I had made the right decision the day that I saw my first ever project completed - it was amazing to see something that you created on paper come to life.
What is the strangest design request you have ever had?
I had a bachelor once who had his basement dug out. He wanted to make the front door step (which was right above the sofa) out of toughened glass. He said that it was so he could see who was at the door but I am convinced it was so he could look up the girls skirts!
|Izzy Reeves at White Designs|