A year ago today Kate Watson-Smyth and I set out on this new ‘podcast’ journey not quite knowing what to expect, and here we are on our 1st birthday and we have had the best time with some great guests, great sponsors and not forgetting our fab producer Kate Taylor. To mark the first year, we’re asking you, our listeners to get in touch with your favourite moments from the show, whether it’s insight, inspiration or my raucous moments of laughter, we’d love to hear from you and you can get in touch here firstname.lastname@example.org You could even record us your own clip on voice notes and email it to us, and you might make the show!
Moving on to today’s episode, we would like to say a huge thank you to our new sponsor John Lewis & Partners and please remember to rate and review us, it really does make all the difference, and don’t forget our thriving Facebook group! Its a den of design lovers and a really lovely community.
Now, on with the show! (If you haven’t caught up, as always you can listen here.) We have been trying for ages to get an invite with the former Elle Decoration UK Editor-in-chief, writer, TV presenter and all-round Interiors expert Michelle Ogundehin and she’s not been easy to pin down. But dear listeners our persistence finally paid off and I’m so pleased because this house tour is all you could wish for and more! I mean what this woman doesn’t know about interiors surely isn’t worth knowing! Ten years as Editor of much loved and highly regarded Elle Decoration magazine means she knows her interiors onions. But what type of home does such a style maven live in? Michelle is deeply personal when it comes to her home and it’s never nor shall be featured in any magazines or blogs. So its a deep privilege indeed to be invited in. Thrilled we could take you with us!
The first thing that possibly surprises when entering the picturesque Regency cottage was that it isn’t an uncompromising minimalist pad or the design museum you may expect. What it is is a very beautiful, warm and inviting space. I’d even go so far as saying homely, and I know Michelle would take that as a compliment. Michelle’s ethos on decorating your home, as is mine, it’s all about how the space makes you feel. And Michelle’s home makes you feel good!
The beautiful dark parquet flooring was quite a process as it took a while for Michelle to get the finish she knew she wanted – as Michelle says you may not know what you want until you see it and then you’ll know if it feels right and so she kept experimenting until she found a colour that “was not too black, and not too brown” and kept going until in the words of Goldilocks “it was just right!”
Michelle has long been a fan of Anaglypta wallpaper and so has Kate, despite some long-held views that it belongs in your granny’s house. Michelle has given it a modern interpretation by adding it between panels and painting it in ‘bruise purple’ as she refers to it – officially it’s Arquerite by Little Greene. You’ll also notice the foxed mirror above the panelling which is actually a wallpaper – check out this paper by Cole & Son for similar, it’s available in three tones. Michelle has a talent for mixing textures, in one corner of the room there’s the textured Anaglypta, velvet curtains and the metallic hint from the foxed effect wallpaper panel. All in her signature bruised purple but it makes the space feel so calm and elegant.
We did wonder where the TV was – can you spot it? Yes, it’s the peach artwork, the very clever Frame TV turns into a work of art when not in use. The floating sideboard was created using Ikea cabinets and the doors are by Superfront which feature a very ‘on trend’ scallop design.
Michelle believes that before you embark on decorating the bedroom think about how you want to feel – if you don’t sleep well all the best decor in the world won’t change that. For her and I suspect most of us, want it to feel like a retreat and a place of calm.
I’m not sure I’ve seen a tiled bedhead before but isn’t it fab. The lavender tiles are by H&E Smith who made the tiles for the London Underground. She discovered they do corner, dado and skirting tiles so was instantly sold. Not only is it a beautiful feature it has a practical function too as it doubles as a handy shelf and it houses the sockets for bedside lights.
Michelle’s key philosophy is the whole house should be a place to retreat to and get away from it all – and shouldn’t be limited to just a ‘spa’ type bathroom for example. Create a space that sparks that feeling the moment you walk in the door. I can report back that Michelle is very very tidy. Maybe this is the secret. I’ve taken note!
A huge thanks to our special guest Michelle Ogundehin, (you can read her blog here) for letting us have a snoop around her Brighton pad and don’t forget to check out her beautiful Instagram feed @michelleogundehin. Michelle has written a book, (due out next Spring) about her design philosophy and how to create your dream home in order to make you feel happy. Watch this space!