The 'bluebellgray way'…

Q&A with founder Fi Douglas.

FiDouglas_01.jpgFiona, a graduate of the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, set up bluebellgray with a clear vision and style in mind; her love of colour and all things floral combined with a desire to create unique painterly pieces. 

We find out more…

WD It’s obvious you adore colour, do you have a favourite?
FD It has to be blue, in all its shades, anything from aqua blues to deep ultramarine blues
but I love pink too, especially neon pink.

 Fiona's sketch books
WD Do you have a favourite film and why?
FD  ‘About Time’ is my favourite. I love the simple message in this film, make the most of
every day and appreciate the people you love. Also I love the sets, the house where the
main character grows up and the location is my idea of British location perfection-
it makes you dream of summer time and lazy warm afternoons.

WD What's your guilty pleasure/s?
FD Buying too many magazines and never quite getting round to reading them all, there’s nothing better than 5 minutes peace with a cup of tea and a magazine. I’m also crazy for jackets, I blame living in Scotland, I definitely buy way too many of them.

WD Favourite holiday destination?
FD A boat trip round the Turkish Lycian coast in the Mediterranean, it is my all time favourite way to spend a week. Sailing in and out of unspoilt coves, jumping off the boat into the water to swim, catching fish off the boat to have for lunch, stopping off at tiny remote villages and soaking up the setting sun while its still warm. The colours are so beautiful, the water is crystal clear and deep turquoise water and the blues skies seem to stretch on forever, its the ultimate in relaxation for me.


WD Who’s your favourite artist/designer and why?
FD I have so many its difficult to narrow it down! I love Matisse and Elizabeth Blackadder
their paintings are just incredible, and the illustrator Quentin Blake is a hero of mine.
My favourite designer is Kit Kemp - her way of combining patterns and putting a room
together is pure magic, she is truly incredible.

WD What book/s are you reading?
FD I’m in the process of painting and papering my whole house so I’m currently reading ‘how to decorate’ by Farrow & Ball, its so interesting, full of really good practical advice and has really made me think about every room and where the colour goes. And I’m also reading ‘girlboss’ by Sophie Amaruso, its a really inspiring read. 

WD Did you always want to be a designer?
FD To be honest when I was really young I don’t think I quite knew what a designer did, there was no pinterest or instagram in those days and I grew up in a small town in the Highlands so it was more difficult to know what was possible in those days. I loved reading books and poured over the illustrations, I knew I wanted to be an artist or an illustrator, and I felt that really strongly since I was about 6 or 7. I didn’t really know I wanted to be a designer until art school.


WD How would you describe your own interior style?
FD Its colourful, modern and a little bit fearless. I really believe in following your heart when it comes to style.


WD Tell us something surprising about yourself?
FD When I was 17 I took myself off to Florence in Italy to learn to draw like the old masters and learn Italian - I had never even been on a plane before and there were no mobile phones! I didn’t learn much Italian but it was an amazing experience and learning to draw in those amazing old studios was incredible. 

WD As painting is your business what do you like to do to relax?
FD I love spending time with my husband and 2 young boys, they are aged 2 and 3 so its just about having fun with them at the moment. We go to the beach, picnics, walks and generally just hang out, weekends are our favourite. With running the business and my husband working a really busy job too I don’t honestly have time for much else these days, but family time is definitely my relaxing time. 

WD What's your favourite room in your home?
FD We have a huge open plan, kitchen, living, dining room, its where everything happens, playing, cooking, chatting, I love it.

WD Do you have a design of your own that’s a favourite?
FD I’ve got a real soft spot for my ‘abstract’ design, it's still our most popular fabric design and its the design that people really started to recognise as ‘bluebellgray’.
When I brought it out there was nothing else like it out there so it was really unusual and I was so happy and relieved that people liked it! Its turned into a bit of classic now which is really nice. 


 We’ll have Fiona’s favourite design (above) on our website very soon - so watch this space…



New Year tonic

It’s the time we all like to hibernate when the evenings are still dark and cold so a bit of feel good television is the perfect companion, alongside the last few remaning cheeky chocolates!
Not so much the box sets for me but an hour at the end of the evening is perfect time for a TV catch up especially now The Great Interior Challenge is back on our screens. Showing different warm English Summer locations some fun upcycling challenges and the usual great makeovers - what’s not to love… I always get the decorating bug when the last of the Christmas decs are put away.
We all love Daniel's usual sidekick Sophie Robinson - she spent this Summer with her young family so we welcome Kelly Hoppen to join the delightful Daniel Hopwood and they make a seriously dynamic design duo, putting the amateur designers through their paces.
I’ve been thrilled by the use of wallpaper this season, covering ceilings and furniture too.
Here are my favourites so far…
Programme 1:
Regency Cheltenham - Photographer Daniela's LA Palm Springs inspired Girls bedroom.
I loved the use of the Splatter wallpaper on the ceiling really unusual, fun and really sophisticated too.
Splatter wallpaper by Emma Bridgewater
Programme 6:
Streatham Art Deco Flats - Hairdresser Oliver's Deco Luxe guest room.
Oliver really delivered on this project with both his rooms but I loved the super stylish
bedside tables covered in mock snakeskin wallpaper. They looked so effective,
masculine and chic.
Programme 6:
Streatham Art Deco Flats - Freelance Make up artist Shaida (storage Queen)
Shaida treated her homeowners to an amazing wall of much needed storage in their guest room.
The newly fitted chest of drawers was covered in textured Anaglypta wallpaper with geometric Deco shapes.
A very clever and striking use of wallpaper in keeping with the design of the building.
 Anaglypta - Deco paradiso This wallpaper looks great too if painted, with gloss depending how brave you are!
To be continued ...more of my GIDC favourites next week.