Spring Bedroom Makeover - Interview with interior designer Allyson Houghton
winner of the Silentnight Spring Bedroom Makeover
Challenge will also win a free consultation with leading
interior design expert Allyson Houghton of Ideas Interior, worth £1,000. We caught
up with Allyson to find out more about how she helps people to
revitalise their bedrooms.How did you get started in
interior design?As a young girl I was always found sketching and colouring; at the
age of fifteen I gave my own bedroom a 'Laura Ashley' Makeover -
decorating the room and making the soft furnishings myself.
What are the most important
elements of a great bedroom?
Obviously the comfort of the bed is vital! Also good use of space,
ambience and creating mood using lighting and soft
What are the first questions you ask somebody when you're helping
them to redesign their bedroom?
My first task is to establish their need - that is, I work with
them on creating a 'wish list' and try to get to know their
personality so that I can reflect it in my designs.
What does your own bedroom look
As I live in an old renovated property I have incorporated
traditional with a little contemporary. We have a beautiful antique
cream Baroque Style Bed, soft furnishings mixing textures of
Velvet, Chenille and Silk in shades of Damson, Aubergine and Shell
Pink and a smoked glass chandelier.
Can you tell us about some bedroom
projects that you've found really rewarding?
Oh there are so many but one that will always remain a favourite
of mine is a change of a Nursery into a little girl's first
bedroom. Ella was 6 years old and she got involved with
selecting fabrics and wall coverings. When we had finished
and I opened the door to her new room, she just sat on her new bed
and looked around the room - Wide eyed - she then cried - she was
so overwhelmed - I cried too!
I still design for the family - Ella is now 12 and she has
recently been very involved with her new teenage room and selecting
the tiles for her en-suite.
What are the best ways for
homeowners to make the best out of a smaller
Remember - sometimes 'Less is more' - don't overcrowd the room and
try to get too much inside. Establish 'The Need' meaning what
is required in the room - do your 'Wish List' and consider a bed
with lots of storage - there are some fabulous designs
What can our winning entrant expect
from his or her time with you?
My undivided attention, time and consideration; I'll be working to
establish what they require from their room on a practical level,
while also doing my best to turn their 'Dream Bedroom' into a
How does being a working mum
influence your approach to bedroom design?
Well, every client is different and I make sure to approach them
with individuality and an open mind. However, as a mum of two boys
I'm definitely conscious when designing for families that storage
space is especially important - especially when it comes to small
children. Though of course, every mother knows that no matter how
much space there is, clothes and toys somehow still end up strewn
all over the floor!
Tell us about one thing in your
bedroom that you couldn't live without…
I'd have to say my bed! After a long day of balancing my life as a
designer with managing a family, our bedroom has definitely become
my personal haven!
Finally, as it's National Bed Month
- are you a good sleeper?
Absolutely, I sleep like a log!
If your bedroom is in need of a bedroom makeover, enter the Silentnight Spring Makeover
Competition for a chance to win a luxury bed from the
Diamond Collection and interior designer advice from Ideas