The Style Files No. 39 Sue's 'mad' creationColourphobes: look away now.
Happy Saturday lovelies! It’s been a busy week for us here over at Topology HQ, so we’re looking forward to a chilled out weekend. Not before we introduce our Style Files no. 39 though (how is it almost 40 already)?! Last week we featured Natalie’s barn conversion, and this week we’re taking you around a boutique retreat in North London designed by Sue Miller of Mad Cow Interiors. Sue ignored the many friends and neighbours who questioned her kooky style and stuck to her guns. As a result, this boutique retreat is totally unique. It may be quite out there, but at least it doesn’t look like a boring ski chalet (as Sue says). It’s a true display of maximalism. Come inside and take a look…
What’s the inspiration behind the design?
What’s your favourite spot in the home and why? What challenges did you encounter during the design process?
How would you define your style? What advice would you give to someone who wants to create a home like this?
Crikey, have you got the whole day? One thing I’ve learned about being creative, is that it HAS to start from a place of love – whether it’s interiors, clothes, fabrics, flowers, cooking – otherwise for me, it just doesn’t work. Inspiration can come from anywhere – the sky at dusk, the colour of my dogs eyes, plaster peeling off a brick wall. It’s probably about being present enough to see what’s right in front of you. If you have a vision, don’t be frightened to follow it despite what the builders/neighbours/extended members of the family may want to tell you otherwise. And be flexible – things don’t always work out the way you intended but you can move things around a bit until you feel good about them. I paint out walls and ceilings in the same colour for calm background scenes and then build layers and pops of colour and texture over the top. Play with height levels, use loads of lighting – everywhere! Don’t stick furniture next to walls – it makes a place seem too waiting room like and basically have fun with it!
“There’s no real formula to what I do – I’ve seen more than a few raised eyebrows along the way but I just have to see my vision through!”
What’s your favourite spot in the house and why?
Ooh er, it would absolutely have to be the copper bathtub, looking at the dreamy wall covering and stone basins. Or maybe the concrete textural wall covering and trailing flowers in the master bedroom. Or the master bed headboard. Hmm, well its either the master bed or the bathroom.
How would you define your style?
Err, not sure…eclectic is a much used term but for me its all about layering, colour, texture and pattern. I love juxtapositions of old against new, distressed against shiny, gritty masculine edges with luxe feminine touches. I will curate, reclaim, upcycle and if I don’t find what I envisage, I’ll make it myself. There’s no real formula to what I do – I’ve seen more than a few raised eyebrows along the way but I just have to see my vision through.
If you could own one homeware item, what would it be?
Well I’ve been drooling over this freestanding Malm firestove for a couple of years now but DEFRA’s regulations for a smoke free zone have made that impossible to install here in London and fair enough. But there’s always the possibility of putting one in the next project in the countryside…
If you love Sue’s totally mad style you can check out her Instagram here.
Think your home would make the cut? Don’t be shy! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org