Hello! I’m Siobhan Murphy, you may recognise me from BBC’s Interior Design Masters where I was a finalist back in 2020. Since then I’ve launched my own interior design business, designed a 50 piece homeware range with Freemans and written a best selling interiors book called “More is More Decor” and now I’m going to be bringing you interior inspiration from around the world for House Of Coco!

My style

I describe my style as playful maximalism, it’s taking the so called interior rules and throwing them right out of the window and instead decorating from the heart.

My design journey started back in 1997 when I was studying fashion and accessories in Leeds and that’s where my love of bright colours, fabrics, patterns, prints and textures originates. Both fashion and travel have been a huge influence in my personal and interior design style and I always take a more is more approach…MORE colour, MORE flamboyance and MORE FUN!

Why interior design?

What says more about us than our homes? Our interiors reflect our personalities; what we love, who we are, and of course the journeys and travels we have made through our lives. I believe its hugely important to let this shine through in how we design our spaces, the colours we use, and how we accessorise our spaces these things not only make us happy when we look at them, but they also help us to feel our most authentic self when at home.

Travelling for inspiration

Travel is in my blood, my mum was a travel agent in the 1980’s and later taught travel and tourism at college so her love of visiting different places and exploring new countries has obviously rubbed off on me! Seeing the world and experiencing other cultures can have such a profound effect on our style and design choices. When I’m booking a trip I’m always looking online for inspiration for the most glamorous and unusual places to eat, drink and stay, the thrill of exploring somewhere new and checking into a new hotel always fills me with a tingle of excitement.

There’s so much inspiration to be had from hotel interior design, everything in hotels is bigger and more extravagant and I always look at the artwork, layout and lighting to give me ideas for my residential projects and my own home!

I’m obsessed with Beverly Hills and in particular the Beverly Hills Hotel with its famous red carpet entranceway and green and white stripy ceiling and don’t get me started on the candy striped cabanas by the pool, and the banana leaf wallpapered hallways, pure perfection. I took this inspiration for my master bedroom to give me a slice of Beverly Hills in sunny Yorkshire!

Marrakesh is a fantastic city when it comes to interior design inspiration, the souks are a feast on the senses with the vibrant colours of the pottery and spices and the hustle and bustle of market life. The riads are like an oasis of calm and tranquility with exquisitely tiled mosaic pools, arches and fountains and lush vegetation. After a recent trip I decided to take inspiration for my hallway and as you can see I didn’t hold back!

Shopping my way around the world

It’s no secret I love to shop and I always bring back a little trinket or two from the special places I have been to, I love the art of displaying beautiful objects and things I have collected from trips. One of my favourite things to do when I am visiting somewhere new is to look for the markets, vintage shops and thrift stores, so I will always bring you the very best places to source your own treasure, both old and new.

Some of my favourite places and the things I like to buy:

Marrakesh: pottery, leather bags, handmade jewellery, ornate rugs and throws, handmade shoes, argan oil and spices.

Thailand: thai silk, handmade clothing, jewellery, quirky home decor, artwork, coconut oil products for skin and hair.

California: vintage clothes and homewares, handmade jewellery and quirky artwork, Santa Barbara olives and See’s chocolates (the best chocolates in the world).

Venice: multi coloured murano glassware, ornate masks and fans, glass jewellery, Burano lace bedding, marbled stationary and paper products.

I believe anyone can create an eclectic space inspired by your travels, here are my top tips:

  • Take lots of photos of anything that catches your eye for reference when you get home
  • Think of the colours and textures that remind you of that place and gather paint chips, fabric and wallpaper samples
  • Put together a mood board using postcards, photos, travel magazines and anything you have picked up on your travels to use as inspiration.

I am looking forward to sharing all my Interior style tips and tricks with you throughout 2023, lets do this!

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