Yorkshire Post - Property

‘Design-free feel’ in the home of a designer

Malton-based residentia­l and commercial interior designer Rachel McLane does not follow a style or theme inside her home.

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How would you describe your home? We live in a home we built ourselves. Designed in the style of a Yorkshire barn, it is energy efficient and sustainabl­e. The interior is an eclectic mix of old and new in terms of both architectu­re and furniture. A reclaimed stone arch from Kirkbymoor­side train station sits alongside floor-to-ceiling solar tinted glazing, while antique furniture and rugs rub shoulders with modern pieces. The house is built using gorgeous Yorkshire stone, recycled from a war-time property, in a deplorable state of repair, originally occupying our building plot. Rather than roofing with traditiona­l pantiles, we used a combinatio­n of solar panels on the south-facing front of the house, and corrugated tin sheets at the back to link with its agricultur­al surroundin­gs. The interior feels like a design-free zone. It does not follow a theme, palette or style and is undoubtedl­y not contrived and overly pretentiou­s. It is very different from the glossy interiors magazine look that people might expect for the home of an interior designer.

What is on your interiors wish list and why? I don’t really have a wish list. Instead, I tend to keep ideas at the back of my mind for the moment I stumble across them. I know something is right if I see it, even if I am not looking for it at that moment. If I had to create a list, I suppose a new kitchen would be right at the top of it. Our house took five very long years to build, and during that time we lived in a caravan on the site. Half of our current kitchen comes from the caravan and the other half came out of a skip.

Which household items could you not live without? A somewhat random selection of prints and paintings, including framed toddler scribbles on napkins from a café during one halcyon summer in Italy years ago; a small collection of inherited oils depicting my native Scotland; some contempora­ry 1960s artwork, and pieces from local or new artists I have discovered fairly recently. I see a painting, drawing or photograph that speaks to me,

I tend to acquire it; I’ve learned the hard way not to walk past something I really like.

Which designers do you most admire? Rather than any one designer, I tend to admire the individual­s whose work defines an era. Each era spawned its own look, feel and style, shaped by the designers of the time. Nothing is new as far as design is concerned, rather newly interprete­d. When working on a project, I look deep within an era for design details to reimagine it in a way that both meets the brief and is in empathy with the architectu­ral style.

What is your favourite building? King’s Cross/St Pancras station, as it has a bit of everything. I lived in London during the regenerati­on of the King’s Cross area 25 years ago. I frequently travelled through King’s Cross at that time and was fascinated by hoardings with visuals of the proposed developmen­t and old alongside new.

Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of design? It really has to be the rise in importance and awareness of sustainabi­lity. Renew, re-use, repurpose and replenish is an ethos at the heart of my work.

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Main, Rachel’s home is a barn conversion with stairs by Bisca, founded by her husband Richard. Above, Star Inn The Harbour, Whitby, and the bedroom at
Down Hall, Herts, are among her triumphs. Inset, Rachel at work.
DESIGN: Main, Rachel’s home is a barn conversion with stairs by Bisca, founded by her husband Richard. Above, Star Inn The Harbour, Whitby, and the bedroom at Down Hall, Herts, are among her triumphs. Inset, Rachel at work.

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