Grand Designs Victoria Garden Themed Bathroom: Q&A with the Designer

Bryony Butler of Sauced Interiors is an up and coming interior designer. Bryony’s bathroom design has been selected for the room set at Grand Designs Live London 2017. To complete her room, she has selected green Made to Measure curtains which have been crafted specially by Curtains.com. Read our interview with this inspiring young designer.

What first inspired you to get into interior design?

From a young age, I was forever driving my parents mad by changing around the layout of my bedroom. I’d stay up for hours crashing about and dragging things around perpetually searching for the perfect design and years later I still find myself a perfectionist when it comes to interiors.  Thankfully my designs have improved from a logistical sense because as a child I would often find myself waking up with the bed against the bedroom door.

Where is your favourite Victorian building in London?

There are so many amazing Victorian buildings in London such as St Pancras, The Royal Albert Hall and The National History Museum to name just but a few, however, I am a great admirer of how the Victorians introduced the concept of indoor-outdoor living and therefore it has to be The Palm House in Kew Gardens.  Holidays were rare in the era and the use of conservatories was a revelatory concept for the Victorians.  They allowed the growth of tropical and rare plants and even housed little-known species of birds and animals.  The conservatory at Kew is breathtaking and is a perfect example of how advanced the Victorians were in terms of architecture. Naturally, when we think of Victorian architecture we think of ceiling roses and dado rails but we rarely credit them for the concept of greenhouses and conservatories which are still incredibly popular to this day.

How can people take inspiration from your design for their homes?

In the last couple of years, we have seen an upsurge in Scandinavian designs and “fifty shades of grey” colour schemes dominating the interior world.  Whilst I am a fan of simple neutrals and back-to-basics design there are some rooms which I believe are worth taking a little more risk on.  Bathrooms are one such example - whether it’s a downstairs WC or master en-suite these are rooms which lend themselves to reduced amounts of natural light when compared to a kitchen or living area.  Instead of fighting this, my approach is to embrace a room’s natural qualities. My room uses a very dark green as the main colour as green is one of the most relaxing colours so it fits perfectly in a bathroom setting.  I have lifted the dark colour through contrast and strong textures such as the rich velvet curtains, light reflective copper bath.  The natural foliage helps create depth and ambiences within the room.  I hope that visitors will be inspired by the natural element of the room such as the living wall and abundance of plants. The Victorians were the master of house plants and we can take a ‘leaf’ out of their book today.  Plants add a lot at an affordable price, a sturdy parlour palm is easier to care for than a white Scandi sofa!

Why did you choose to place velvet curtains in a bathroom setting?

Usually, a rule of thumb is to a keep a room light and add colour in through furnishings and features however I have turned this concept on its head for my room by using a dark wooden floor and even darker green walls.  The light and depth of the room will come from the finishes and fabrics and velvet is rich and luxurious.  It drapes beautifully and the colour I have picked will enhance and complement the colours of plants beautifully, the texture of the velvet will contrast the dark matte green of the walls.  For added effect, a lace panel or voile could also be added for privacy and to offset the heavier nature of the velvet.

Who can you imagine taking a bath in the room you have designed?

Oscar Wilde. He was a celebrated Victorian whose creativity and flamboyancy defined him.  His work has stood the test of time and is often repeated and reinvented, much like the qualities of this bathroom. Like Wilde, it has a typical Victorian exterior with bold and eclectic stylistic touches such as the magical pink flamingo and copper bath.

In relation to the Victorian era, the bathroom would probably only have been accessible to the wealthy. Fabrics and materials such as velvet and copper were only realistically available to a few of the population due to their high cost, however, we are fortunate enough to now be in a world where such materials are affordable to most.  Concepts from the bathroom can be replicated in a variety of households and enjoyed by all. All the items displayed are available from British retailers to allow people to create a little piece of Victorian luxury and provide a source of relaxation and escapism from the modern stresses of 21st-century living.

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