Stylish houses aren’t just about tasteful taupe walls and chic grey kitchens, as you can see from these beautiful pictures of Laura Stephens’ family home. Laura is a rather brilliant interior decorator and designer who creates bespoke pieces of furniture for children’s rooms (although her pieces are coveted by adults as well) through her company Pistachio Giraffe. We love her colourful and creative style. Here she gives us a tour of her home and a breakdown of how the design works.
The Living Room
“My idea here was to use a bright and bold wallpaper to give the large space some focus and form the colour palette for the room. The skirting, cornices etc are all painted the same shade of white to create a contemporary and uniform look everywhere else (even the blinds are the same shade of white).”
Unfortunately, Laura’s wallpaper (Matthew Williamson for Cole&Son) is no longer available, but try this for a similar look. Laura’s turquoise sofa is from Loungin’ and her low-backed green and blue checked sofa is from Designers Guild. She found the mirror in an antiques fair in France and then repainted it, adding gold details to pick out the features.
“Once again, my decorating theme in the kitchen was ‘white’ with colour. The main one being the lovely pistachio green subway tiles from Johnson Tiles (and the inspiration behind the name of my business!) The units are by Howdens and we splashed out on the chunky white corian worktop. More colour was added with the chairs”.
Laura’s table was from Habitat, but unfortunately, is no longer available. Try this for a similar look. The ‘Rondo’ chairs are from Purves & Purves and are available in 20 different colours. The stunning lights are from The French House.
“I work from home so my work space is really important. My office is isolated in the loft room which is great as I can cut myself off from the rest of the household. This is where I work on my interior design projects. I have to do my furniture downstairs in the kitchen as it’s impossible to move wardrobes etc up several flights of stairs to the loft!
My desk is from Ikea and is great as it has really wide drawers which hold all my supplies. I have all my fabric and paint samples to hand in my Muji plastic drawer unit on my desk. The pin board above the desk holds all my ideas for the current project I’m working on, so I change it all the time. I need to have it all there, right in front of me, to stay focused. All my stationery bits are on the Ikea floating shelf which runs above the pin board. I brought colourful plant pots from Ikea to hold those bits. Everything is to hand so I have no excuse to wander off downstairs, make myself tea and get distracted. I reupholstered this antique chair in pink velvet.”
“I wanted to give my daughter’s room a ‘retro’ feel, achieved here with the vintage-inspired wallpaper (in the same colour palette as used throughout the house). The rest of the room is painted white to keep a calm feel with more splashes of colour. The vintage chest of drawers and chair are ones that I designed.”
The fabric letters spelling out Daisy’s name were from a boutique shop in the Cotswolds and the chair and side table are by Pistachio Giraffe (Laura’s company). The bed is from Ikea and the wallpaper from Designers Guild. The stripy rug is from Zara Home.
“My idea here was to, again, stick to the same colours used elsewhere in the house, but to calm them a little, so as to create a more restful feel. Hence the turquoise became a lighter blue, and I used a softer pink in the fabric for the blind.”
Walls painted in First Frost by Dulux, the fabric for the blinds was from John Lewis. The cushion is in Barcelona fabric from Designers Guild. The bed is from Laura Ashley and the mirror from Graham & Green. Laura found the birdcage on her side table in an antiques market and painted it yellow. Unfortunately, Laura’s side lamps from Rockett St George are no longer available, but these ones are similar in style. The bedlinen is also from Designers Guild, but no longer available, this floral pattern would make a nice alternative.
Laura’s Decorating Tips
“Although my design aesthetic is clearly colourful, I stick to a very careful palette of colours. The aim is not to create a rainbow look, but a cohesive one, which can be achieved with specific colours which complement each other. When decorating your house, try to have a theme linking the rooms, so the look flows and there’s no disjointed feeling from room to room. That could be shades of grey on the walls of different rooms. Or, as in my house, white walls with different splashes of colour (from the same palette) in each room.
Trained at the Chelsea School of Art and Design, Laura was drawn to making furniture when she was decorating her children’s rooms and found it hard to get original, interesting pieces. Friends then started asking her to make pieces for them and gradually, Pistachio Giraffe turned into a business. Laura works on commission, so price depends on each piece. Children’s chairs start from £40. Below pieces by Pistachio Giraffe.
IMAGES: Rachael Smith/House to Home