Saturday 25 January 2020

Interview with Cotswold interior designer Lauren Gilberthorpe

From 2017 design trends to tips on how to give your home an update, SoGlos chats to Cotswold-based interior designer, Lauren Gilberthorpe, about the world of interiors and her favourite Gloucestershire addresses.

Whether you’re wondering how to approach a design project or just want to inject some new life into your home, Cotswold-based interior designer, Lauren Gilberthorpe, is here to help.

SoGlos catches up with Lauren to discuss everything from the Danish art of ‘hygge’ to the key 2017 interiors trends, while also sharing nifty design tricks to give your home an instant update.

Where in Gloucestershire are you based?

In Withington, a lovely little village just east of Cheltenham. I’m originally from south Devon and relocated to Cheltenham four years ago to move in with my partner who was working up here. I love it here though and definitely think of it as home now!

Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience?

I have loved interior design for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child, I’d move furniture around in my room and buy cushions with my pocket money!

I studied design at university and then went on to work for the interior design service at Laura Ashley and then for a couple of high-end design studios before setting up my own company at the start of 2015.

What type of projects do you tend to work on?

A large variety, which I love. At the moment I am working on a townhouse in central London, a new build in Chipping Norton, a small renovation in Fulham and a hotel in the Cotswolds.

What’s been your favourite project to date?

I’ve really enjoyed working with the proportions of the townhouse that I’m just finishing; the ceilings are so high! It has been a dream to work with.

What’s the easiest way to give your home an update?

I think there are three things that you can do relatively cheaply that will make a big impact. Firstly, have a furniture shuffle and bring your furniture in from the edges of the walls. It creates the illusion of more space and stops your room feeling like a waiting room!

Secondly, add more low level lighting as table lamps give a much better atmosphere in a room than having overhead lights on. And finally, style your space with some greenery – real or faux – it will make a huge difference.

What are your top tips for making a property feel homely?

Don’t over-edit the things you’ve picked up over the years. Your house should say something about you, not about where you shop. I love to see personality and character in a home, from collections of hats hung on a wall, to interesting trinkets brought back from travels. It’s nice when you can learn something about the owners of the house from their belongings.

What’s your signature style?

Relaxed, colourful, pared-back eclectic.

Is there period that you favour?

I love Georgian properties, especially their front doors! I have a bit of an obsession with front doors at the moment.

How important is it for the interiors to reflect the type of property?

I don’t think that the interiors should necessarily be designed in the same style as the property but I think it is important to consider the style, in case there is an opportunity to highlight the more quirky aspects of a property, such as an old bell pull system à la Downton Abbey!

Do you have a type of property you prefer working on?

No, I love working on different projects as they each present their own challenges. One of the greatest parts of my job is getting to work with a wide range of interiors.

What are you predicting to be key interiors trends in 2017?

I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more green in interiors next year, not just the colour but green as in natural products such as wood and terracotta and even cork. Pantone have recently released their colours for Spring 2017 and many of them are reminiscent of colours found in nature.

We’ve heard a lot about the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ recently, can you tell us what it is and how to incorporate the look?

It is about finding happiness in the everyday and making the most of the longer evenings by lighting candles, putting the fire on and cosying up with a hot chocolate on the sofa with your family. Phones should be turned off and something delicious slowly cooking in the oven.

It is more about experience than things, but to make your home more ‘hygge’ I’d recommend adding candles, adding some soft throws and blankets to your sofa, thick rugs and some soft low level table lamps.

Do you have any favourite brands or designers that you always like to use?

I have some trade-only suppliers that are always on my first port of call when I’m sourcing for a project but, in terms of high-street suppliers, I love OKA for furniture, lighting and accessories. I also love scouring antiques markets for one off finds. There is a wonderful website called Decorative Collective which has some brilliant pieces on it.

Which local businesses do you tend to work with?

I have worked with a fabulous furniture maker in Oxfordshire called Hugo Lamdin who I would highly recommend. Lewis and Wood are a fabric and wallpaper company based in Stroud that make the most beautiful designs, perfect for Cotswold interiors.

What advice would you give someone who approaching an interiors project?

It’s really important to get an overall plan in your head for a project. Even if you aren’t buying the pieces all at once, it helps to have the end goal in mind. Come along to one of my workshops where you will learn the practical skills for tackling your own project, from how to draw a floorplan to scale, to how to choose paint colours and furniture.

Does your home reflect your professional style?

Yes, it’s an ever changing and evolving mixture of things I’ve picked up over the years! My favourite room at the moment is the snug as we have the wood burner going in the evenings which is perfect for this time of year.

Do you have any secret Gloucestershire addresses that you’d recommend for picking up pieces for the home?

Anton & K, based in Gretton, have an amazing, constantly updated collection of antiques and lighting.

For more information, call Lauren Gilberthorpe Interior Design on (01242) 374039.

By Anna Marshall

© SoGlos
Thursday 10 November 2016

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