As I wear many hats and it can be quite confusing I thought that I’d better introduce myself and explain what I do behind the scenes when not running Harp Cottage.  

Behind the scenes I run an interior design business.  Simply put I help people create calm, considered, thoughtful interiors.  Harp Cottage showcases my signature look perfectly.  I believe in creating interiors (I work both privately and commercially) that have a soothing effect and work to create a sense of well being.  The kind of space that makes you want to stop and slow down.  I work with natural materials and strongly believe in repurposing, and sourcing is an important part of my job.  Truly considered interiors.  Hence being part of launching the fabulous new hashtag #myconsideredhome.

Background

Until November 2017, when I was made redundant, I worked for another interiors company.  Then in January 2018 I decided to go it alone and become freelance.  The last year has been exceptionally busy.  

Interiors

I am just nearing completion of a four story granary up in the North East that will become 2 holiday lets.  Hoping to share photos of that soon.  It was so lovely to be involved from the start of this project.  I even got to go house hunting with Janet until we found the perfect place!  Painting is now finished, the carpets are down.  Lighting is being sourced, designed and made.  Shutters still to be installed along with curtains, blinds, beds, throws etc in February – so can finally reveal everything soon!

Think linens, wool, pale interiors with a shot of personality and you get the picture!

For now here’s a sneak peek of one of the chairs we have had recovered by Katie Tyler.  We chose a soft pale Abraham Moon wool fabric.

I also offer one off consultations and had the delight of chatting through designs and schemes of work as varied as modernist renovations to creating a reclaimed bathroom.  All this takes me all over the UK and even to France!

French Interiors

I am currently designing a chambre d’hôte for a client in France.  This will be run alongside our own holiday home in France – Les Coteaux.  My first time designing a BnB!  Due to launch in April this year.  The plumbers, builders etc are all booked for beginning of March, so I’ll be in France working for a fair bit this year!

 

Paw prints in the tomette tiles in the new chambre d’hôte

 

Sourcing

A large part of my job is sourcing the right pieces.  I absolutely love this element!  I’m currently helping to find pieces for a large barn conversion, where oversized furniture is needed.  Think a beautiful pared back Belgian interior and you get the right idea.

I work with natural materials and strongly believe in repurposing, and sourcing is an important part of my job.

There have been lots of other one off sourcing jobs along the way too.  Often just for a single item.  I just need a budget and a brief and I’m off!

Sourced Indian cupboard, 2019

Studio

Last year we also designed and created our own signature candle and scent range.  I am super proud of this as I want Harp Cottage Studios to be known for calm, considered interiors and homewares and for me scent and candles are integral to this.  We will be developing this further, slowly as we have space and the team to do it!

Harp Cottage

These all happen alongside running Harp Cottage.  Changes are happening here too.  In 2018 we introduced my dream team of Jo and Annette (and often their families) to Team Harp Cottage.  Without them I would be lost!  They look after the cottage for me so I can develop the studio and also to grow other elements of the cottage.  

We are working behind the scenes to create a contemporary art gallery within the cottage to showcase contemporary artists work.  Our aim is promote their work and provide a space for guests to see how art looks in a home environment.  This project is to sit alongside our annual art residency called the ‘Thinking Residency’, which we hold every January.  It is for artist to have a week out of the world of work to reflect and spend time thinking about their own practice.  Headspace is something that is hard to find in the modern world and I want to provide artists with just that.  There are no ties, no need to create work, just to let me know how you spent your time and how it has helped your practice.

 

Max Bainbridge’s photograph of Harp Cottage during the Thinking Residency of Forest and Found 2019.

Workshops

We have also started to hold workshops at Harp Cottage and also by going on tour! These workshops are a mix of Interiors and Instagram, run by me!  We also run hosted retreats at Harp Cottage with guests sharing their skills, we’ve had mindful walking and sketching, considered flower arranging where we made an advent branch and our super successful photography workshops.  We aim to have a Spring and Autumn retreat every year as well as workshops dotted throughout the year.   These have also proved to be extremely popular and we are developing more – so watch this space!

Please look at my website under Studio, where you’ll find more information about me and about the services I offer.  Any questions, please just ask!

 

When pets need to be in the picture – image of Writers Room, styling and paint recommendations, 2018