Making your passion your work, and surrounding yourself with beauty and joy. That's what we've been talking about on Style Maniac this season. And that's just what Fiona Douglas has done. She's taken her art and turned it into the textile and home decor business Bluebellgray (which you'll recognize instantly in stores like Macy's). She's also brought her colorful outlook on life and design to her own home. Take a tour of her happy home and find out how she had the courage to follow her dream in this Style Maniac interview.
What gave you the courage to take your passion and make it a business?
FI DOUGLAS: I’ve always been a bit of an independent spirit, running my own business had always been a dream, but the courage to take my passion and make it into a business definitely came from my husbands unwavering belief and support of me, honestly, without him I’m not sure I could have taken those first steps to have the courage to leave a full time job and go it alone. Those early days when starting out are tough in so many ways and his gentle encouragement, care and enthusiasm helped me turn my designs into a business. My very first collection was featured in Elle Decoration soon after launching which as a new young designer was amazing and definitely gave me more courage to make a business out of my designs.
What personally brings you joy in a home?
I love light and colour, I think they both bring joy and help create a happy home. I see it in my children- on light, sunny days with the windows open and bouncing around, playing, making dens from all our colourful cushions and throws they are so happy. I love pieces in our home that are well made, have personality and usually have elements of natural materials- linen is my favourite fabric, I love the relaxed nature of the cloth and that it has the ability to ground any interior scheme.
What's your trick for giving a room a quick and not too expensive refresh?
Soft furnishings are definitely my favourite way to give a room a quick refresh, its amazing the difference a fresh new duvet cover can make or adding a few fun cushions to your sofa. Its the easiest way to bring colour and pattern into your room too without the commitment of painting walls or investing in big pieces of furniture or even going to the effort of farming and hanging pictures, so its an especially good way to give your room a refresh if you are renting or short on time. I also love moving things around, its amazing how giving your furniture a quick re-arrange totally changes the feel of a room and makes it feel fresh.
How would you encourage someone to try something new and unexpected in their home ... wardrobe ... life?
I would say if something sparks joy in you, you should try it, everyone has their own taste and inner colour palette for colours that appeal to them so be brave with your choices, life is more fun when you try new things!
Your perfect day is spent ….
... with my husband and 2 little toddler boys, on a lovely beach somewhere, with a great picnic, ice cream for my ice cream mad boys and lots of sunshine just pottering about and swimming in the sea- bliss!
Your tips for living life with style and joy?
Great design makes life better, invest in things you love that have been well designed and made and they will last for years, enrich your life, and make it more joyful. I think style is an attitude, live life with a fun and open outlook and joy will come into your life!
All photos courtesy Bluebellgray and Fiona Douglas.
"Use the good china for breakfast."