Siobhan, Hi! I absolutely LOVED watching you on Interior Design Masters, I adored how bold you were with your designs, you really were a joy to watch! I’d love to know, where did your love of interiors come from?
I actually studied fashion and accessories at Leeds College Of Art back in the late 1990’s so I’ve always been interested in design and I think that fashion and interiors are linked in so many ways, especially when it comes to colours, patterns, textures and fabrics. I have had a real love affair with colour and pattern All my life, Colour has always been so important to me and I love using unusual colour combinations both in my wardrobe and my interior design schemes. I love the creative process of designing and making something, turning something plain and bland into a riot of colour and theatre.
Let’s talk about Interior Design Masters – how did you enjoy the process and how has it impacted your life & career since the show ended?
I have to admit that last year was a total whirlwind, the day after the final of BBC interior Design Masters aired I handed my notice in after 18 years working in the NHS. Since then I’ve been writing an interiors book called More is More Decor which will be published in September and I’ve been busy designing my first ever home collection for Freemans which has seen my sketches, moodboards and designs come to life in actual products which is so exciting! The collection itself comprises of 48 pieces including furniture, bedding, cushions, bases, decorative items, lighting and even the most opulent pink velvet cocktail chair.
Of course I have also been creating some beautiful interior design schemes for both residential and commercial clients including redesigning the offices for Stephs Packed Lunch at Leeds Dock which I work on as an interiors presenter on the show.
I’ve had features in lots of magazines including homestyle magazine, the metro, the telegraph, fabulous magazine,Yorkshire post, living north and the Times. And even my own interiors column in OK! Magazine.
What I really love is the fact that Every day is different and every thing I do involves creativity which makes me incredibly happy!
I’ve just been reading up about your beautiful home in West Yorkshire, what an incredible story! I’d love it if you could share with our readers a little bit about your home, the history and how you came to live there!
Our home is a magnificent 1930s Art Deco property in Castleford, West Yorkshire. The house is called Chatelaine, a French term which means ‘a lady in charge of a large house’. Castleford is an old mining town with many of its streets being lined with red brick terrace houses. Chatelaine, or ‘the White House’ as the locals call it, stands out like a beacon with its imposing size, bright white render and palm frontage. There are many original details still in place such as the internal doors, chrome door handles, parquet flooring, archways, curved ceilings, terrazzo floor tiles, black stone sunken bath and of course the roof terrace.
Chatelaine was designed by Blenkinsopp and Scratchard, renowned architects at the time and commissioned by a lady GP who had apparently moved to Castleford from Scotland under mysterious circumstances according to a news article I found. The lady doctor, Innes Prangnell, had an amazing vision of how she wanted Chatelaine to look, even having the tiles for the bathroom shipped over from Italy. Quite a task in the 1930s.
I imagine the lady doctor enjoyed a really rebellious streak. Legend has it that she wore trousers which in those was considered to be very unladylike-like. She also wore red lipstick, smoked cigerettes and sunbathed in the nude with her friends in the tower room. It certainly must have got the neighbours talking!
Dr Pragnell was about the same age as me when she had the house built and I can imagine just how excited she must have been to see her vision come to life.
Chatelaine passed through different owners and by the 1970s it was in dire need of restoration – so much so, that the local council put a compulsory purchase order on it, and were planning to knock it down. Luckily, a local architect called Terrance Hughes bought the property for the princely sum of £28,000 and set about renovating Chatelaine back to its former glory. Terence even sold his beloved Lotus Elan to pay for a new roof.
I live here with my husband Nick and my gorgeous 12 year old fluffy rag doll cat, Benji. We moved here from a tiny 1970s semi detached which was literally bursting at the seams with stuff so it’s great now that I have plenty of rooms to decorate and space to feed my maximalist interiors habit.
I have always loved this house, even as a young girl I can remember going past in the car and wondering who lived in such a spectacular house and now it’s us! It’s an absolute dream come true.
I love how fearless and bold your designs are, your home is totally gorgeous! What advice would you have for our readers about decorating their homes?
My style is most definitely maximalist, flamboyant, glamorous and bold! I love mixing things up and using a mixture of antique, vintage, designer and high street furniture and decor. And I absolutely adore a statement velvet cocktail chair, preferably at least one in every room!
I love design especially fashion and interiors. I am drawn to colours, pattens, textures, mixing old with new, modern with vintage, someone once deceived my house as escape to the chateaux on acid and that sums it up,perfectly. It’s modern Art Deco, with a few surprises. I absolutely love Art Deco but I am also influenced by many styles and I cannot commit to only one style. I like to mix things up and choose things that I interest me or things that are just incredibly beautiful. I definitely have a thing for velvet cocktail chairs and ostrich feather lamps.
I can take inspiration form a variety of sources, a room design can start with a colour, a wallpaper sample or something random like a beautiful silk scarf or a place that I have visited. For example my master bedroom was inspired by a trip to the Beverly hills hotel on our honeymoon 5 years ago, I ahd always had a huge love for the Martinique wallpaper and the interior designs of Dorothy Draper so I know I wanted to create a botanical inspired bedroom with a nod to the Beverly hills hotel too.
I have a huge collection of interior design books – Im currently reading Making Living Lovely by the 2 lovely gays at it’s a great read filled with amazing tios. I also read a lot of interior design magazines and of course pintrest and instagram are a huge source of inspiration – in fact sometimes i feel so overwhelwed with ideas that I don’t know where to begin. I do love a mood board and most of the time I start with a mood board to define my colour palette and style for the room – these are not set in stome though and I like to tweak and redefine the scheme as I am going along.
My influences for a room could start with an image I have spotted on Instagram or in a magazine, or could simply be around a piece of furniture, a colour or piece of fabric. I have always created moodboards and find them to be a great starting point to pull ideas together and refine my design.
Congratulations on your cushion collaboration with Freemans, what an incredible project to work on! The art deco designs are beautiful, do you have a favourite cushion?
I love them all but my absolute favourite is the pink and white candy stripe cushion with the banana leaf and frilly edge.
Shop the cushion HERE.
Siobhan’s new homeware collection with @freemans will be launching on 11th April 2022 available freemans.com.
Lastly, we’d love to know what’s next for Siobhan Murphy? We absolutely cannot wait to follow your journey here at House of Coco!
My debut interiors book is out this year, More is More Decor it’s basically an interior design handbook full of inspiration and tips and sharing my love of everything maximalism which is Available to pre order now from Amazon HERE.
My home Chatelaine is available to hire as a location house for film, television,advertisements and photo shoots. It’s the perfect backdrop if you like luxury with a quirky edge. To book Siobhan’s house try: Lifestylelocations.co.uk
My homeware collection with @freemans is out on 11th April 2022 available freemans.com
Follow Siobhan’s adventure on Instagram @interiorcurve