It’s Inspiration Monday! Oh yeah, mini dance around the kitchen. I’m determined to kick the ‘meh’, ‘ugh’, ‘blah’ out of Monday and guess who is going to help me?! Yup, the next “Crush – Lust – Stalk” Interior Idol. Is it an artist? a designer? an obsessive interiors addict? a student? Hint hint she’s all about taking a fresh look at Scotland’s iconic landscape. It’s the inspiring textile designer Mairi Helena.
I met Mairi through the Instagram hashtag colourmyhome and wait for it – we’ve actually met In Real Life, not once but twice! Don’t look so shocked. I get it, in this Insta virtual world, we form friendships and sometimes never actually meet IRL. I can tell you this, Mairi is even more lovely in person.
A lover of the great outdoors, Mairi can be found snapping up scenic pics of Scotland – so it is only natural that her debut line ‘Thistle’ is a contemporary take on the rugged landscape. Her designs are bursting with colour, loaded with texture and are simply intoxicating. I always find myself gazing into her designs to see what I can discover. It’s true that all of the colours you see in Mairi’s designs can be found in Scotland. We have the most vibrant multi-coloured sunsets, beaches with crystal clear blue water (frigid, yes, but bluest of blue), and of course the most stunning shades of moody grey rain clouds too.
And now she’s gone and launched a second wallpaper and fabric line ‘Homelands‘ inspired by whisky distilleries, wild coastlines, remote islands, thick woodlands, and graceful valleys. Beautifully abstract and simply lush.
Here are some of my fave pieces – Fire & Golden Blush Thistle cushion on Nicola’s famous green sofa @the_girl_with_the_green_sofa; Creating a wedding sanctuary along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile Grey Tailor Thistle ; Moody & mysterious Glen Voil wallpaper shot by @susielowe; Luxcycled by Zoe of @mucknbrass using Bronze Flush Thistle; Bold hallway game over at Fiona’s @around_houses is the Emerald Thistle velvet cushion ; Island Botanist wallpaper over in Mairi’s studio; and Evening cocktails at Mairi’s.
So …. Mairi … tell us ….
CRUSH … If you follow Mairi on Insta, you’ll know she’s just painted her studio the deep inky shade of hague blue. Mairi says “I’m currently on the prowl for shelving & have my eye on these fab shelves at Audenza” Guess what Mairi – they are back in stock!
LUST … Mairi says “There are so many pieces of fabulous furniture on my interior lust list but one in particular is the stylish slope leather lounge chair from West Elm – LOVE IT!!” I say, great shout Mairi! West Elm is one of my “go to” brands for a modern take on the mid century vibe.
STALK … Newsflash, Mairi is cheating on Interiors with landscapes! She says “Alongside luxurious interiors and vibrant colour, I love filling my insta feed with stunning pictures of Scotland” We can’t live on Interiors alone. She goes on to say “one account I love to follow is @loosemooose and her photographic eye for Scotland’s West Coast!” I have to agree, Scotland’s west coast does leave you breathless (just like Daniel Craig in Skyfall – largely shot in Scotland BTW)
What is Mairi’s fave room? It’s her lounge that is literally flooded with sunlight! She perfectly describes the space as contemporary, creative, colourful and I agree. Mairi says “We have a top flat in the rooftops & as a result a quirky lay out with lots of sloping ceilings to contend with! Our living room has a large chimney which splits the room in two – we’ve made it into a feature wall with the help of one of my wallpapers, Harris Green Thistle! We still haven’t got round to curtains.” Who needs curtains?
Where is Mairi headed? This may not come as a surprise, she is staying local and is not so secretly hoping to get the keys of a true Scottish gem, Monachyle Mhor. Located in the picturesque Trossachs overlooking Loch Voil, Monachyle Mhor is a one of those places that you never want to leave. An instant zen.
The design and styling of the rooms would make any hard core interior addict drool! There is the ‘classy country cosy’ room in the FarmHouse, a ‘cool kitch charming’ cabin, the ‘spacious stylish special’ courtyard rooms, the ‘big bold beautiful’ feature rooms, and there is even a ‘wild wacky wonderful’ wagon to stay in the wilderness. Naturally, the food is award winning and looks equally as luscious as the rooms. I’m definitely adding this to my wish list.
ALERT – each May Mhor is bursting with the acclaimed Mhor Festival – all about decadent food, great music, and entertaining theatre. I don’t think you need any more excuses to visit Mhor, do you?
It is no surprise that Mairi’s been featured in Homes & Interiors Scotland, The Herald, The World of Interiors, The Scotsman, and Apartment Therapy home tours. Plus her blog is one to follow – it just won the London Design Week Blog Award 2018 and has been shortlisted in Amara Blog Awards twice.
What is Mairi up to? She’s just back from exhibiting at Cheltenham Interiors trade show and she is ramping up for the London Interiors Show during London Design Week in September. Plus a few local events in Edinburgh over the summer. Head over & check out her new Homelands line.
That’s a wrap folks, Hope this added a little perk to your Monday. Come back each week to see who I have cornered into playing along – it could be a popular interior designer, maybe that artist who creates magical wallpaper, or that ace blogger. I’ll mix it up & keep it interesting. Have a good one.
Cheers, Liz xx