Abigail teaching-Design School

Today we’re excited to launch a new partnership with design maven Abigail Ahern, queen of seriously cool and glamorous interiors. Abigail’s irreverent approach to interior design has gained her a cult following as she blazes the design trail with her signature dark, inky hues and eclecticism.

Starting today, Abigail will be using at{mine} as exclusive channel to discover photos for her House Crush posts, which will be a fix bi-weekly feature on her totally addictive blog. For a chance to be featured, simply follow Abigail Ahern, use #AAHouseCrush in the comment to your picture, or tag any item you own from the Abigail Ahern collection to her shop.

We took the opportunity to talk to Abigail about her work, get some pro decorating tips, and find out which #AAHouseCrush contributions are most likely to catch her eye.

LivingRoom

at{Abigail Ahern}

Hi Abigail! Tell us a bit about you; how did you start out in the interiors field?

I’ve been in the interiors biz for a long time. When I first left college I worked on the picture desk of Terence Conran’s publishing house. My job was to find images for all of his interior design books, and I just fell headfirst in love with them. All I wanted to do was create amazing interiors of my own. When I relocated to the US with my husband, I took the jump and retrained as an interior designer. I opened my own store when we moved back to London 12 years ago, and now here I am today – designer, retailer, author, blogger… it’s been a crazy ride!

So there you are, running a successful shop, designing product and paint ranges, blogging daily, writing books; how do you do it all??

Somedays I’m not sure! It probably comes down to always making more time, working on the go and being a super early riser. Most of my time these days is spent on product development, as a lot of my time is now dedicated to developing and designing our own-label collection. The other big big thing is buying trips – scouring the globe for the coolest things from other retailers, craftspeople and artists takes time!

Bedroom

at{Abigail Ahern}

Where do you find inspiration for your work and home?

I’m continually inspired by travel, and particularly my time living in the States. I’ll become obsessed with something and build a collection around that – so last season it was cowboys, and this season I’m all about gold, tomboy-ish style, wild “Heart of Darkness” style journeys through the tropics, and cosy, isolated little rustic cabins. I bit of a mash-up, but to me it makes sense!

In your recent book ‘Colour’ you challenge readers to banish beige and be confident in the use of colour. How do you go about picking a colour scheme?

I cover this in a lot of detail in the book, because choosing colour is so personal and instinctive so it can be hard to know where to start. I build a colour scheme by considering emotions first, so I figure out what vibe I want for the room – relaxed, invigorated, soothing etc. and then build a colour palette around that. A good trick though when figuring out colours is to have a look at your wardrobe, as odd as that sounds! Look at what you buy, as these are the colours you intuitively gravitate towards. Then start building schemes from the colours you already love.

HomeOffice

Abigail’s Home Office

What if you’re renting and are not allowed to paint the walls? Any other tricks to bring in colour?

Definitely, there’s tons of things you can do. Rugs, accessories and artwork are probably the quickest way to introduce a big splash of colour into a room.

Other than the use of colour, what are your top 5 game-changing decorating tips?

1. Pack in tons of texture. This is the one decorating element you can’t really overdose on – too many different patterns or colours and your room will look a little crazy, but never with textures. Keep the colour scheme reigned in and combine rough with smooth, or nubbly, soft and knitted with sleek finishes, hammered metal, raw concrete etc…

2. Add a dash of metallics to every room. It’s the most gorgeous luxe accent, and a little goes a long way.

3. Play with scale – it creates instant Alice in Wonderland magic! Don’t be afraid to supersize a mirror or light for added impact. If everything’s the same scale the room is too one-dimensional.

4. Don’t stop decorating too soon. It’s all about creating layers, so hang artwork in front of shelves, stack books and place lamps on tables, or display a line of vases on a console in front of the window. To my eyes there’s nothing sadder than an empty shelf or table!

5. Remember those finishing touches. In every space I like to finish the room off with an abundance plants and flowers (real or faux) and candles.

Bookshelf

You’re using at{mine} as the dedicated channel to discover spaces for your #AAHouseCrush blog column, where you feature homes that caught your eye. What is most likely to get your attention?

The rooms that catch my eye will go big with texture, colour, play around with scale and have a touch of quirk. I love to see people pushing boundaries and having the confidence to experiment with their own unique style. Oh, and of course I always love seeing when someone’s got our products in their home too!

If you could decorate anyone’s home, whose would it be?

The White House. It wouldn’t be white by the time I’d finished with it!

Thank you Abigail!