We have all dreamt of doing this, setting up an online interiors store, sourcing gorgeous stuff from artisans that no one has ever heard of, to help our fellow stylo-philes make their homes that much more unique. But have we bothered? No we haven’t!
But here is a lady who has, meet Lorraine Aaron, of Curious Egg. Lorraine has worked as a sculptor, a painter and public artist as well as teaching contemporary arts practice and running an art consultancy business. She has settled in Perthshire now and with her husband, Roddy, and set up her online store as way to share ideas about interiors and art as well as her fabulous finds.
Her aim is to bring art and interiors together in a relaxed and imaginative way by offering a small, carefully curated range of beautiful pieces. And I know how hard she has worked to achieve this.
She has also, alongside setting up her business, been renovating her home. A work in progress, but looking interesting. Lorraine made a dramatic start to her home when she completed her dining room, inspired by the Islington based designer Abigail Ahern who led the trend for dark, moody, enveloping spaces.
I asked her a few questions:
• Can you tell me what you have done to the room?
The room was completely revamped apart from the electrics and heating and for now the windows The before shot shows it as it was when we moved in.
It had been kept very well by a lovely lady who had decided to move to a smaller house. There is a double aspect so it has interesting light. We stripped the walls and made them good before painting all the woodwork including the fireplace and then painted the walls. Sounds simple, but there are always things you don’t factor in of course, like the radiators that I thought I could just paint but they had years of paint peeling off and had to be removed, sandblasted and powder coated. I had to search for brass fittings to fit the old pipe size and replace the ugly white plastic ones and we changed all the sockets to black to make them disappear. The fireplace is exactly as it was though, just painted: the green tiles are original.
• What colour have you painted the walls?
I chose Hudson Black by Abigail Ahern. It is a lovely soft warm black that makes the walls velvety and rich looking and sets off other colours really well. A heavenly effect in candlelight with a crackling fire. I painted everything including the ceiling, the same colour.
• Have you done anything to the flooring?
I got the floor sanded. Once it was stripped I stained it myself with my own recipe of a mixture of a blackish brown stain with warm undertones that looks beautiful in different lights. I varnished it with an acrylic matt varnish. We chose a Beni Ourain rug to lift the room with creamy tones.
We bought this classic mid century sideboard from our last house. We had a completely different colour scheme there but luckily everything worked with the new black colour scheme.
Roddy’s mum made the curtains. I love them. For a touch of boho glam, we later hung the magical black Madras lace panels (which we now sell in the store) and they create the most amazing animated shadows in the room during the day.
An amazing result. The main challenge was to get the original cast iron radiators sand blasted and powder coated which was around £200 for two. The rest was the rug, the curtains, the paint and a copper pipe that transformed into a curtain rail. I cannot believe Lorraine was bold enough to paint the ceiling dark, but it works. She claims the room seems bigger actually. I cannot wait for the rest of the house to be completed!
Do visit Curious Egg for some inspiration.