We invited interiors expert Caroline Milns to share with us how she introduces colour and texture into her projects on a daily basis, without interfering with the clean, minimalist vibe we all love.
Having worked as a textile and interior designer for over 20 years, Caroline Milns launched Zulufish Interiors in 2013, promising to “strive to create timeless design & inspiring interiors”. Zulufish Interiors is a sister company to Zulufish Residential, one of London’s leading design and build companies.
Here’s how it went…
1. What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on and why?
Westfield Avenue – we had to be very creative working to a challenging budget to create a contemporary space which also nodded back to its worker cottage roots. Bespoke panelled feature walls were designed in inexpensive materials to give a timeless but unique look. Light and space were key elements in the redesign of this project, with carefully placed windows and skylights to maximise light flow through the house. Multiple bespoke joinery units were designed and concealed in every nook, making use of every cm of space. The materials chosen were linked through the house to provide a seamless flow.
2. Where did you source your inspiration when beginning this project?
Initially from buildings with beautiful old panelling and vintage features. We then updated the 3D panelling into more contemporary designs, sourced vintage pieces form ebay and upcycled them into vanity units. The brief was to create a modern urban cottage, using reclaimed vintage pieces, rustic but polished materials and a warm retro lighting scheme.
3. What was your thought process when selecting the colours and materials for this project?
The french grey wood kitchen and soft charcoal shaker wall units paired with a clean marble splashback made for a warm urban style kitchen. The living areas flowed off this warm linen neutral palette with accents of burnt orange, purple heather shades and sage greens. Metallic gold also played a key part in adding glamour to the scheme.
4. What was your thought process when selecting lighting for this project?
Mixing vintage retro lighting, filament bulbs and hand blown glass domes to create a warmth.
5. If you have to invest your money in just one piece of furniture, what would you advise it be?
A quality sofa with a timeless or classic design. This will stand the test of time and will reward you every time you sit on it. You can also upholster it in years to come.
6. What mistakes do you see over and over again in interiors?
Generic lighting schemes. Make sure every level of lighting is addressed, from spotlights, wall lights, task lighting, and low level lighting and led strip lights. This add layers of lighting to a room for every time of day, it also omits the harsh lighting that can occur with just using spot lights
7. What advice would you give to those that want to make an impactful change, without completely renovating the room?
You can make a big impact by repainting furniture, wood floors and then changing the details like the handles, cushions and accessories in a room.
8. What is your biggest golden rule when it comes to interiors?
Enjoy layering textures and interesting finishes together, don’t be afraid of mixing it up. If you decide to do this, keep the palette neutral with only a couple of accent colours so there is continuity though the scheme. This will create an playful interesting scheme that is cosy and warm to live with.
A huge thank-you to Caroline for sharing her thought-process with us. Now we have no excuse but to get to work in our own homes, incorporating colour and texture along the way.
The beautiful imagery included in this post all belongs to Caroline, and if you’d like to see more of Carolines projects, head over to Zulufish Interiors.