# British Interior Design # England

British Interior Design with Rebecca Leigh

My lovely sister-in-law, Rebecca Leigh, works as an interior stylist in the United Kingdom and is just now branching out her services to New York. Her style is glamorous, traditional and eclectic and her clients have ranged from conservative bankers to flamboyant rock stars. Rebecca believes that interior styling is a luxury that everyone should have. She is also an art buyer and works with some of the most prominent collectors of Warhol and Picassos in the world. Rebecca was kind enough to answer a few questions on interior styling for the Daily Connoisseur.

Pictured below are a three style boards of her work:

How do you describe modern British Interior Design?

There are many styles to British Interior Design however, the two that come to my mind are Cool Britannia and Shabby Chic.
Cool Britannia is a British Interior Design, styled around patriotism and in the 1990s, the phrase ‘shabby chic’ was coined to describe the modern laid back style. ‘Shabby’ refers to older— lived in or second-hand objects that have a distressed look about them, but not overly damaged. ‘Chic’ applies to objects which are old but definitely worth keeping.

Can you give us a few inexpensive decorating updates anyone can do to their homes?

Bargain Hunting – Try charity shops, flea markets, auctions and eBay. You can find furniture cheaply, sand it and repaint it.

Kitchens – take dingy kitchen cabinets and repaint them in fresh colours or buy white flat pack cabinets and make them look expensive by laying granite/marble worktops over them. Many companies offer ‘kitchen makeovers’ where you keep the basic shell but have the doors, worktops and tiling replaced, which can save you thousands.

Recycle - Re-use/ Up-cycling- the art of turning the tired objects you might usually throw away into beautiful, useful pieces, like an old cart into a drinks trolley !

Instant impact – Instead of wallpapering an entire room, try it on one wall only as it will immediately transform the space. Resanding and resealing woodern flooring also makes a dramatic difference. Dress up doors with elegant knobs and handles.

Paint effects – Tester pots can go a long way, especially if you want to update one piece of furniture or change a new colour. If you change one thing for me it would be paint!

Where should we splurge and where should we save?

Splurge – Sofas, mattresses, flooring and window dressing

Save – Furniture, lighting, rugs, artwork and decorative accents

You work as an Interior stylist. How is this different from a traditional interior designer?

Interior design is the crux of any living area. Spatial planning and material specification decide how the interior shell of a space will sit. With Interior Styling you add personality and charm. It focuses on items that aren’t fixed, such as furniture and accessories. Ultimately if a space is designed well, it rarely needs as much styling as one that isn’t. That can involve putting back original architecture when restoring ones' period home such as period cornices, ceiling roses, and fireplaces to look as though they have been with the house forever. Putting the soul back into the home! I never work towards a ‘themed look’ I help create a unique and eclectic look for my clients and to give them the home of their dreams.

Rebecca Leigh Interior Stylst
www.rebeccaleighstylist.com (website currently under construction)

For any inquiries, you can contact Rebecca at: loftten (at) btinternet (dot) com

Thank you Rebecca! x

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Pug1 said...

Interesting post. My home is eclectic . I do have a fabulous Chesterfield set (sofa, chair and footstool ). I bought the set on Craigslist. This set was in the former owners formal room and didn't get much use so it is in like new condition! I love great finds! Cheers!

Claire said...

The "Save and Splurge" tip is especially helpful. Thanks for sharing this.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Michele your Chesterfield set sounds divine!

Claire I enjoyed her save and splurge tips too... I definitely agree with splurging on curtains. We have both expensive and cheap curtains in our home and the cheap ones look dire!