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Lifestyle, Homes

OX Homes Meets Roisin Quinn

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“it's the power of colour and the power of good design”
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Fans of the BBC’s show, Interior Design Masters, will instantly recognise the signature style of this year’s winner, Roisin Quinn. Bold, beautiful and unapologetically maximalist, viewers watched week by week as Roisin went from self-declared novice to overall winner as the series progressed. She was the candidate with the least experience but her instinct for pattern and colour led her seamlessly to the final. She has now launched a capsule homeware collection with interiors brand, La Redoute and, as a fan of the show and a fan of her joyous aesthetic I was delighted to meet her and learn more.

I'm such a fan of the show but this year was a particularly strong group.

I know. They said usually they can pick it out quite early on who's going to win but everyone was just so different; that’s what was so hard. It was an amazing group of people.

It feels like there was genuine camaraderie, but you must all be aware it’s ultimately a competition.

It doesn't feel like a competition whatsoever – even in the final.

Really?

It's so weird, the only point I'd say you start feeling like you're in a competition is when you can go and snoop people's rooms. At the start, you know you need to be better than the others to get through but at the end, it's like you've spent so long together – I was rooting for Matt just as much as he was rooting for me. I think that is probably because our styles are all so different.

At what point did you realise you might win?

There was no real point, but at the final you know it’s going be him or me. I suppose looking back, I thought because of the feeling I got walking into my space and the feeling I got walking into Matt's space, maybe I thought at that point I might have this in the bag. After [winning the week before at] Wembley, I got a bit of confidence. Then going into the final, I could see what was lacking in Matt's space; small details, like if you're going to a lodge like that you need to have a seating area outside for dinner because you're in the gorgeous grounds of Blenheim and then you need a cosy corner where people can just relax and have a drink. It has to be family orientated.

People talk about needing confidence to use colour. Would you agree and where would you say you found that confidence?

I do think you do need confidence to use colour; it's quite bold and it's out there and that's why people always lean towards the safe beige colours and greys, because it's not in your face or shocking your eyes.

Believe it or not, when I moved into this house I painted every single wall grey – grey sofa, grey carpets, I painted the kitchen white; everything was plain. It wasn't until I started putting in soft furnishings that I realised I was drawn to colour. I think I hit a point in lockdown when I was like, ‘why don't I just get this colourful cushion?’. Then I painted the living room light pink but was so washed out, it made my mood go right down. I was obsessed with this colour from lick.com, a beautiful true pink and I painted all the walls except one. I am obsessed with it; I walked in and I smiled immediately. It's the power of colour and the power of good design that can really make you feel uplifted and joyful, so why don't I do this in every room? I've gone wrong at points – I painted my little office room green and purple and it looked like the Joker was sick in there; it looked awful. But I think you’ve just got to have that ‘why not’ attitude because it's not it's not the end of the world if you get it wrong. There are bigger things going on than a bit of colour on your wall. If it brings you joy, go for it. 

So, start with soft furnishings…?

I'd say so, because they can be removed or changed but I think that's when you're going to start getting a bug for it.

I don’t want to perpetuate gender stereotypes here, but I have to ask. What did your husband think?

(laughs) I've had a lot of people reach out to me saying how did you get that past your husband. My motto is, he's not bothered what colour the walls are. He just wants a house to live in and it to look nice. Yes, the colours are mad, but I just think I'm the one into interior design, right? He's studying physiotherapy, and I would never tell him how to deal with a patient or how to exercise. He knows more than me and he's into it. So when it comes to the home it’s not his realm so why hold my creativity back?

Tell me about the collection with La Redoute. How do you create the pattern?

I'm not very techy so it took me a lot longer because I'm very particular and precise. I collected all my ideas, wrote down the colours, researched every single tiny flower and all the shades and the linings and then I brought it all to the table. It's a complete trial and error process. I sat with the designer and was saying ‘can we add in a different shade here, and then more lines here’, so it was a lot of back and forth, but we got there in the end. It's my first collection and I'm very proud of it. This time last year I was a travel advisor and now I've got my own little homeware range. It's really cute and it’s made me excited to see what else I can create.

And how did you decide which products to create to give this little snapshot into your colourful world.

We came up with the print, and then I could just picture on certain things, like the cushions and outdoor cushions was a must because I feel like it costs an absolute fortune to get like good quality for outdoors. Blinds – I struggle with blinds myself – throws, like you're in the lounge with your family, you're cosying up and that's where I'd love a bit of me to be and obviously the wallpaper.

What do the candles smell like?

Unreal; feminine, but still punchy. I like a strong deep scent.

Are you pleased with what you’ve created?

Yes, that's a lovely part of it because obviously you just get in your own head: no one's going buy it. All those insecurities creep in but then when it launched, people were buying literally at 9am and sending me messages. Someone’s put it all up in their living room already and I was like, please send me the pictures because it just brings me so much joy that you like my collection.

Where do you think you will go from here?

Life has just been obviously chaotic, so I've had people reach out on socials and I've got a few people booked in for consultations, which is amazing. I want to be designing boutique hotels, restaurants, bars – that's where I want to be, and also have my own range of wallpapers and fabrics. It sounds weird, and not really related, but I’d like a clothing range with my designs.

Not unrelated at all. Your personal style is as joyous as your interiors.

I know right, my messages every day are constantly that, and I love it. It takes me ages to search for these dresses and that's my thing so as soon as I see one I buy it because I know I'll wear it at some point. Walking through the street in Liverpool and looking into the shops, all I can see is a sea of beige. It's nice to break it up a bit with colour; have a bit of both. I love the clothes at Never Fully Dressed and they're very inclusive of all sizes. I love Celia B which is a Spanish brand (more expensive so they're little treats) I love Kitri, Rixo, Boden, Joanie.

Which other interior designers do you admire?

I'm obsessed with Martin Brudnizki, he creates the most magical enchanting spaces I've ever seen. Just different places, different spaces that you've never seen before. There’s so much doom and gloom and I want something interesting, something that you feel like it's given you a big hug, but also is very sophisticated, high end and luxurious. Martin does that to a tee.

Can you sum up your design aesthetic?

I want to create enchanted spaces, that's really it. Magical, interesting – a space that you don't want to leave.

La Redoute Interieurs x Roisin Quinn is available online at laredoute.co.uk. Find Roisin on Instagram @roisinquinn

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