Leoma – who lives near Hampton Court, with her husband, two children, dog and two cats – is a master at creating rooms that have a calming and joyful feel. She’s always loved changing, fixing and updating homes and transforming rooms into stylish, functional spaces where longevity is key. When Leoma designs a home she wants those who live in it to love it for years to come.
We caught up with her to find out more…
How did you get into interiors? “It was a roundabout journey. I used to work in beauty, health and lifestyle PR and before that I’d studied fashion. Then – when I was pregnant with my daughter – I did a floristry course. That led to me styling events in the PR industry. It wasn’t just floral displays, it was styling the whole venue. So that’s where it all began.
“When we moved to this house, the interiors needed a lot of work, it wasn’t until a year in that I started to share what we had done/were doing and future plans on Instagram. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about Instagram back then, I had just had a baby and found it a good distraction.
“When friends began seeing these pictures they asked if I could do some design work in their homes. I ended up working on four houses in Richmond, where we used to live, and have been busy working on clients’ homes ever since! It was a year in when I decided it was a career that I wanted to pursue, so I did a course in Interior Design at Richmond College. I’ve been busy designing client homes for 4 years now. Initially, it was through word of mouth but more recently it’s been through my Instagram and website.”
How would you describe your design style? “I like mixing styles. We have a period property, so I’m very sympathetic to that. My style at home is a combination of old and new. A bit of French rustic with Scandi light airy feel. I like throwing in the odd industrial piece too. So, it’s a real mix but I like to ensure I make it all work with the building it’s in and the period of the house.”
What services do you offer to your clients?
“It started with room plans and now I offer full projects all the way through from start to finish. This includes installation, decorating (with my decorators and builders) where I manage the whole process. I create colour schemes, choose furniture, soft furnishings followed by designing layout plans. Most of my work is local, but if I have time I still do the odd facetime consultation if someone is further away. During lockdown I’ve done a number of those.”
“I love all rooms – bedrooms, sitting rooms, dining rooms, they’re all great.”
What’s your number one interior design tip? “Don’t go with trends. Instead, go with what you really like and can see yourself being comfortable with for a long time. At the moment trends are changing so quickly, it’s almost like fashion where things go ‘out’ really quickly. If you choose things you love – regardless of whether it’s fashionable or not – you’ll be happy with it for a lot longer.”
Do you have a favourite colour palette? “I love greens, blues and pinks. I like the coolness of a blue or green and how they exude a sense of calm. The pinks I love for their warmth, they can also be a really soft and calming colour.”
Do you often specify Fired Earth products? “Yes, I use them in my own home and in clients’ houses. This has included bathrooms, kitchens and hallways. I’ve got a number of Fired Earth tiles here too.”
Which are your favourites? “I have Retro Metro tiles for the splashback in my kitchen and really like those. I’ve used the beautiful marble tiles, which we made into a herringbone design, in the downstairs loo. This was six years ago now and they still look so good.”
Am I right that you’ve used Fired Earth Toulouse tiles in your own home? “Yes. We used them in our porch and they look fantastic.”
What makes a home for you?
“A home for me is a space that has a calm feel, but at the same time it is cosy and inviting. Using soft furnishing, colour and texture really helps create this feel along with good lighting and gallery walls full of family pics.”