Joyce Cooper explains how Julia from Nelson Design UK helped her transform her home

It all started with cushions. Six years ago, Julia from Nelson Design UK created a set of bespoke cushions for Joyce’s home. Fast-forward to 2015 and Julia is again on hand to help Joyce revamp her home: ‘I knew Julia had the expertise and ability to get the fabrics that I desired.’

It was one particular trip to Selfridges that was the catalyst for the start of the revamp. Joyce was walking through the home interior department when a beautiful floral linen fabric from Designers Guild caught her eye. ‘It was love at first sight and in that instant Joyce knew that was the fabric for her. It has a very elegant retro feel that will prove timeless,’ explains Julia.

‘I felt like the décor was outdated with its yellow and blue colour scheme and the antique furniture,’ Joyce explained. Using the Designers Guild fabric as the starting point, Julia and Joyce worked together to develop an elegant, calm, Scandinavian scheme for the bedroom. This was followed by the dressing room, second bedroom – which also featured Designers Guild fabric – hallway and finally the living space.

The original plan for building work was to remove the fireplace and copper canopy. Local builder Mike Chester (07760 756 772) was brought in and ‘from one consultation we were almost knocking the bungalow down and completely redoing it. We added in bi-fold doors across the whole of the back wall, removed two walls and installed a wood burner’. Julia was there to advocate for Joyce, to get her ideas and requirements across to the builders and furniture designers and to ensure sure she got everything she wanted and more.

‘We wanted the space to have an elegant, modern luxury feel but also be homely and attainable,’ said Joyce. The whole property has a Scandinavian feel, with a calming grey colour scheme and plenty of texture throughout. I asked Joyce how she felt she benefitted from having Julia on board: ‘I think you end up with a wiser choice; you’ve someone to bounce your ideas off – someone who has all the industry knowledge. Someone who can take what you want, add their expertise, introduce you to new things that you’d have never known about and that then leads to having something better than you’d ever imagined.’ Joyce goes on to say how she loves that she can now look out onto her garden and enjoy it lit up at night.

‘A number of my favourite items were used in the design. From the Arne Jacobsen wallpaper, the Iittala glass vases and lights and the Hans J Wegner wishbone chairs,’ explained Julia. She helped as much and as little as needed as Joyce already had furniture that needed working around. ‘It was very much a joint effort’, said Joyce. And how did she enjoy the process from start to finish? ‘I would happily do it all over again if I could.’

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