Over the last two years, Cheltenham interior designer and stylist Dee Campling has taken the Instagram world by storm. Her effortlessly cool style (and eye for an excellently-placed house plant) has earned her 121,000 followers on the social media platform and secured her spot as one of the top home and style influencers in the country.
Co-founder of the #MyHomeVibe hashtag which has over 300,000 users, Dee turned her passion into a full-time career in 2016 offering regular workshops, location shoots and room design and styling consultations.
Chatting to SoGlos, Dee tells us what she thinks makes good design, how to go about picking the perfect shade of grey and lets us in on her top design secrets.
Where should people start when planning to transform a room, because it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming?
When planning a room start with thinking about how you want to feel in that room – relaxed, energised, sociable. Then think about how the room will be used and how many people will be using it. Then think of your favourite item in your home; it could be a piece of furniture or a piece of art and put that in your room first. That’s your starting point.
Is it possible to create a high-end finish without a massive budget?
Absolutely yes. The key is to mix designer, budget, high street and vintage. You only need one hero piece, say the sofa or the wallpaper, and the rest of the room can be accessorised inexpensively. If you’re using wallpaper, it’s much better to go for quality wallpaper and paper just one wall than cheap wallpaper on every wall. That will create a more ‘classy’ look.
Grey seems to be very on-trend at the moment, but what’s your advice on choosing the right shade?
It very much depends on the light in your room and what accessories you already have. A cool grey looks more modern, a warm grey looks cosier but can also look beige on dull days. Use tester pots liberally (literally 50 shades of grey) on all your walls and watch how each shade reacts to the light and how it works with your existing furniture and accessories.
What do you think defines good design?
Good design to me is something that is beautiful, does several jobs for you, looks good in any setting and holds its value. Take G plan sideboards for instance. Made in the 70s they are super useful for storage and display. They look incredible and one in good condition will keep increasing in value.
You feature plants very heavily in your home. Where should people start with introducing greenery?
Start with easy care plants such as spider plants and cheese plants. Group them in threes and use them to fill empty spaces, brighten up windows and to add texture and colour to a bland room.
On Instagram you’ve very candidly admitted that there’s often chaos behind the camera. What’s your advice to people who feel like their home will never be Insta-worthy?
I think a room decorated with love and Insta-worthy are the same thing. If you’ve surrounded yourself with furnishings, accessories and colours you love and your home makes you happy then your home is Insta-worthy! Instagram is full of people who love their homes and are looking to find and share new ideas, mostly on a budget. It’s not about being flash!
Tell us about some of the rooms you’ve worked your magic on, do any really stand out as amazing transformations?
Most of the rooms I’ve worked on are about making the owner fall back in love with things they already have. I get them to ‘shop their homes’ to select their best loved items and then we design around them, adding where necessary. So, the transformations aren’t dramatic, mostly just better curated versions of what they already had!
What’s your top piece of design advice?
Buy what you love and makes you feel happy -don’t be influenced by trends.
By Melissa Hamblett