Interiors queen Victoria is happy to share her trade secrets
VICTORIA Rose is a woman on a mission. As we browse through her rather gorgeous new shop in North Yorkshire, she tells me it’s time someone took the intimidation out of interior design.
“If you believed every magazine you’d think you had to have pots of money to have a stunning home,” Victoria explains with gusto. “It’s just not true. Great interiors are well within the reach of everyone’s budget. You just have to have the right advice.”
Luckily, Victoria’s quite happy to spill the beans. And for free. As a stockist of Farrow & Ball paint and wallpaper, and a trained F&B consultant, she spends a large part of her day talking to customers about colour. There’s an art to choosing the right shades, finishes and effects, not to mention how to coordinate colours with fabrics and furniture.
“I do have some golden rules,” she confides, “but I’m quite happy to share them.”
But doesn’t this approach mean she’s talking herself out of a job? “Not at all,” she laughs. “The more confident a customer becomes with their design choices, the more likely they are to come back to buy something else. I get people travelling from miles just to buy paint and have a chat about their latest projects. I love it.”
So, if Victoria had to reveal ten trade secrets for affordable interiors, what would they be? Here they are:
Always start with your fabric. Fall in love with your fabric and take your colour palette from there.
Don’t overcomplicate. Choose two neutral colours for a room and add a third “pulling down” colour. The pulling down colour should preferablybe a stronger colour such as a red or blue.
Always have something ugly in a room. This will prevent the “showroom effect”. Always have something tattered, humorous or just plain weird to create a conversation piece. It could be a stag’s head with a hat on, a marble bust with a pair of sunglasses, a battered old armchair – in fact, anything as long as it’s unique.
Don’t make a feature of technology. A television is not art so don’t hang it on the wall. Hide technology away if you possibly can. A local joiner can easily knock up a simple cabinet or adapt a cupboard to hide your television in.
Never scrimp on paint. Buy the best you can afford. You want two things from your paint – flatness and depth of colour, and you only get those with good raw materials and lots of pigment.
Remember, you live in Yorkshire. So forget Mediterranean colours or stark Scandinavian interiors, the light in this part of the world works better with warm neutrals. Brilliant white won’t make a room feel bigger; it’ll just make it feel cold.
Use local shops and suppliers. Whether it’s a fabric shop or furniture restorer you want, support local tradesmen and businesses. City centre shops tend to charge more for the same service or product you can find locally.
Snap up antiques. Every room should have at least one antique. They’ve never been cheaper – you can currently pick up a Georgian chest of drawers for the same price as an IKEA one. There’s no contest.
Ditch feature walls. Wallpapering just one wall always looks like you’ve run out of money! Use wallpaper everywhere in a room or not at all. If you’re strapped for cash, small rooms can look fantastic wallpapered – loos, pantries, bathrooms, even the insides of cupboards.
Express your personality. You should be able to go into a room in your home and know who you are. You and your family’s identity should be stamped all over your home – whether it’s photos, artwork, mementos or heirlooms.
Victoria Rose Interiors, 2 Howe End, Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire YO62 6BD. Tel: 01751 432134 www. victoriaroseinteriors.co.uk