Meet the Leeds interior designer with an eye for originality

Tessa Critchlow is an interior designer based in Boston Spa. She trades as Monkey and Pickle.

Tessa Critchlow in her kitchen.

How would you describe your home? A contemporary and colourful home with a mood set for each space.

So there is everything from an engaging family room to a cosy jewel-coloured evening space. Feature pieces are placed throughout

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the rooms to draw focus and add the wow factor. Adding character with colour, features and furniture is key for me.

Tessa loves Monkey Puzzle Tree fabric.

What is on your interiors wish list and why?

I’m seriously hankering after the Crittal shower screen as the bathrooms are next on my list of rooms to do in my own house. The beautiful simplicity of the black framed screens add such a stylish edge to a bathroom. I’ve also got Bagnodesigns Art gloss teal bathroom cabinet and a beautiful black sink and drop tap from Australia on my list.

Which household items could you not live without and why?

My kitchenaid mixer. I love to bake for my children’s birthdays and have created all sorts of designs from Buzz Lightyear’s rocket to BB8! My current obsession is my armchair with gorgeous Matthew Williamson fabric. The children and my husband are banned from sitting there unless they’ve just had a bath.

Mirror from Rockett St George.

Which designers do you most admire and why?

I love Jonathan Adler, Matthew Williamson, Abigail Ahern, Kate Watson-Smythe and Timourous Beasties. I also really love to discover emerging independent designers, like Anna Hayman wallpapers, lampshades and fabrics, MucknBrass upcycled furniture and accessories and Monkey Puzzle Tree for wallpapers and fabrics. I love finding things that are not in the interiors shops and I can then offer my clients something different. I love too for bringing a lot of these kind of items to market. I could buy pretty much everything on that site.

What is your favourite building and why?

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I love the quirky style and the fact that you see something different every time you look. The mix of nature and architecture is really inspiring and

Tessa loves her Kitchen Aid mixer

Gaudi’s work makes me smile. The stained glass and all the colour it adds is overwhelmingly beautiful and means it changes with the time of day. The turrets are something I’m partial too as well.

Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of design?

There are so many more small independent businesses popping up in the interiors world from furniture makers to wallpaper designers, potters to fabric creators. I love the unique nature of these products and the fact that you get to support local people too rather than just big business. It makes working with them really rewarding and collaborative too.

What and where is your ideal home?

I love where I live in Boston Spa. However, Northumberland is one of my all-time favourite places. The beaches and beautiful castles just make me feel relaxed and inspired. I’d love to live right on the beach. A morning walk with the dog by the sea gives me such a centred feeling. In terms of the house – a Victorian property with turrets would be my ideal as I love character, features and unusual shapes. I actually added a turret to my last house as part of an extension.