Anna Palmer works as an interior designer for Bathroom Heaven and also runs her own interior company, Anna Palmer Interiors.
Throughout her career she has headed many interior transformations. Her knowledge has also been desired by some of the biggest names in publishing including Huffington Post and the London Metro where topics such as buying a large piece of furniture, geometric patterns in the home and lighting have been explored.
- What attracted you to working in interior design?
I love the creative process of interior design but ultimately I love the way a carefully designed room can make you feel: I love the way people are connected to their environment. I’m very sensitive to my surroundings so I notice things that perhaps others don’t. I wanted to work as an interior designer so that I can put this into practice and create nice surroundings for people to live in.
- What’s been your favourite project?
A close friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently had to go through chemotherapy. She had spent a long period of this time in bed and was desperate to change her room in the hope of dulling the memories of that difficult time. I was more than happy to help and it proved a wonderfully cathartic process for my friend (I’ve never seen anyone throw a lampshade across the garden like she did!) Although we were on a tight budget, we totally transformed that room into a luxurious boudoir of a bedroom. It was a labour of love and one I am deeply proud of as, without a doubt, it helped my friend in her recovery (and you should see the new lampshade!).
- What is your top tip for someone to update a room on a budget?
Try and update what you already have. Paint old furniture, change handles/knobs, cover an old headboard with beautiful fabric. You’d be surprised how much this can transform a room and for little cost and a bit of elbow grease!
Headboard – before and after. I cut off the top edges of the headboard, glued a stiff piece of thick foam (to fit – especially for headboards) and then stretched over a nice piece of material that was tacked on at the back of the headboard. The rest of the bed frame was painted antique cream to compliment the fabric.
- What is your favourite design trend this year?
It’s very much about textures this year which I have always been a big fan of. Mixing wool, plaids and velvets with embroidered florals on linen and silks; creating an interesting eclectic fusion of texture, styles and colours. Mixing and matching and building up layers in a room helps to create an interesting and inviting space.
- And finally a personal home dilemma for me ……How to you make a dark home look lighter and fresher?
The most obvious one would be to use light coloured wall paint. The lighter the shade, the more open your space will appear. Painting the ceiling the same hue as the walls will help to erase shadow lines that visually define a space. When the wall and ceiling are the same colour it’s harder for your eye to tell where the room’s perimeters start and end, so the room looks larger. A white ceiling against a darker wall immediately shrinks a space.
Make sure to paint any skirting boards, picture rails and coving you may have. These are sometime neglected but make can make a big impact; painted a nice crisp white against a soft-hued wall can help to create a look that’s fresh and clean.
And lastly, place a mirror on a wall, particularly opposite a window to reflect light or mirrored wardrobe doors which work best from floor to ceiling. A mirror creates an illusion of depth – don’t be afraid to go big!