Continuing our look at the faces behind Lisa Dawson Interiors - this week we meet Gemma Radley, who is also a seamstress and helps Debbie in the workroom.
Who are you and what do you do at Lisa Dawson Interiors?
Hi. My name is Gemma and I have worked for Lisa since 2010. I originally worked in the shop, serving customers and helping them with their interior design projects but I've always wanted to sew. I was lucky enough to be able to train under our head seamstress Debbie, and now I support her in the workroom making beautiful furnishings for all our clients.
Where do you live and in what style of house?
I live in rural north Norfolk on the edge of a wood, overlooking beautiful parkland and the ruin of a 14th Century church. I’d say our house is probably 18th Century and looks fairly similar to other nearby cottages built around this period. We think at some point it might have been a farm building, and the windows and fireplaces were added around the mid-1800’s. I live here with my husband and daughter, two dogs, some chickens and bees!
What is your style and what inspires you in terms of furnishings and decor?
Because we are surrounded by so much nature I’ve always been inspired to bring this indoors. I always go for natural materials such as linen, wood, metal, leather, wool, and where possible I always like to use old furniture rather than buy new. We have even turned a deer antler we found into a lamp base!
Because our house is not very large and we have a toddler running around, this means that at times the cottage feels particularly small which is why I always opt for neutral paint colours. We recently painted our living room and hall in Paint and Paper Library Stone I and when the afternoon light pours through the windows, it really makes the space feel light and airy. Also using similar colours throughout the house creates a sense of flow. Scaffold boards are also a favourite of mine, I’ve used them for worktops and shelving - not only are they affordable but the reclaimed ones have a lovely colour and texture to them.
Which is your current favourite room?
I’d have to say my favourite room is our bedroom. We believe at some point it was two rooms as it’s quite spacious. It has a sloping ceiling and a little Victorian fireplace just as you walk through the door. It’s light in here most of the day as it has two windows, one facing East, and the other facing West. I’ve kept the colours quite neutral in here to maintain the sense of space. Living in an old house means it can be quite draughty, so I’ve made heavy weight, blackout interlined curtains with a triple pleat heading. While we are currently spending our days at home, I’m going to use the time to choose a new fabric to make a headboard. The bedroom offers a little bit of peace and quiet in an otherwise hectic family and gives me a chance to spend a bit of ‘me’ time when I can.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don't have a huge amount of spare time as I have a toddler - however as a family we all like to spend time outside, exploring the woods and looking at nature. We are lucky enough to be able to do this where we live as we can go on nature trails and walks right from the doorstep! We keep chickens and bees and I love to make food wraps from fabric and beeswax in my spare time which enables me to keep our house as plastic free as possible.
If you have a comment to make or would like further information and help on decorating a room in your house then please do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you - we are always here to help with advice and free sampling. Next time we will highlight another member of our wonderful team. Until then keep safe and well.