On a cold winter’s night, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home, lighting a candle and enjoying the warm glow and fragrance. Using certain scents within my home whether it be a candle, diffuser or a new room spray, they have all got to pass the Blu Blazer Guy test; Longevity, Intensity and Quality. So here are my favourite ones that will make the perfect gift for Christmas time or simply to warm up your own home.
This is one of my favourite candles simply because it brings me joy when I light it. With its bright yellow packaging and glass vessel this sunny fragrances will certainly add colour to these dark winter nights.
Exuding fresh cut grass and sun-dried linen this fresh and uplifting scent immediately transports you to a sunny morning in Italy. The candle includes notes of Italian Lemon, Mint Leaves, Rosemary, Lavandin, Jasmine, Cedarwood and Musk
You all know how much I love Oudh in a fragrance, so when I discovered this candle I was immediately captivated by it luxurious scent. It is perfect for this time of year with its smoky and aromatic woody character.
The Oudh is freshened up with the rosy tones of geranium and a beautiful blend of amber, vetiver, patchouli and praline. This candle range have such a great price point for the quality and it’s one I highly recommend.
I’ve used this both the candle and diffuser from this company and absolutely loved it. Their range of scented soy candles with luxury fragrance oils are all hand poured in London and smell simply devine.
Fygee is my favourite, blending black fig, cedar wood and tonka bean. The notes blend together beautifully to give off a rich and luxurious smell that fills the air in no time.
I have been obsessed with this scent ever since I discovered Kelly Hoppen Home five years ago. It was one of those candles I had to keep buying and buying due to its unique aromatic, woody and spicy scent.
The fragrance oozes sophistication and the perfect blend of masculine and feminine notes. The notes include Patchouli, Myrrh, Clove and Violet and are perfect at any time of the year.
If you are looking to splash out then why not treat someone to designer Tom Dixon’s fire candle. The beautiful and luxurious deep red vessel houses an unusual scent that is strangely addictive and intoxicating.
With notes of Cypriot oil, black suede accord, guiiac, wood oil, vertiver oil, amber and musk they all blend together to create a seductively sumptuous and smoky scent.
If you are looking for something a little different then why not try Jo Loves Christmas Layered Candle. Instead of one scent you are getting three festive aromas, all intertwined to ignite memories of the perfect Christmas Day.
From Pine, Sweet plum pudding and smoky log fires, this candle takes you on a festive journey of the most beautiful aromas around.
Thank you so much for reading and I have truly enjoyed sharing all my favourite products with you and hope that I have some inspired you to pick the perfect Christmas gifts. Remember to check out my previous blog posts on unisex fragrances, hotel stays, men’s skincare and alcoholic beverages. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
Most people probably know by now that I have a huge passion for interior design. After completing a diploma in the subject a few years ago it has continued to be a prominent interest of mine. Favouring more of a contemporary flair I have always gravitated towards the simple yet chic “scandi” style due to its practicality along with its pleasing aesthetic design. One of my favourite places to visit is BoConcept; a premium retail lifestyle brand that was created in Denmark in 1952. Not only does it sell a spectacular range of modern furniture, accessories and lighting, they also provide an interior design service, perfect for creating your dream home. You usually find me wandering around the stores, perusing the array of products and consulting theirs in-store interior consultants who are passionate, professional and extremely helpful.
BoConcept provides such a magnificent range, therefore I thought I would share my top Blu Blazer Guy favourites:
Before starting my course in Interior Design, I hadn’t appreciated the in-depth thought process of buying the perfect sofa. When I bought my first sofa I didn’t even consider the size, colour and texture, which is an interior designer faux pas, so I ended up with an oversized and uncomfortable piece of furniture.
BoConcept have such a fantastic range to suit all styles, rooms, spaces and with the help of their consultants, it’s so simple to find the perfect one for you! My favourite is the Osaka Sofa which perfectly blends both masculine and feminine characteristics with a slight nod to the1960’s. Although there is an abundance of choices when it comes to colour, material and legs for this sofa, I especially admire the blue Napoli fabric (below) which adds a touch of colour and texture whilst the warm tones of the brushed brass legs add an elegant contrast.
A bed whether we like it or not is the main focal point of any bedroom, so I always love to choose one that has a high headboard to give maximum impact. If you’re me and you have an apartment that has limited space, then choosing a bed that has adequate storage space really helps. That’s why I adore the Logano bed which gives me all that and more. To keep my apartment looking as light and spacious as possible I have kept my walls relatively simple, therefore the beautiful grey tones of this bed provide a stunning contrast against the
minimalism of the walls.
Storage can be a problem in some modern apartments, so it’s important to find different solutions in order to tackle this. That’s why I simply love this grey (can you see a colour theme here) Como wall system which can hold all your books, accessories, lamps etc all in one place. I am a huge collector of resin corals as I love their texture and ability to fit in with both traditional and contemporary design. This unit would be the perfect space to display these, their vibrant white would be highlighted against the darker colour of this cabinet. If you aren’t a fan of this grey then you can choose from two lighter shades.
I adore this elegant Paris side table due to its minimalistic design and its mixture of matte black metal and marble-look top. It’s the perfect space saver due to the extra shelf underneath and the addition of a magazine/book rack. I can imagine a whole array of lamps and accessories that I can place on this.
Accessories along with lighting are for me the most important part of any room design because they add a certain depth, character and interest to the room. Even though the room can be filled with the most stunning furniture, without the right accessories it can appear lifeless and dull. BoConcept have it down to an art when it comes to stunningly visual accessories. One of my favourites are these cushions for their contemporary prints which provide a touch of femininity to the space, think art for your sofa! (From right to left, Hydranges, Dark & Autumn).
Mirrors are another great accessory to have in any space, not only do they provide additional light to the room and the illusion of space, but they can also function as a piece of art on the wall. I love the design of this Eclectic wall mirror due to its modular shape.
These are just a handful of the many fantastic products available at BoConcept. Why not check out their furniture stores in Glasgow located at both Princes Square and Buchanan Galleries.
When it comes to high-end shopping in Edinburgh, Multrees Walk is always the first place that comes to mind. This unique part of the city is located just off the prestigious St Andrews square and provides a little slice of luxury retail therapy. In true Edinburgh fashion it manages to balance an up market retail experience whilst retaining that unique friendly Scottish approach, allowing you to browse in a more relaxed pace.
Not only is Multrees Walk home to Scotlands only Harvey Nichols it also houses some exclusive brands such as French fashion house Louis Vuitton, British fashion house Burberry and most recently the flagship store of Scottish cashmere giants Johnston’s of Elgin.
Multrees Walk is a fantastic shopping area, not only for browsing the exclusive range of stores but also to take in the relaxed and stylish ambience. As a local to Edinburgh and a frequent visitor to Multrees Walk I thought I would share with you my favourite stores to visit and their fantastic range of products.
Harvey Nichols is one of my favourites stores to visit! It provides a place where I can eat, drink and shop all under one roof as is perfect escape from Edinburgh’s renowned rainy days. As a huge fragrance lover, I of course gravitate towards their ground floor where they have a fantastic range of well known luxury scents such Creed and Maison Francis Kurkdjian as as well as some niche brands that I have included in previous blogs such as Kingdom Scotland and Ideo Parfumeurs.
Heading upstairs is their extensive range of men’s designer clothes where you can find items to suit your individual fashion style. I adore male fashion accessories so I enjoy browsing their range of bags, belts and shoes. I particularly love their range of Valentino backpacks and Christian Louboutin shoes.
The fourth floor is now home to Pad Lifestyle; a lifestyle store which sells a range of designer items for the home. Being a huge fan of Jonathan Adler I was very happy to see that they stock his range. Their range of candles are also exceptional and include the renowned Tom Dixon and L’Objet.
If you are looking for a great place to have a drink or two then head to their Forth Floor Bar which is the perfect place to unwind. They have a great selection of wines, spirits and creative cocktails and in my opinion one of the best Vesper Martinis in town.
The muted lighting, contemporary design and low key music provides a space to relax and their stunning picture windows provides a delightful view out towards the north of the city.
French fashion house Louis Vuitton is renowned around the world, so we are very lucky to have one of their boutiques located at the entrance to Multrees Walk. I am always captivated by their unique and colourful window displays which tantalisingly draws me in every time. You can peruse their selection of bags, shoes and other leather goods or in true Blu Blazer Guy fashion head straight to their new fragrance collection (My favourite being ‘Sun Song’). What I really adore about this store is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. They seem to give off a certain pride for working for this luxury brand and can inform you about every single detail of each product.
Their Luxembourg trainer definitely caught my eye and of course it has to have a flash of blue. This comfortable trainer can be worn in both formal and casual settings and i recommend accenting it with a nice blue blazer.
Burberry has always been a favourite of brand of mine and when in need of a new jacket I visited the store to get some ideas. I was very surprised by their contemporary ranges of menswear. I have always been a big fan of their renowned range of trench coats but it wasn’t until one of their knowledgeable staff shared the story behind them that it really captivated me.
Their grey Chelsea Heritage Trench coat was my favourite due to its clean-cut silhouette and slim fit finish. Although it is a more traditional design it has been re-imagined to provide a more contemporary look.
Who doesn’t love coffee right? I am one of the many who can’t go a day without sipping on one. Working right around from Multrees Walk I am not too far from the fantastic selection of coffee’s available to buy from Nespresso. Every time I visit the store the customer service is extremely friendly and they always manage to entice me to try a new blend of coffee.
The best thing about it is that you can try any of the coffee’s before you buy, making sure you get that perfect blend to take home. You may leave with a huge caffeine high at the end but that just gives you an abundance of energy for more shopping on Multrees Walk!
Johnstons of Elgin
Luxury cashmere manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin recently launched their flagship store in Multrees Walk with their summer collection of cutting edge lightweight textiles and knit innovations. The spacious 2,000 square-foot store spans two floors which has been exceptionally designed, housing a beautiful collection of Woman’s and Men’s Clothing, scarves, accessories and home interiors. I recently attended their exclusive press launch and it was fantastic to see the faces behind the brand and to watch the passion for this new store shine through.
I especially love their Spring Summer 19’s Ischia Collection, the soft colours echo the buildings of the Italian Island and the fit and quality of each garment is second to none.
I was immediately captivated by Kahale London by their striking monochromatic vibe. Their photos on social media were strikingly different to what I had seen before, especially for marketing a new candle and this only made me even more intrigued.
Kahale London is a new forward-thinking company creating artisan luxury candles in East London. This premium organic wax that is infused with high-quality fragranced oils in hand poured in the UK. Their containers are sleek and stylish matte black, ensuring their candles are designed to not only look great in your home but delicately lace the air with the most exquisite scents.
Their scented candles come in a signature Kahale gift box that can be reused and recycled and £3 from each candle is also given to The Childhood Trust; a charity that supports vulnerable children living in London.
I caught up with Founder Tobias Wamser to find out more about this new and fascinating home fragrance company.
What is the reasoning behind the name Kahale?
Kahale (ka-hah-lay) is Hawaiian and literally translates to house or home. However, the meaning behind it is a much deeper one and originates from the Polynesian tribes. As voyagers, they travelled the oceans to discover new islands to expand their colonies and harvest resources. While the brave men went through the perils of the sea for their people back home, they never forgot who they are and where they are from. They referred to their home island as ‘hale’.
What motivated you to create a Home Fragrance company?
We know that candles are no longer just a home decor product for women. Men are becoming more aware of the benefits of home fragrances and want to express their personality in new ways. We thought there was a gap in the market, as many other luxury candles are a spin-off of the brand’s perfumes for women and simply get re-branded to be attractive to men. But in the end, they’re just not developed as a true unisex product.
Your first fragrance candles are Peony & Oud, Turkish Fig & Vetiver and Black Pepper & Raspberry, what was the inspiration behind these scents?
In home fragrances, there are essentially four main categories of scents: Fruity, Floral, Woody and Fresh. As we decided not to have a huge portfolio of different scents, we decided to go for the one we liked the best from each category. The fragrances also represent the cultural influences that go into a Kahale candle: Oud Wood is hugely popular in the middle east and is one of the most exclusive ingredients in candle making. The Fig fragrance oil is made from Figs that are grown in Turkey, the world’s largest exporting country of the fruit. And the peppercorn is grown in Vietnam and sun-dried to develop its distinctive colour. So, all our fragrances essentially combine two ingredients: one from a distant culture and one from our home country, the UK.
What’s next for Kahale, any new scents or additional products?
We are currently developing a candle with a fresh scent and we are very excited to launch it next summer. However, we want to keep our portfolio small and we currently do not have any plans to expand into new categories such as reed diffusers. Kahale represents urban sophistication and will never be mass-produced.
Can you tell me a little background about the team at Kahale London?
We’re a group of students and had been working on a project about the home decor market together when the idea came up. Personally, I had never even considered buying a candle for myself. But the more I read about it, the more passionate I became about scented candles. So, we slowly started to develop our first scents and experimented with dozens of fragrance oils, wax blends and wicks. It’s been a long journey from the first idea to the final product. But we absolutely love it and are super proud of it.
You can Indulge in the urban sophistication of Kahale London by visiting kahalelondon.com
Most of you may know that I am absolutely obsessed with fragrances. For me, fragrances play an integral part of my identity, allowing me to express how I feel and highlight aspects of my personality. Fragrances have the power to change our mood, boost the spirit and evoke old memories. Not only do fragrances allow me to personally smell good but using certain scents within my home to express my individuality is also important to me. Whether it be a candle, diffuser or a new room spray, I have tried them all. However not many have stood out or passed the longevity test, until now at least.
I first discovered Teatro Fragranze Uniche through the lovely Anna Dengina, the exclusive UK distributor. We met in Edinburgh and it was instantly evident that she had a real passion for home fragrances. Whilst travelling to Italy, she became infatuated by an alluring fragrance that laced the air of her hotel. After careful research she immediately sought out this brand. Its luxurious style and its tempting fragrance instantly captivated her. So much so that she had to bring it to U.K for everyone to experience.
Teatro Fragranze Uniche was created by a small group of woman in Florence. They worked with selected perfumers, designers and Florentine artisans to produce an Italian-made range of exquisite home fragrance products. With their in-depth knowledge of artisan perfumes and their ability to keep up with current trends, their products provide a refined slant to the home fragrance market.
Their innovative and creative energy has allowed them to produce a large range of diffusers, candles and room sprays which are all intertwined with a delightful blend of surprisingly unique fragrances.
As with all Teatro Fragranze Uniche products, their candles are made using only natural essential oils and are poured into eco-friendly glass vessels. So not only are you getting a fantastic quality candle, you can be assured that you are helping the environment at the same time.
My favourite has to be Speziato Fiorentino (Florentine Spices). The fragrance contains a balance of citrus notes with spices and white musk, perfect for this time of the year due to its warming notes!
How many times have you bought a diffuser only to bring it home and the fragrance is either synthetic or underwhelming. You certainly won’t find that with Teatro’s range. These come in a variety of sizes which make them perfect for any home, hotel or business. Having recently had a trip to the Middle East where I became a lover of Oud, Teatro’s Incenso Imperiale (Imperial Oud) does not disappoint. The strong notes of Oud and Incense are cleverly balanced out with wood notes and Tonka bean, taking you on a smokey yet sweet journey. What I adored about this product is that it doesn’t matter what size of diffuser you get, even the small size fills the room with its striking scent.
With a strong aroma of tobacco delicately intertwined with cloves and sweetened with vanilla beans, their fragrance spray ’Tabacco 1815’ from their luxury collection, is to die for. At first, I was a little apprehensive regarding the mention of tobacco as it can often be very heavy, however it’s not until you spray it that you immediately fall in love with it. Available in 50ml and 100ml this spray has a lasting effect in the air and adds another dimension to your candles and diffusers.
Teatro’s home fragrance range has become so renowned, that they have now launched a perfume for the skin based on their most popular fragrance, Tobacco 1815. I’m not really a big lover of when fragrances for the home are made into a wearable fragrance, however, this certainly took me by surprise. Their Tobacco fragrance is spicy, smokey and sweet and lasts a long time on your skin, what more can you ask for?
It was a tad obvious that interior design ran through his blood. Starting at the age of twelve he began purchasing different antiques and silverware from Chislehurst Market in Kent then sell them on at Greenwich Market making himself a little Profit. I am talking about the amazingly talented interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.
After building up enough profit Martyn used this to his advantage and set his eyes on acting school, where he attended the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film institute in New York. He then went on to Hollywood and had a few acting roles. But Interior design was always in his destiny, after a few lucky encounters with well-known people he had the chance to put his design ideas to work and word of mouth quickly spread that Martyn was the next thing in luxury interior design. Looking at his first real project below (Balinese Colonial Pavilion) , it’s clear to see why his reputation for exquisite design really took off;
Balinese Colonial Pavilion
Balinese Colonial Pavilion
Balinese Colonial Pavilion
Balinese Colonial Pavilion
Based in Los Angeles, his career quickly escalated and he began to build himself a catalogue of celebrity clients all aching for him to create the dream homes that they desired. Celebrities such as Cher (photo’s below), Elton John and Eva Mendes experienced his creative magic and as his portfolio grew so did his reputation.
As well as providing an interior design service he also provides a fantastic range of interior products to buy so you can have your very own piece of Martyn Lawrence-Bullard at Home. From Furniture, rugs and candles to luxurious fabrics and wallpapers the choice is endless, some of which are in his own home (photo’s below) . Known for his dramatic and luxurious designs his book live, love & decorate provides you with an insight to his imaginative creations.
Martyn’s own home
Martyn’s own home
I caught up with Martyn and asked him my #high5 questions regarding his fantastic interior design career on and off screen;
You have designed the homes of some of the biggest celebrities in the world, how is it dealing with this specific type of clientèle, has there been any unusual requests and has there been a specific celebrity that you really enjoyed working with?
Celebrities tend to be wonderful to work with because they are very creative and want to live out their decorative fantasies. It’s a wonderful thing to get inspiration from their personal creativity. They are no different from anyone else however in the usual process and each and every one of my clients gets personalised, custom service and interiors whoever they are or whatever they do.
Your career has taken you around the world to some amazing countries and in a few of your interviews you have stated that travel is a major inspiration for your designs, is there a specific place or country that has captivated you and how have you used this in your designs?
I adore Istanbul for all its exotic flavour and excitement. Rome is my city for romance, from the people to the art. Rajastan for colour and passionate artisans.
Travel Inspired Design
You have acquired a huge amount of achievements over the years. Looking back to when you were a young boy buying and selling antiques and silverware at Greenwich Flee Market, does it make you proud to have accomplished so much in your career? Is there any advice you have to be successful in this type of business?
I believe the best advice I can give designers is to trust yourself. Believe in your taste, don’t get influenced by what others tell you, but trust in your first decorative instincts Travel is also the best education you can ever have. Soak in all you see from new cultures , cities . Flavors , smells , tastes. Let it all inspire you and help build your decorative inspirations and education.
In life no path is easy , and if it is , then you haven’t challenged yourself enough. I believe hard work is the key to success. I have worked and work extremely hard in my career , success is a fleeting moment unless you commit to always better yourself , keep growing your knowledge and test your boundaries. As a designer to stay current means to keep abreast of the trends ,new inventions in design and technology of course. I strive to do that daily.
You have dabbled in acting and your interior design career has led you to feature frequently on television shows such as Million Dollar Decorators and Hollywood Me. Is it easy to balance working on camera while trying to create such incredible designs and has there ever been any disastrous moments?
My show has been a big hit and has very much opened an International following for me. However it was difficult to have cameras on me all the time. As it was reality I truly has to work and really be creative whilst still being filmed. It’s not easy , but it was fun and I was incredibly lucky my clients were so open to filming with me. We got some great story lines and very fun results.
And finally…..any new and exciting projects ahead?
Lots of exciting things, stay tuned!
Looking forward to it Martyn!!
I would like to thank Martyn for taking the time out of his busy schedule to take answer my questions for this blog post.
Being in Edinburgh, I am lucky enough to stay in such an iconic and historic city. It may not be the most renowned for its choices in interior design education but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a range of outstanding interior designers who have settled here, enchanted by the delights of this beautiful city. From the medieval charm of the Old Town to the plush Neo-classical and Georgian style of the New Town, these characteristic properties are shouting out to be adorned with the latest interior design, so who wouldn’t want to be placed among such a wealth of creative temptations? One of these talented designers is Bryce McKenzie.
Bryce who has over 19 years experience in the business has worked on projects both in Europe and here in the UK so it’s great that he has chosen Edinburgh for his base, providing the city with such a fantastic service. Bryce and his team have the amazing ability to design a room that carefully balances textures, shades and tones without looking over-elaborate. Not imposing a signature style, the team allow the client to have complete input along the way so that they can express their own tastes and vision. A high quality result is the only option for the interior design team and the finished designs exude luxury and finesse while still managing to fit perfectly around the client’s needs and lifestyle.
I caught up with Bryce to find out more about his career and business.
Where did your interior stylist gift stem from and how did it grow into a career?
I’ve always found myself drawn to the aesthetic — even as early as 12 years old I was arranging and rearranging my bedroom to make it look it’s best and specially painted my wardrobes to fit in with the decor.
It seems that I always had an eye for balance and harmony in a room and was driven enough to change things until they looked right to me!
Despite studying microbiology at university, it wasn’t the career for me and I left to work for Liberty where I very quickly realised that interior design was what I should be doing – I’ve never looked back and that was almost 22 years ago.
When did you start your business and what kind of services do you provide?
I started my business in early 2008 so it’ll soon be 8 years since I started providing a comprehensive interior design and project management service in Edinburgh city centre. Prior to that I’d managed practices for other companies as well as working for london design houses such as Colefax and Fowler. In the last few years I’ve fully developed my own range of upholstered furniture, the Bryce McKenzie Collection and have worked extensively in collaboration with Michael Hart Cabinetry on both a standard range of designs and bespoke pieces for clients. The important thing regarding all this is the originality in the work I do. I like to offer something unique to my clients.
Bryce not only provides an excellent service for his clients but also used his skills to design his own home.
Can you remember your first project? What ups and downs did you encounter and what was the final outcome?
To be honest, I really couldn’t tell you about my first project specifically as it was so long ago! I do remember the learning process with it and every project since – no matter what solution we arrive at we always produce a perfect result for the client regardless of how we get there!
Who or what inspires your creative designs?
My clients inspire me quite a lot of the time as the work I do is tailored to them and their homes. I tend to get clients who want to participate in the thought process and who care passionately about the results.
In a broader sense, I’m inspired by other creatives who I see achieving excellence and pushing boundaries. The most notable example would be Alexander McQueen. He was a genius and someone who proved that despite working prolifically in a commercially driven environment it was still possible to completely retain artistic integrity and produce some of the most incredible works of art I’ve ever seen.
Being in Edinburgh I find interior design opportunities are very limited, what piece of advice would you give a budding interior designer to flourish and expand in this city?
I won’t deny, it is difficult to find opportunities in Edinburgh because despite there being a number of people in the business, most of them are established companies with a full complement of staff and therefore internships and work experience opportunities are rare. Having said that, the best possible way to learn about interior design as a business is to work your way up gaining experience as you go. I’d never dismiss interior design courses simply because my formal education was in another subject, however there are so many aspects to the business I can’t imagine being covered by a standard syllabus.
As well as providing an interior design service Bryce McKenzie also sells a gorgeous selection of upholstered furniture which can be customised in different coloured material. Below is my #high5 of favourites, notice a common theme in the colour! Grey and yellow are one of my favourite combinations, I love the way the yellow pops out against the softness of the grey yet the two colours complement each other enormously;
I also adore a stool or ottoman, they add a touch of class to any room as well as being extremely versatile.
It has become evident in recent years that the people of Britain have become more and more interested in interior design. Like fashion, interior design changes with the seasons. When it comes to creating your own space at home, it can get a little confusing. Due to the increase in home TV shows, an array of specialised interior design websites and a growing popularity of social media we have been exposed to a vast catalogue of interior designers, trending styles and tantalising homeware products.
Successful use of these tools can help even the novice of all designers achieve their dream creations. These tools acting as a rescue from the immense labyrinth of trends, ideas and information which definitely helped me while doing my first interior design course.
Social media especially helps you connect with interior designers around the world. I found everyone I spoke with were extremely friendly and shared their experiences and knowledge. Genuinely there is a great sense of community between them. It was here where I first came across up-and-coming interior designer Nick Snow.
Nick is a 23 year old from Hedge End. A few years ago he sat behind a desk in a complaints department wishing for something more. He dreamt of freeing himself from the constraints of a mundane job and unleashing his creativity to the world. Nick decided to leave his job and become an interior design student at Southampton University.
In a stroke of luck his posts on Twitter were noticed by the BBC Show; “Your Home In Their Hands”. He was approached by the programmes producers and eventually was able showcase his passion and skills in interior design, in one of their episodes.
After his success in the programme and the positive feedback received, Nick’s drive and determination to succeed in this business became deeper. His desire and talents have shone through so much so that he was recently been crowned Valspar’s Young Interior Designer of the Year 2015 and was recently included in an article in Living Etc. Magazine.
I caught up with Nick and asked him my #high5 questions with regards to his continuing success and future prospects.
When did you realise you had an eye for interior design?
I’d always had an interest in interior design and remember grand designs and 60 minute makeover being my favourite program when I was younger! So I clearly wasn’t a normal child! I began my journey wanting to have a career as an architect however after completing work experience with an architect firm, I ended up working with their interior designer and having the time of my life! That was the turning point!
What was your first successful design project?
I had done many designs for my home and for family and friends however the first time I was really able to show my talent was when I appeared on BBC interior design show “your home in their hands” where my bathroom design received a mass amount of positive feedback from viewers, the home owners and Celia Sawyer! That was a proud moment!
What interior designers inspire you?
I love textures and natural interiors where the inspiration has clearly been taken from the outdoors! Bedrooms and bathrooms should be relaxing and a calming environment! Lounges and dining areas should be stylish yet sophisticated!
Coming from a retail stylist background I am all about how the eye sees design and what creates the ultimate visual….I am a strong believer in the rule of three as it creates a calming symmetrical image in the mind! Therefore I have a lot of respect for Kelly Hoppen’s designs! But there are so many designers I look up to and enjoy taking inspiration from!
Any exciting new projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently working alongside one of the UKs top interior stylists, Marianne Cotterill with some exciting projects coming up!
Any advice for anyone who wishes to Pursue a career in interior design?
From my experience I would advise people to be true to themselves, stop comparing themselves to others but most importantly appreciate others talents and praise other designers when they have created a beautiful design! You never know if one day you may end up working with or for that designer!
Never give up! But realise that you always start of at the bottom of that ladder and work your way up to the top!
Check out Nick’s new website www.nicksnowlimited.com full of hints, tips, information and his up and coming online store.
A few months ago I came across this very talented Interior architect. As soon as I saw his designs and portfolio, I immediately fell in love with his luxurious sense of style.
Every day when he posts his #PicOfTheDay on social media showing images of his different creations and projects, I couldn’t help but notice how he always gets it right! Having previously worked for Ralph Lauren Home, the Italian born and bred Maurizio Pellizzoni decided to start his own business called Maurizio Pellizoni Ltd in the Chelsea Design Quarter of London.
From new builds to period buildings, he applies his skills and talent to design a range of residential and commercial projects. There is no signature style for Maurizio and yet looking at each project, it is immediately evident that it is he who has cast this magic. His designs exude quality, luxury and detail and it’s obvious that he has taken into consideration his clients’ every needs instead of imposing them with a signature look.
I caught up with Maurizio to ask a few questions about himself and his business;
Who and what inspired you to start up your own interior design business?
I have always loved design. I grew up in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Lake Como, and I am lucky to say that design is part of my DNA. I’ve know since when I was little that I wanted to be a designer. When I moved to London, nearly 20 years ago I was lucky enough to work for Ralph Lauren, starting in Sale’s, then moving into Window Displays and working with the Home Collection. From here, I learnt the meaning of luxury and attention to detail – which are my strongest skills. After spending my first years in London to learn English and to build a new life, I went to university (London Metropolitan university) to study Interior Architecture. This, in combination with the excellent training I received at Ralph Lauren, have made me the person and designer I am today.
Can you remember your first big project and how did it go?
My first project was ‘Riverside View’, straight after my job at Ralph Lauren where I was the Home Collection Co-ordinator for Europe. I was very excited to work on something which would help me to fulfil my dream of having my own interior design firm. The project went very well, I was very lucky as my client was lovely, in fact we are still in contact and became very good friends. A few years ago, for the same family, I helped their son with the design and decoration at his wedding at the Arts Club in Mayfair.
What has been your favourite project and why?
I don’t think I have a favourite project, somehow I love all my projects. Each one of them unique and is a different milestone in my career. I can say that each project is my favourite for a different reason. In all my projects, I always try to give all myself to create something unique, but most importantly to deliver the dream home for my clients.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to have a career in interior design?
Interior design as any other career has its ups and downs, to be able to be a good designer you need to learn to be patient, listen and understand each clients request, after all they employ you to design their home!
Maurizio has many projects under his belt in the UK and further afield and I had the difficult task sifting through them to find my favourite designs and it wasn’t easy! Every project radiates perfection with a balance of colour, style and accessories. His style of mixing old with new works flawlessly and creates a timeless and sophisticated look. I can honestly say there was nothing that I saw that I didn’t like but here are my top #high5 designs;
I absolutely adore this property because of its open plan composition yet it still manages to retain a cosy and comfortable atmosphere. Its light neutral colours on the walls are balanced perfectly with the dark hue of the furniture. The use of natural materials such as Coir Matting and Linens and the white shutters and plants echoes the Caribbean style. My favourite is the bedroom with its dark grand carved bed cascaded in textures of animal print and crisp white linen, I would find it difficult to prise myself away from this.
I love this open plan apartment with hints of chinoiserie such as the blue and white vases and black glossy furnishings. Like every design it has to be versatile and Maurizio has managed this by using white linens in the summer and sumptuous fabrics in decadent colours of gold’s, purples and blues in the winter to provide the space with warmth and depth.
This design makes me smile as it reminds me of my favourite style, Georgian, showcased in some of the buildings in my city, Edinburgh. With its high ceilings, large windows, panelled walls and sense of symmetry it radiates elegance and refinement. The oversized coffee table full of gorgeous publications and the array of different art work really provides interest around the room. I adore the grand book cases filling the space in between each window and how their design and pattern emulate the cornicing above them. I love the contrast of the dark masculine bedroom with its deep blues and chocolates compared to the femininity of the other with light damask wallpaper and floral marquetry furniture. And the closet…. if I had a closet like that I would have stayed in it all my life!
Maurizio has done a great job creating a relaxed but very stylish property. I especially love how he has created different areas for relaxing, entertaining and working. The finish is very simple yet the deep purple of the chair and cushions provide warmth. I especially like the green wall art that brings out an unexpected but complimentary colour to the space. The Ralph Lauren accessories and cushions from De Le Cuona bring the whole look together softening the edges of this classic and luxurious design.
This design interest me because of its mixture of glamour and masculinity. The large entrance way with crystal statement lighting welcomes you into the property. The chunky pieces of furniture again carry the masculine feel through the home yet they are softened by draped fabrics, cushions and accessories. The bedrooms are themed and reminiscent of a boutique hotel with their own unique look – bold but relaxing at the same time. I particularly like the wall adorned with black and white photography finished off with a contemporary Eames chair and stool. The large globed bronze lighting above the dining table is a fantastic statement.
I’m sure you will agree that the end results are are amazing, So what’s in the pipeline for Maurizio and his business?
We are currently working on several projects in London, each one of them is exciting, unique and different from each other. I have also just returned from a trip to the USA, where I went for a holiday, but also to photograph my first USA project in Portland Oregon. A stunning riverside view family home. Unfortunately we cannot disclose the images yet, but after seeing the final selection, I can clearly say that it will be another style to add to my portfolio (#comingsoon).
I have a great interest in Interior Design and nothing makes me smile more than walking into a room or building that has been beautifully designed. It may sound a tad materialistic but for me my mood is definitely affected by my surroundings and I believe that this is why I am so interested in this subject. We spend most of our free time at home, so why wouldn’t you want to make your surroundings as tranquil and calming as possible especially when the outside world is so hectic and chaotic sometimes.
After studying a diploma in Interior design a few years back, I gained more insight into the subject and it introduced me to an array of different interior designers throughout the world. Anyone that knows me will know I have a keen interest in Kelly Hoppen. Her style oozes sophistication and luxury and is a unique blend of East meets West. I especially love her ability to design something contemporary without making it cold and industrial looking, instead creating a statement space with a warm inviting environment . She is known for her love of Taupe which some may perceive as being rather plain but she manages to layer the colour in different shades, tones and textures which creates an amazing end result. She does go beyond taupe though and her Kelly Hoppen Home brand have introduced pops of colour in their furniture and home jewellery ranges which include burnt orange, dusky pinks and blues and striking red.
A few times I have managed to visit the Kelly Hoppen Home store in Westfield’s London and on my first visit I was lucky enough to meet the lady herself. She had such an air of calm and sophistication about her and was very informative about her products and how they can be used to achieve the greatest effect. Its obvious to see why she has become such a leader in the interior design field and how her brand has expanded in such a competitive market. She was very kind enough to have a photograph with me and sign a copy of her informative book Design Masterclass.
Although there are too much to choose from, here are my #High5 of Kelly Hoppen Home Items;
#pinchedbowl I haven’t purchased this as of yet but it is definitely on my wish list. It is such a striking standalone piece with gorgeous fluidity as if almost pliable like you can reshape it yourself. The contemporary matt finish on the outside is married with a delectable grey glaze inside that glimmers and catches the light.
#ariavase The simple and elegant Aria Vase is one of my favourites because of its beautiful flowing design and its affordability. I especially love the hint of the range of colours that coat the inside providing depth and interest yet not spoiling the overall effect of the piece.
#scentone I have become addicted to Kelly Hoppen’s signature fragrance Scent One candle. It is the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. Unlike other scented candles that fail to release their fragrance into the air this one fills the space with its woody and spicy scent without being overpowering. The same scented candle is available in containers of different hues such as white, grey, off white, black, light taupe and dark taupe so there is no way that this candle wouldn’t fit into any interior space. If candles are not to your taste there are also diffusers and room sprays in the same scent and if spicy not your thing there is a whole range of delectable scent’s in her collection.
#Ikatwallpaper Grey is a very popular colour at the moment and the Grey Ikat design wallpaper is a great way to make a fantastic statement in your home. Not only is the design bold and contemporary the feel of it is just pure luxury. This wallpaper is not flat and lifeless it has an intricate textural surface that provides depth and quality.
#coral I am in love with Kelly’s range of resin coral pieces. Their life like appearance are a great addition to any room, immediately providing interest and texture and are great against metallic or wooden surfaces. Placed on their own or grouped with different objects they provide instant elegance to any room.