How would you describe your home and its style? Our home is a barn that was converted in the 1980s. When we moved in it needed a lot of updating and initially we did this in a relaxed country style using pastel shades and linen fabrics. Since working in the interiors industry our tastes have become much more sophisticated and we are now embarking on a full re-decoration project. We have started this by painting our hallway in a dark blue colour from the Paint and Paper Library. It’s called Squid Ink and has totally transformed the space.
What is on your interiors wish list and why? We have just done some upholstered dining chairs in two different fabrics for a client and they are stunning. I would love some for our new dining room as they really are so very special.
Which household items could you not live without and why? It has to be my electric Aga. We leave it on all year round and we have installed solar panels to off-set the electricity used to fuel it. This means that when I come home I can go in and sit by the Aga. I know it sounds stereotypical but it really is the heart of our home.
Which designers do you most admire? I am an advocate of really practical design so for me it has to Ann Maurice who is better known as The House Doctor. She introduced the concept of home staging into the UK and I think that she has a huge influence on the way that we think about how we style and present our homes. I also maintain an affection for Laura Ashley as I grew up in the 1980s and had a Saturday job in the Leeds branch as a teenager.
What is your favourite building? I love the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It’s just so quirky and I love that it is the ultimate saga of a building project that runs on and on and has succumbed to different influences, but nothing is taken away from it for that.
Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of design? I am obsessed with pattern and for a long time I have been meaning to get round to having clothing made from some of the fabulous fabric brands that we work with. Fortunately for me both GP&J Baker and Morris & Co have recently done collaborations with the fashion brand H&M which has meant I have had a whole wardrobe update.
What and where is your ideal home? This a topic frequently discussed in our family. We love our home in a tiny hamlet near Tadcaster, which is near my mum and where I grew up. However, with two children at school in York I can see the benefits of city living, certainly for the next couple of years. Glyn, my husband and my partner in Furnish & Fettle, still hankers after a farm, so he isn’t keen to move away from rural living. We both agree that a period farmhouse would be ideal – so if anyone knows of any in the middle of York do let us know.
Who would you most like to invite to dinner? Dick and Angel Strawbridge. Glyn and I both love the Channel 4 series Escape to the Chateau and quite fancy following in Dick and Angel’s footsteps when we retire. They seem like lovely people and they clearly love what they do. I bet they have some great stories to tell about stuff that didn’t make it onto our TV screens.
Furnish and Fettle is at 16 High Street, Wetherby and at 10 Royal Parade, Harrogate, www.furnishandfettle.co.uk