Friday, 4 May 2012

About: Butterfly Lane

This week Butterfly Lane was featured in a magazine interview for Hatch'd, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share with you, our lovely readers, a bit more about Butterfly Lane Interiors.  Here are the questions and answers, I hope you enjoy...

Tell us a bit about Butterfly Lane and how you got started?

Butterfly Lane is dedicated to making your home beautiful.  I am a blogger, documenting all of my interior design inspirations whilst I renovate my Georgian home.  However, I’m so excited that our online homeware boutique will be launching this summer, we have so many exciting brands on board and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.  We will also offer interior design consultations, At Home Parties where we bring the shop to the customers’ home and a bespoke gift list service perfect for weddings.

What brought you to the countryside and do you miss anything about city life?

I always dreamt about country living, the Aga in the kitchen, the fire blazing in the sitting room, picking herbs from the garden, idealistic I know!  My boyfriend and I wanted to root ourselves somewhere, he lives and works in London and I worked in Nottingham so we eventually settled on rural life, somewhere for him to escape to at the weekends for some down time and me to embrace country living full time!

I do miss elements of city living, mainly the fashion, however I am a massive internet shopping fan so I know that I can get whatever I want at a click of a button!  If all else fails, London is just a train journey away… 

Why do you think it's important to be comfortable in your surroundings?

Your home is where you live, entertain and most importantly relax, so it should be the place you feel most comfortable.  You are surrounded by all your belongings and memories and therefore should be a place that expresses who you are the most. 

How would you describe your style and who are your influences?

My style is extremely classic, but with a design twist.  I love elegant and simple interiors, nothing too fussy.  Give me a neutral colour palette, sparkling glassware, luxurious fabrics with quirky accessories and I’m in heaven!  My mum is a massive influence to me, she has a knack of making everything look beautiful.

Moodboards by Butterfly Lane 

If you could design for a client, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would have loved to have designed a room for Grace Kelly.  She embodies elegance, timeless classic beauty and luxury.  Everything Butterfly Lane stands for.

What are the most important things to consider when renovating a property?

Have a realistic time scale!  When we got the keys to our house I was determined to get everything completed within six months, and we are now six months down the line and we still have so much to do!  I also think it’s important to realise that good tradesman are hard to find and if they are good you will have to wait a while for them to start work.  I always think alarm bells should ring when a tradesman says he can start the next day!  

What are the most effective ways to feel 'at home' in rented accommodation?

Accessorise!  The ‘visual merchandising’ part of any interior design project is the most exciting in my opinion.  Personalise your space with things that you love, if you can’t change the paint colour on the walls, hang a gorgeous mirror or a painting.  Hate the flooring, throw down a fabulous rug!  

What are your tips for 'sprucing up' on a budget?

I think a lick of paint on the walls works wonders for any room and can transform the feel of it instantly.  It doesn’t cost the earth and as a bonus you get that freshly painted smell that is just divine!  You can also pick up great accessories on the high street and in supermarkets for not a lot of money that can update any room.   Use a simple vase with hand picked flowers from the garden, this can uplift an old sideboard or table in an instant.  

How do you design a room that is 'timeless' and what are the easiest ways to keep a room up-to-date?

A timeless room can be created by keeping things simple and by not buying in to seasonal trends in a big way, as these will often look dated a year down the line.  I like to buy classic pieces of furniture and then add ‘fashion’ accessories to modernise the space.  I have just bought a stag head door hook which is very ‘in vogue’ at the moment and will give my room a stylish look, but it was not ridiculously expensive so I won’t mind taking it down in a few months time when the trend passes by.   

I like to keep colour schemes classic too, I’m a massive fan of the Farrow & Ball paint range and also Kelly Hoppen does a great neutral based range.  You can then make the room up-to-date by buying small accents of a trend, add in cushions, vases and accessories to update the room and make it look super stylish.  

Can you think of any design choices that you would consider a 'faux pas' or 'cliche' and would avoid?

I hate the idea of a top to toe look taken directly from a catalogue or specific brand, it lacks a bit of imagination!  I think the idea of great design is not to copy a look entirely but to take inspiration from different elements of the design and personalise it.  It might be the easy option but in my opinion it’s unrealistic to think you’ll find the perfect pieces for your home immediately, it can take months or even years of searching to stumble upon the ‘perfect’ piece of furniture, painting or accessories.  Be patient!

How has social media changed the way you approach your business?

The main part of my business at the moment is virtual so social media is an incredible resource to have.  Not only for business-to-business contacts and PR but also to understand my customer.  I find it amazing that a blog I write at my kitchen table is read by people in Russia, Portugal and Hong Kong and it’s all down to the power of social media. Therefore, a daily part of my job is to update my Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts, something that would have been unheard of a few years a go in business.  But people want instant information and new ideas now, customers don’t want to wait anymore for anything!  It’s a fast moving world we live in.  

What do you love and hate about blogging?

I can honestly say there isn’t one thing I hate about blogging, I absolutely love it!  However, I am slightly obsessed about looking at the statistics, where people are viewing the blog from, their comments and feedback, how many people have looked at the blog this week etc.  I have over 4000 readers now from all over the world, and I find that very exciting!  

What are your tips for those attempting a new start-up?

Just go for it!  I have wanted my own business ever since I graduated university and finally this year I drastically quit my job from a high end fashion label and embarked on this new path.  It is extremely scary, but massively exciting, everyday is different and creative. 

Be passionate about your business and know every finer detail about it, leave nothing to chance.  You are the one who has got to back it 100% and drive it forward in the right direction.

Finally my sensible tip is that it’s so important to have a tight business plan in place and that your figures are accurate.  Do a profit and loss analysis and it’ll give you realistic expectations of what to work towards.  

What have been the most exciting moments of your career so far and what are your goals for the future?

I still think that it is to come with Butterfly Lane and the launch of the online boutique.  I really want to create the Butterfly Lane brand in to something special and that people love.  

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