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Okay right off the bat, Lily Paulson-Ellis is a boss! We had the pleasure to interview the Interior Designer and all round Superwoman to find out a little more about the woman behind the name, and what that morning playlist looks like! We fell in love with Lily after seeing her Barnes Townhouse, Elm Grove Road SW13, I mean seriously… you haven’t seen it – thank us after! 

Okay, lay it on us, 3 songs your morning playlist must contain.

I tend to listen to Radio 4 in the mornings as depressing as the news is at the moment! But if I need a bit of song motivation it would be ‘Start Me Up’ by The Rolling Stones every time.

Okay, now pleasantries: tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I live in Barnes, London with my husband, 2 (soon to be 3) children and 2 labradors. I established LPE Designs in 2015 and we create homes that have comfort and practicality at their core and that stand the test of time. We enjoy getting rooms to work practically at a really detailed level. We don’t believe in imposing a signature look onto our projects and instead work closely with our clients to establish how they will live in their home, their values and their identity. Our clients are mainly private residential families who know what they like but might struggle with pulling everything together or lack the time required. 

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Gosh everything from a vet to a dinner lady when I was very young! But our home was destroyed by a house fire when I was 9 and my parents let me choose how my bedroom was re-decorated and that really sparked my passion for designing interiors. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? and the worst?

That you can achieve anything if you work hard enough. Similarly the worst advice was probably careers advice at school, which at the time was very limited to pushing everyone into law or finance. I think these days we are all much more aware that you can have a great career in such a wide range of fields.

What is your favourite creative outlet to get the juices flowing? Where does all that great writing come from?

Walking my dogs! If ever I feel a bit stuck on a design problem , leaving my desk and taking the dogs to the tow path really helps clear my head and invariably helps me find the right answer.

Jump in the Tardis and fast forward 5 years – where are you and what are you up to?

I’d love to have a bigger studio and team with some international projects

What’s one thing other people may not know about you?

I’m just about to have my third child!

Who or what are some of your influences? Are there any peers or creatives that you admire or draw inspiration from? 

Absolutely – there are so many fantastic Architects and Interior Designers out there and even though we may all differ in style there is much to take inspiration from in terms of detailing and finishes.

What are your main sources of inspiration? Are there any outlets you reference regularly? 

I love Instagram & Pinterest but also bars, restaurants and even shops are a great source of inspiration when it comes to detailing

Complete this sentence… Life is about…

Family & friends

Photography Credit – Nick Smith Photography

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Okay right off the bat, Bee Osborn is a boss! We had the pleasure to interview the Interior Designer and all round Superwoman to find out a little more about the woman behind the name, and what that morning playlist looks like! We fell in love with Bee after seeing her Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, I mean seriously… you haven’t seen it – thank us after! 

Okay, lay it on us, 3 songs your morning playlist must contain.

Krask & Smaak, I’ll be Loving You

Jacob Banks, Unholy War

Claptone, No Eyes

Okay, now pleasantries: tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m an interior designer with a small, brilliant team, focussing on hotel & residential design all around the world.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A mummy to 6 children with houses all over the world…. I am a mummy to three daughters and live in a small stone 1530’s cottage and consider myself extremely lucky.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? and the worst?

To understand that your thoughts become things, so visualise your goals and dreams daily.

To stay within your comfort zone and not take risks.

What is your favourite creative outlet to get the juices flowing? Where does all those great ideas come from?

Maison et Objet in Paris in September and January.

Jump in the Tardis and fast forward 5 years – where are you and what are you up to?

Doing more and more unique boutique hotel projects, with attention on sustainability.

What’s one thing other people may not know about you?

That I find double sausage and egg McMuffins from MacDonald’s the best hangover cure.

Who or what are some of your influences? Are there any peers or creatives that you admire or draw inspiration from?

Steven Gambrel, Veere Grenney & Vincent Van Duysen.

What are your main sources of inspiration? Are there any outlets you reference regularly?

Travel, travel and travel.

Complete this sentence… Life is about…

Finding your passion and do it daily……

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Okay, Linda Clayton is a boss. We love her energy and passion in her writing, and her instagram bios are infectious. Seriously, we’ve made it a thing of following her posts, eagerly awaiting those bios. Linda is an Interior Journalist regularly writing for Real Homes, Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. We had the pleasure of interviewing Linda to find out a little more about the woman behind the name, and what that morning playlist looks like.

Okay, lay it on us, 3 songs your morning playlist must contain.

I can only cope with background music when I am writing so generally do old-person Spotify playlist searches like ‘laidback pop’. Boring I know, but anything that makes me want to sing along will make me lose the plot, literally, of a feature.

Okay, now pleasantries: tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I write about cushions and curtains from dawn ‘til dust. Actually it’s more like cookers and stopcocks (I specialise in kitchens and bathrooms) but you get the gist. More interestingly (for me), my husband is a cabinetmaker and we’re currently renovating our third home together, in Devon. I LOVE the design-plotting/shopping potential but HATE the physical pain of painting skirting boards until I want to stove my eyes in with the brush. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A journalist. True story. But in my head it was the Kate Adie, serious reportage type. I tried news reporting when I left Uni, and only lasted eight months. Door-stopping a family whose 13yo son had committed suicide was the straw that broke…

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? and the worst?

There’s more to life than houses (from the woman who we bought this house from. I think she was trying to excuse the state of the décor but it did make me realise we need to find time to live between the relentless DIY). The worst…that I should launch a glossy interiors mag with a fellow journalist. Bankruptcy aged 26 is a major buzzkill.  

What is your favourite creative outlet to get the juices flowing?

Where does all that great writing come from? I’m pretty Low Brow if I’m honest; I love RED mag, The Midult and any columnist with dry wit. Charlie Brooker has been a life-long muse.

Jump in the Tardis and fast forward 5 years – where are you and what are you up to?

Done with wallpaper stripping and sat on the beach with Nick and our two girls. Hopefully they’re not too unbearably tweeny by then.

Okay, true story, how long does it take you to write those Instagram bios?

Depends on how ranty I am feeling. If I’m on a properly narky roll, not long at all! 

What’s one thing other people may not know about you?

I have four piercings and a tattoo, but you will never, ever see the latter.

Are there any peers or creatives that you admire or draw inspiration from?

If I had even half of Barbara Chandlers’ energy or work output, I’d be a happy bunny indeed. She’s remarkable.

What are your main sources of inspiration? 

I get most of “my” best interiors ideas from the interior designers I interview every day. In fact I shamelessly plug them for free design advice when I am stuck. One day I’ll be sent a bill but until then, I’m rinsing them for every last tip.

Complete this sentance… Life is about…

Being happy. It’s far easier said than done but I am increasingly discovering the joy-making power of saying NO (thanks).

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Okay right off the bat, we love Joanna Thornhill. We had the pleasure to interview the Interior Stylist/Writer/Crafter and all round Superwoman to find out a little more about the woman behind the name, and what that morning playlist looks like! We fell in love with Joanna after seeing her styling work for TK Maxx and HomeSense, I mean seriously if you have children, you need Joanna to style their bedrooms and parties! 

Laurence King Publishing

Okay, lay it on us, 3 songs your morning playlist must contain.

Boring, but I find music pretty distracting when I work so I tend to opt for classical/instrumental stuff just to fill the silence – recent listens have been This is Antonio Pinto, Apollo by Brian Eno and (bizarrely), the Diego Maradona motion picture soundtrack. I tend to just set them off on Spotify and listen to whatever else it offers up next

Photographer Mel Yates Stylist Joanna Thornhill

Okay, now pleasantries: tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m self employed as a commercial interiors stylist, writer and author, which means no two days are ever the same! Predominantly my work involves either producing and styling photoshoots for brands (usually for for their catalogue, website or social media/for editorial use), or for magazines themselves, as well as writing things like trend reports, articles and shopping pages, again for both magazines and corporate brands. I also work on designing and styling events, again usually for brands, to showcase new product ranges or launches for press, bloggers and influencers. 

Alongside this I’ve styled and written a couple of books: the first, Home for Now (CICO Books), was aimed at offering affordable, realistic and temporary decorating ideas to renters or cash-strapped first-time buyers starting their journey up the property ladder, which was republished in 2018 with a new title, Insta-Style for your Living Space. Then in Spring 2019, my latest book, My Bedroom is an Office (Laurence King) launched, offering a unique, dip-in Q&A approach to a myriad interiors dilemmas, from how to decorate a north-facing room to what to do when your walls are too crumbly to put up shelves (joannathornhill.co.uk/books

Photographer Rita Platts Stylist Joanna Thornhill

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Either a journalist or a fashion designer, so I’ve kind of achieved the first goal! I studied Fashion Design at uni but then realised my interest was more in the promotional side of the industry and of branding/image-making, so I switched to a degree in Fashion Promotion. But I THEN realised that actually, my interest was SPECIFICALLY more in the backgrounds to the clothes rather than the clothes themselves, so after uni I went to work as a runner in TV before moving into more art department-based roles, and then eventually started assisting other stylists and working ad-hoc in various magazine offices as an assistant, and it all took off from there!

Photographer Graham Commons Stylist Joanna Thornhill

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? and the worst?

I think generally speaking the best advice I’ve been given is to know your worth – when you quote a potential client for a job, you’re not just charging for your time and costs, you’re charging for all the years of skills, experience and expertise you’re bringing to the table on TOP of your time and costs for that particular job. When you’re good, your work can make a huge positive impact on the brand who are employing you, so all of this needs to be taken into account. I can’t really think of any ‘bad’ advice per se but one thing I’ve learned along the way is, despite what clients may have promised to do or said they wanted, to always have alternatives and back-up plans in place so you can react quickly to any unforeseen requests or changes to the original brief!

Photographer Jake Curtis Stylist Joanna Thornhill

What is your favourite creative outlet to get the juices flowing?

Sometimes I think the best thing is to just step away somewhat and just go for a walk somewhere inspiring, or go to an art gallery, or even just wander round a pretty town you’ve not visited before. I love visiting interiors trade and press shows but sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming, whereas a calm walk somewhere can give you that clarity to notice a gorgeous colour combination or provide the headspace to allow new ideas to pop up

Jump in the Tardis and fast forward 5 years – where are you and what are you up to?

I’m not very good at planning ahead but I’d like to still be working in the industry, doing more of the same yet expanding on where I’m at now. I’d love to write another book and possibly do more collaborative work with brands – perhaps cross-platform. Things move so quickly it’s important to keep on your toes and diversify or adapt to suit changes. The mainstream magazine industry has undeniably suffered during the growth of blogs and social media, yet people still yearn for tangible printed materials, so it’ll be interesting to see how things evolve

Stylist Joanna Thornhill

What advice would you give to emerging go getters who want to follow in your footsteps?

It can be a really tough industry to get into and you need to be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices, but if you’ve got a creative flair, a lot of common sense and are willing to graft, it’s certainly do-able. The majority of work is in London, where stylists and magazine staff seek out freelance styling assistants for help on shoots or research (often at very short notice and for odd days here and there), so most assistants make it work by mixing assisting with other flexible revenue streams, from selling handmade jewellery to bar work and office temping, to allow them to jump onto assisting opportunities at the last minute. If realistically you don’t think that lifestyle is for you, maybe consider starting an interiors blog instead, to immerse yourself in the industry a little more and possibly open up more opportunities that way which are easier to fit in around other jobs or commitments

Any up-coming trends? Don’t worry, we won’t tell a soul…

Wellness and sustainability are such hot topics right now and this is feeding into interiors through the use of natural materials (and decorating with colours inspired by nature), the never-ending trend for biophilia and incorporating plants into the home, and in details such as candles made with essential oils to encourage relaxation or creativity. Conversely, bold, maximal interiors are set to be big this Autumn/Winter, with lots of rich colours, oversized floral patterns and luxe fabrics like velvet to add warmth and vibrancy – though this trend also incorporates vintage pieces and ‘brown’ furniture, so has a sustainability angle in its own way

Laurence King Publishing

What’s one thing other people may not know about you?

I’m a bit of a dog geek and since consecutively adopting two ex-street dogs from Romania, I’ve become fascinated by canine psychology and behavioural rehabilitation through positive reinforcement training techniques. Sometimes I have moments where I wonder if I should change career and retrain as a behaviourist, but then I remember that I don’t really like going out if it’s too cold (or too hot, or raining, or overly muddy) so swiftly come to the conclusion I’m best off sticking with a career in cushions…

Laurence King Publishing

Who or what are some of your influences? Are there any peers or creatives that you admire or draw inspiration from?

I don’t really have any go-to influences as I prefer to see what piques my interest naturally, but it’s always interesting and helpful to look back over design history – I’m a big William Morris fan and have several of his fabric designs throughout my house but I also like the work of the Bloomsbury Group, Bauhaus, fusty Victoriana, Mid Century Modern…

Laurence King Publishing

What are your main sources of inspiration? Are there any outlets you reference regularly? 

Depending on what I’m working on, I generally spend a fair bit of time searching for trends and seeing what people are up to via Pinterest and Instagram as well as by reading design websites such as Dezeen, and the weekend newspaper supplements are always a good way of seeing curated trend round-ups and product launches, as they can react far quicker than the monthly titles

Complete this sentence… Life is about…

…if I knew the answer to that I’d probably be making my millions elsewhere as a self-help guru!

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You may have heard of Sterlingham, the towel rail manufacturer. We are working with Sterlingham to bring out a new collection of Marble rung towel warmers, you’ll find it at their stall in Decorex 2019. 

We’ve worked with Sterlingham for many years and perhaps know everything there is to know about their towel warmers. The Stourton, Enville, Park Lane and Tura are classic enough to be used in any bathroom. 

Sterlingham recently released their new coding system for Towel Warmers, which uses the first 4 letters of the Towel Warmer name and the number of rails, along with the configuration type. Don’t worry we’ll talk you through a couple examples below. 

So lets say you want a Stourton Towel Warmer with 3 rails, electric in a polished chrome finish well that would be known as STOU-3-E-CP if you wanted the same Stourton Towel Rails but in a hot water model it would be STOU-3-H-CP. Lets increase the rails, if we wanted a Stourton Towel Warmer with 4 or 5 rails in electric then it would be STOU-4-E-CP or STOU-5-E-CP.

Same goes for Park Lane, i’ll list out a few below with the descriptions next to them. 

PARK-3-E-CP – Sterlingham Park Lane, 3 Rail, Electric, Polished Chrome finish

PARK-4-E-NP – Sterlingham Park Lane, 4 Rail, Electric, Polished Nickel finish

PARK-5-E-UB – Sterlingham Park Lane, 5 Rail, Electric, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

PARK-3-H-CP – Sterlingham Park Lane, 3 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Chrome finish

PARK-4-H-NP – Sterlingham Park Lane, 4 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Nickel finish

PARK-5-H-UB – Sterlingham Park Lane, 5 Rail, Hot Water, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

I’ll do the same for the Sterlingham Tura Towel Warmer below also. 

TURA -3-E-CP – Sterlingham Tura, 3 Rail, Electric, Polished Chrome finish

TURA-4-E-NP – Sterlingham Tura, 4 Rail, Electric, Polished Nickel finish

TURA-5-E-UB – Sterlingham Tura, 5 Rail, Electric, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

TURA-3-H-CP – Sterlingham Tura, 3 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Chrome finish

TURA-4-H-NP – Sterlingham Tura, 4 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Nickel finish

TURA-5-H-UB – Sterlingham Tura, 5 Rail, Hot Water, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

Last one is the Sterlingham Enville Towel Warmer.

ENVI-3-E-CP – Sterlingham Enville, 3 Rail, Electric, Polished Chrome finish

ENVI-4-E-NP – Sterlingham Enville, 4 Rail, Electric, Polished Nickel finish

ENVI-5-E-UB – Sterlingham Enville, 5 Rail, Electric, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

ENVI-3-H-CP – Sterlingham Enville, 3 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Chrome finish

ENVI-4-H-NP – Sterlingham Enville, 4 Rail, Hot Water, Polished Nickel finish

ENVI-5-H-UB – Sterlingham Enville, 5 Rail, Hot Water, Un-lacquered Polished Brass finish

You can purchase your Sterlingham Towel Warmers and products through us, we’ll make sure all the codes and dimensions and finishes are correct. Get in touch now – contact@opusbathrooms.co.uk

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