As a talented local interior designer, Lucy Fribbens of Swatch Interior Design UK can work her magic in any room, but the one she has become famous for is the bathroom.
Rachael Hale caught up with her to find out her top design tips and advice on trends.
Why did you become an interior designer?
I’ve always been creative and have an art degree from Goldsmiths, but until about 10 years ago I was a primary school teacher. I really loved it, but once I had kids I felt like my whole life had been consumed by little people and I wanted to do something more creative again. Every time friends and family members came to see me they said “you should be an interior designer” and one day I thought why not? My mother kindly took care of my son and I went back to college. I loved it and won my first clients by training.
What pieces do you enjoy designing the most?
I love them all, but I especially love designing children’s bedrooms because kids aren’t afraid of color and they’re happy to push the boundaries of design, and bathrooms because I like to see what is often a dull and tired space, it’s been the same for years, transform yourself into a haven of peace.
You’ve also made a name for yourself designing many bathrooms and changing rooms – why do you think that’s the case?
Luckily people seem to like my designs and because I manage the entire project process, I make what can be a stressful time as easy as possible. I’m also a freelance designer, which means I’m not tied to any store or brand, allowing me to give customers exactly what they want. I have built a fantastic network of suppliers over the years and also have a wonderful team of trades people that I work with on a regular basis. It’s usually the unforeseen aspects that clients find challenging, so I do everything I can to minimize those stresses and make every project run as smoothly as possible.
What bathroom trends are you spotting this year?
Faux wood tiles are very trendy right now and subway tiles are still in vogue, but people are moving away from the standard “subway station” layout and exploring different tile patterns. I am currently doing a vertical layout with beautiful green tiles in a bathroom in Pembury and the herringbone, crosshatch and herringbone patterns are also very popular.
When it comes to design, people really fall into two camps. Either they seek a calm and peaceful environment, created with a clean, somewhat minimalist Scandi style, or they go really bold with bright, funky pops of color. Metals are also important, but people are moving away from copper for golds and brushed nickels. To be honest, you just have to choose things that you really like.
How to get in touch with Lucy
Instagram – @swatch_interior_design
Facebook – swatchinteriors
Photos © @surreybrandphotography
Lucy’s Best Style Tips
Regardless of the color or style you choose, all of the best bathroom schemes (even neutrals) have layers of color, texture, and pattern. They also have several focal points, so if you have the opportunity to create a niche in your bathroom, grab it. Studded walls can help you create extra storage space, but even the smallest ledge can be perfect for tucking away your favorite products or displaying stylish items.
Plants or flowers are also essential because they give meaning to life in your room. A pop of green works with any color palette and faux flowers are especially good for bathrooms because they always look great, can handle wet and humid environments and you can’t kill them! I often source from Stephanie Dill of Away With The Fairies Floral Design.