Inspired to design

INTERIOR designer Carolyn Parker tells Sharon Dale about her design inspirations

Carolyn is one of Yorkshire’s top interior designers and has transformed everything from barns to villas for Premiership footballers. She also starred as an interiors expert on ITV’s This Morning.

She is working with Batley-based textile manufacturer Joshua Ellis on a signature cashmere range of soft furnishings and is also designing the interiors for TV chef James Martin’s new restaurant, The Leeds Kitchen, at the Alea Casino in Clarence Dock.

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Carolyn runs her eponymous design company,, with her daughter, Abby.

She lives in North Yorkshire and has a second home in Portugal.

Q: Describe your style.

I personally like a classic style of clean lines, muted colours and tailored curtains.

Q: What is your favourite piece of furniture and why?

My favourite piece of furniture is my Pippy Oak dining table. I love all the knots in the wood and its varying colours, but most of all it is three metres long and large enough to sit all my family around.

Q: Where does your inspiration come from ?

Everywhere; clichéd, I know, but it could be the weather, colour of the sky. It could be a city and its architecture. I could go on.

Q: Where do you shop for homeware?

I like Zimmer and Rhode for fabrics, and Mulberry Hall, in York, for all my china and glassware. I am a massive fan of TK Maxx or any other shop where I can root around for bargains. For lighting, I like Tyson Bennison (

I enjoy shopping in Dunas in Portugal and in antique shops, anywhere and as many as possible, but I love Browns on Kings Road (

Q: Are there any designers/collections you’re excited about right now?

I am beside myself with excitement about the new cashmere collection I am working on with Joshua Ellis. Cashmere is my passion and it makes the most beautiful fluid curtains.

Q: Where is you ideal home?

First and foremost, here in North Yorkshire, and I am supremely lucky to have a house in Portugal, up in the hills of the Algarve. I could not wish for anything else.

Q: What is your interiors wish list?

William Yeoward’s Barramundi table. A few of my clients have one and I am so jealous. Also, any bespoke carpet or rug from Concept Handtufting in Wetherby (

Q: What’s the best item you’ve ever bought for your home?

My Savoir bed. It is incredibly comfortable.