Designs for Life, Top Tips for Successful Interior Design Projects!

This is the first in a series of posts I will be sharing with you about ‘Designs for Life’ – Making your House a Home, looking at Interior Design tips and tricks for starting new projects, Colour advice,  Colour Trend forecasts and how keeping your house in order can contribute to your own happiness and wellbeing. Over the years I have redesigned the interiors and exteriors of the homes I’ve lived in – a country farmhouse, a Scottish Manse, an Aberdeen Townhouse and a Spanish Cortijo and commercial premises – my own Art Gallery. The aim at the heart of each residential redesign was to create a comfortable, functional and adaptable home, truly reflecting the personalities of us as a family, with the space being filled with the pieces of ceramics, glass work, textiles, furniture and art that had been carefully collected over time and through our travels.

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Aberdeen Townhouse, Master Bedroom: Repainted & Distressed Pine Chest of Drawers, painted fireplace and over mantle mirror, mirrored dressing table painted with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Marzipan.

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Painted pine bed, painted and distressed antique side tables. Painted and distressed antique Bergere chair and Lloyd Loom table.

Repainted Bergere Chair using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Ironstone.  Patchwork Linen and Liberty Fabric Cushions by Tracey Johnston
Homage to the Square:  Linen and Liberty Fabric Patchwork Cushion by Tracey Johnston.











My Top Tips Before starting any Interior Design Project:

  • Make Friends with Your Space! Sounds obvious but live in the space first before making any big design decisions. Get to know the feel of your home, this is really important. This is your personal space and you need to make it function for you. If you can, then also ignore preconceived, historical and previous uses of rooms and decide to live how you want and need to. If you need to work from home dedicate a space to that, likewise if you want a children’s playroom, re-shuffle other areas. Where do you spend most of your time?
  • Think About Your Look! What is it that you are trying to achieve? Do some research and look at Interior Design and Homes style magazines, search Pinterest and look up other social media channels. Find your style. Is it Mid Century Modern? Scandi Chic? Country? Clean Lines? Minimal? Urban? Dark and Delicious? Light and Airy? or Coastal? Collect pictures of everything you like and create a mood board for each room. This will help you have a clear idea of the direction you want to go in to create the perfect look and feel for you.
  • Work With What You Have! I’m a firm believer in this. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the Interior Design of your home. Make the most of the space you already have. The first thing to do is de-clutter. If you are a bit of a hoarder like me and find it difficult to throw anything away then tackle small things to start with. Decide to clear out your wardrobe then a chest of drawers, tackle one room at a time. Give your unwanted things away to friends, family or to charity. Recycle! Some Recycling Depots also have designated places for good quality unwanted goods to be passed on to charities. Or put some extra pennies in your pocket and sell on Gum Tree or other social media sites. You really will feel a lot better with a good clear out. Now you can see what you have. Can anything be up-cycled or repainted and given a new lease of life? By just changing the colour of a piece of furniture or one wall you can give a whole new feel and mood to a room.

Next time I will be sharing my top tips for choosing the right colour in your home.

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Workshops and Products:  For more information and to book a place on our Furniture Painting Workshops visit

Paint and Products can be purchased at our Workshop and online at

Consultancy: To book an Interior Design, Styling or Colour Consultation contact Tracey at


Interior Colour Trends 2016


To great excitement in the design industry Pantone announced the Colour of the Year and its not one but two:  ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY PANTONE 13-1520 & PANTONE 153919

Following on from this announcement leading paint brands have released their 2016 colour forecasts.   We’ll have a look at what Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball are forecasting this year.




Fired Earth has released a lovely colour palette of three key colour trends as voted for by their in-house colour team.

Rose Gold – A pop of pink.

Left to right: Fired Earth paint colours in Orchard Pink, Amber Gris and Delia’s Secret.

Below: Corresponding Colours in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, left to right: Arabesque, Schloss and Miss Mustard Seed’s Yellow.


Moss – Dark and soothing layers.

Left to right: Ultramarine Ashes, Weald Green and Malachite.

Below: Corresponding Colours in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, left to right:  Layla’s Mint, Luckett’s Green and Boxwood.



New Monochrome – A fresh new twist.

Top to bottom: Charcoal, Skylon Grey and Mad King George.

Corresponding Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Colours, Left to right:  Shutter Gray, Trophy and Typewriter.

Farrow and Ball have introduced 9 new lovely colours to add to their already very popular range.

To see more paint colours from the Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball Brands please visit and
We are the North East official retailer for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and Products and teach certified workshops in painting and finishing techniques.  Book Online for Workshops at  Shop Online at
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