The new Ando collection takes inspiration from the Japanese word's meaning of 'peace, comfort and calm' - can you tell us more about how these colours and patterns work for AW22?

As the seasons change, I am always drawn to more comforting textures and richer colours for the colder months and this has naturally been a focus for our AW22 collection.

Our colour palette for the season is of rich reds, mossy greens and deep blues, which is consistent across the entire range.

For texture, luxurious embroidered velvet cushions with feather-filled interiors bring a sense of comfort to sitting rooms and bedrooms.

Geometric cushions paired with leafy bamboo prints and delicate embroidered floral designs provide balance through contrast in pattern and texture.

Within the collection, shapes and patterns are not limited to soft furnishings.

Our Bobbin Candlesticks, for example, will add quirkiness and impact to any dining table and this playful bobbin shape is also reflected in our first-ever floor lamp. The collection’s considered approach to form, colour and texture means that all items can be mixed and styled with ease.

As we are all thinking more about the cost of living and the pressure to save where we can, what tips can you offer those wanting to redesign with style, on a budget this AW?

I would recommend taking a considered approach to your interiors and think carefully about what it is that you need for a room.

Although it may be tempting to buy fast-homewares on a budget, the longevity of these items will ultimately be more costly in the long run.

I would focus on buying once and buying well, creating a home filled with high quality and timeless items that can be cherished for years to come.

What would you say is the most important piece of furniture in a sitting room and why?

For me, it is a well-dressed sofa that is both stylish and comfortable. A generous and deep sofa layered with luxurious cushions and an embroidered Kantha or Suzani, is not only inviting but ties a scheme together to create a room that is cohesive and calming.

Layer textures such as rich velvets, with contrasting block-printed patterns and embroidered designs.

Focus on two main colours that link with an important element in the room, whether it be a painting, rug or some existing curtains.

Don’t be afraid to mix bold geometrics with botanical or floral cushions, the pairing of scales and shapes can add interest to a room – as long as you stick to your colour palette you will always create a look that is harmonious and instantly stylish.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Mix bold geometrics with botanical or floral cushionsMix bold geometrics with botanical or floral cushions (Image: Mel Yates Photography)

What tips do you have for those who feel daunted but want to begin designing with style - is there an area of the home that's easier to start with?

Although it can feel daunting starting a project, it is also very exciting!

There isn’t a particular room that’s easier than others, so simply choose a smaller room or area in your home and collect as much inspiration as possible – magazines, Pinterest and Instagram are all great sources for ideas.

Create a mood-board of the interiors that speak to you and once you have a collated group of styles there will usually always be themes or similarities, such as colour palette or textures.

Use these similarities as the base for your project and start from there… and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

If we had to choose, what would you say is the one piece of furniture in our homes to not compromise on, in terms of quality?

I believe quality is important for all items in our homes.

However, if I had to choose one piece then it would be rugs.

As an investment item, rugs should be designed to last a lifetime.

But so many rugs are often poorly made and soon become worn, torn, and faded.

When shopping for rugs look out for how the rug has been made and the materials used.

Hand-woven flat weave and hand-knotted rugs made in natural materials such as wool and jute are worth investing in – they are hard-wearing and durable and will stand the test of time in a busy home.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Invest in a good quality rug and it will last for yearsInvest in a good quality rug and it will last for years (Image: Mel Yates Photography)

As 'your most ambitious collection yet' can you tell us more about what inspired you to create Ando, and how it differs from your previous collections?

Inspiration for previous collections has usually come from my travels, however, with more time spent at home in recent years I turned to Japanese textiles and techniques that I have always admired.

Our new Peony design pays homage to traditional Bingata decoration, whilst our new range of embroidered napkins reinterpret Sashiko stitching techniques.

I also wanted to create a collection that evokes a sense of calm and reflection in the home.

As we all know, our homes have become sanctuaries for us in recent times, and I believe that we all deserve a space that is a haven of peace and comfort.

This collection enables customers to layer luxurious soft furnishings with different texture and pattern creating a cohesive look that feels rich in heritage, yet fresh and original.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Birdie wanted to create a collection that evokes a sense of calmBirdie wanted to create a collection that evokes a sense of calm (Image: Mel Yates Photography)

Ando's soft florals and deep rich tones of russet reds, indigo blues and mossy greens all work harmoniously with natural wood and hand-made pieces. Which pieces in the collection are the most versatile, in your opinion?

All pieces in our collection are designed with versatility in mind.

The chosen colour scheme allows customers to mix and match styles as they all layer harmoniously with one another. One of the most versatile pieces in the collection is our Ori Wool Throw. Made from 100% wool and incredibly generous in size, they are perfect for styling at the end of a bed or on a sofa.

Another piece, which is a personal favourite from the collection, is the new Darya rug.

Handmade by artisan weavers in the Faryab Province of Northern Afghanistan, these wool rugs have an incredibly soft texture that is achieved using a traditional knotting technique known as a Turkoman Baft – there are between 75,000 and 90,000 hand tied knots in each square metre!

The abstract pattern is a contemporary take on traditional design with a colour palette that can tie an interior scheme together.

The versatile rugs are perfect for adding warmth on wooden or stone floors perfect and work very well in sitting rooms, hallways and dining areas.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Rugs make an eye-catching addition to a dining roomRugs make an eye-catching addition to a dining room (Image: Mel Yates Photography)

Fakenham & Wells Times: Rugs add colour, pattern and interestRugs add colour, pattern and interest (Image: Mel Yates Photography)

Are there any absolute no-no's in interior design?

My best advice would be not to get caught up in trying to make everything match or for your interiors to be too perfect.

Your home should feel lived-in and relaxed, reflecting your daily life and personal taste.

Although colours should be cohesive, aim for your fabrics, patterns and designs to be an eclectic mix of scales, styles, and shapes to create interest.

A successful interior is one that is comfortable and cohesive and where one can be surrounded by personal and treasured pieces.

And finally.... modern life is stressful, what design/lifestyle tips do you have for making a home feel more relaxed and peaceful?

Finding a cohesive colour palette is so important for achieving a relaxed and calm space.

Choose your favourite complementary colours and use this as a guide to layer all elements within your interior, including lighting, soft furnishings, furniture, and tableware.

You can then mix patterns, designs and textures with ease, and the room will still feel harmonious and peaceful.

To choose a colour palette start with a base colour and then layer a secondary complementary colour and a pop of a fun accent colour.

Our interiors are not designed to be show-homes - individual touches and items that are unique to you are what make a space personal and interesting.

Don’t be afraid to add in quirky objects, children’s paintings or finds from your travels – surrounding yourself with memories is always the best way to create a relaxed home.

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