With her girl-next-door charm and impeccable taste in clothes, Louise Redknapp is a celeb we've long wanted to interview about her interiors style. And just recently we got the chance! She opened up to us about designing a new range of furniture for Harveys – BOLD by Louise – revealed what life is life living with sons Charley, 14, and Beau, nine, and owned up to a decorating mistake that we can all relate to!
More celebrity advice: Amanda Holden's decorating tips for a cosy, happy home
Read on to discover what home means to Louise Redknapp...
Ideal Home: Hi Louise – it's a pleasure to meet you. As we're from Ideal Home, can we start with the obvious question? How would you describe your ideal home?
Louise Redknapp: 'Well I'm not really modern and I'm not really traditional. I like a bit of both! I’m not a cottage kind of girl. I love a real big Victorian home with original fixtures and flooring and fireplace that you can bring to life with modern furnishings. '
'I’ve reached a place where I would like to incorporate both new and old. So as much as I love a big contemporary style of sofa in the room to bring in a bit of personality, I want to pair it with something from a market, like an old original 70s chair or coffee table. I just love that mix.'
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Ideal Home: And what's your favourite room in your home?
Louise: 'A lot of my girlfriends that have girls are always in the kitchen, because girls like to go in the kitchen to chat to mum while she’s doing dinner. But I have boys that will grab food from the kitchen and make a beeline for the lounge. So that's the hub of my home – that’s where people congregate.
Ideal Home: How would you describe your decorating style?
Louise: 'I like a minimal look – I don’t have a lot of 'stuff', so central pieces like sofas and armchairs are key. I’m not massive on colour, but what I will do is have a dark floor, and a polished cement wall and introduce colour through my soft furnishings. I love art and and good lighting – it is massively important. But I’m never going to have a pink wall, I don’t have the guts!
Ideal Home: How did the range for Harveys come about?
Louise: 'They approached me, and when I went along and we talked about it, it was a really different meeting. It wasn't just an endorsement. I met the head designer and head buyer and talked about my ideas and made mood boards. It kind of just escalated from there. I love design, art, fashion and fabric, and I’m a mum, so being at home is a part of my life. It seemed like a perfect fit, being allowed to take the reign and design these sofas.'
'From the very first meeting I had a set idea on what I liked, as I have a fashion blog and we have a interior section. We can’t all change our sofas in the same way that we change our shoes and jackets – so the styles needed to stand the test of time. '
'I hit it off with head buyer Lisa straight away, which I think was really important part of the process. If we'd had had completely different ideas then it probably wouldn’t have worked. But we had such a same taste and ideas on where we wanted the furniture to go.'
Ideal Home: What was your design jump-off point?
Louise: 'My starting point was always grey. I love a grey sofa, I like a contemporary home, and I knew wanted the fabrics to be – there definitely had to be velvet!'
'Next, we started looking at up-and-coming colours in fashion and interiors. I love emerald green – it’s such a beautiful colour that looks just as great in a modern flat as it does in a Victorian style property. The shade we picked has a Soho House feel, it’s not too dark. I also wanted a blush-coloured sofa that I could just imagine sitting at the end of my bed.'
'We avoided anything too shiny – nothing with a sparkle. I wanted these sofas to look expensive, and for people to feel like they are getting great value for money. I don’t think people need to spend thousands of pounds to get a solid piece of furniture that has a designer feel to it.
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Ideal Home: Do you have any practical tips on choosing a sofa?
Louise: 'Yeah, as a mum of two with three dogs, I need to be able to clean my sofa easily. My nine-year-old loves to eat yogurt on the sofa, and any mum knows that yogurt doesn’t want to come out! In the book there are 18 different colours and fabrics to choose from, and they're all easy to look after. Even with a luxurious material like the green velvet, you can grab the Hoover and a sponge and get the crumbs – and yogurt – off!'
Ideal Home: Have you ever made any decorating mistakes?
Louise: 'I did once buy an orange leather chair, which was very expensive and very stylish. At the time, I thought it was a very fabulous piece of art. I put it in the lounge, next to my dark, nearly black, sofa. It was the beginning of October and I had some friends come over and they said "did you get this chair for Halloween?!". After that, I put it in the garage and the dogs sit on it now. It's a very expensive dog bed!
Ideal Home: Do you have any decorating tips?
Louise: 'I think it's important to focus on lighting, so that your home feels warm and inviting. I like to use lots of candles and freestanding lamps to create a cosy ambience in a room. I’m not a chandelier type of girl. I like my lighting to look solid and make a statement!
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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