Making a splash…

Co-founder of Pickering - Polly Taylor

Rachael Hale caught up with her to discover her top design tips and trend advice.


Why did you become an interior designer?

I’ve always been creative and have an art degree from Goldsmiths but until about 10 years ago I was a primary school teacher. I absolutely loved it but once I had children of my own, I felt like my whole life had become consumed by little people and wanted to do something more creative again. Whenever friends and family came over, they would say ‘you should be an interior designer’ and one day I thought why not? My mum kindly looked after my son, and I went back to college. I loved it and gained my first clients whilst training.


What rooms do you like designing the most?

I love them all, but I particularly enjoy designing children’s bedrooms as kids aren’t afraid of colour and they’re happy to push design boundaries, and bathrooms as I love seeing what’s often a dull, tired space, that’s been the same for years, change into a tranquil haven.



You’ve also created quite the name for yourself designing many bathrooms and cloakrooms – why do you think this is?

Fortunately, people seem to love my designs and because I project manage the entire process, I make what can be a stressful time as easy as possible. I’m also an independent designer which means I’m not tied to any one shop or brand, enabling me to give me clients exactly what they want. I’ve built up a fantastic network of suppliers over the years and also have a wonderful team of tradespeople I regularly work with. It’s usually the unforeseen aspects that clients find challenging, so I do everything I can to minimise those stresses and make each project run as smoothly as possible.


What bathroom trends are you spotting this year?

Faux wood tiles are very fashionable at the moment and metro tiles are still hot, but people are moving away from the standard ‘tube station’ layout and exploring different tile patterns. I’m currently doing a vertical layout with some gorgeous green tiles in a bathroom in Pembury and herringbone, cross hatch and chevron patterns are proving popular too.

When it comes to design, people are really falling into two camps. They’re either seeking a calm and peaceful environment, created with a pared back Scandi somewhat minimalist style, or going really bold with bright funky pops of colour. Metallics are also big, but people are moving away from copper to brushed golds and nickels. To be honest though, you just need to choose things you really love.



How to get in contact with Lucy

Instagram – @swatch_interior_design

FaceBook – swatchinteriors

Photos © @surreybrandphotography


Lucy’s Top Styling Tips

Regardless of the colour or style you choose, all the best bathroom schemes (even the neutral ones) have layers of colour, texture and pattern. They also have several points of focal interest, so if you have the opportunity to create a niche in your bathroom, take it. Stud walls can help you create extra storage, but even the smallest ledge can be perfect for storing your favourite products or displaying stylish objects.

Plants or flowers are also a must as they bring a sense of life to your room. A pop of green works with any colour scheme and faux florals are particular good for bathrooms as they always look great, can cope with steamy, wet environments and you can’t kill them! I often source mine from Stephanie Dill of Away With The Fairies Floral Design.

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