sneak peek: fiona douglas of bluebellgray


After several weeks of gray, dreary and cold weather in Paris, one peek at the home of Fiona Douglas of Bluebellgray and it started to feel a bit more like spring. Fiona started out studying painting at the Glasgow School, but then she found that her real passion was in textiles. A firm believer that good design is something that can really make a difference in your life, Fiona designs things that make her feel good and hopes that it will make others feel good, too. So it was a dream come true when Fiona started her own business, Bluebellgray, to realize all of her passions with the assistance of her fiancé, Phil. Keep an eye out for her new bedlinen line and fabric collection she’s releasing this spring. You can find additional, full-sized images of Fiona’s Glasgow, Scotland, home right hereThanks, Fiona and David Cadzow for the lovely photographs! — Anne

Image above: This is in my kitchen. The wall is full of pictures of friends and family. I love it because I look at it everyday and think of everyone in it! It’s funny when people come round as you can see them casually scanning it to see if their picture is there and if it’s an embarrassing one (there are a few!). The “Eggs, Toast & Jam” are old printing blocks that I found in a junk shop; my friend Cait & I looked for ages through piles of dusty old blocks trying to find the right letters to say something kitchen related. I resisted painting them for ages, as I thought I should keep them true to their origin but I cracked and I love them even more painted! The bench was picked up in one of Glasgow’s antique warehouses; I’ve been looking for something like it for years so was really excited to find it. The cushions on the bench are my favourites from my own Bluebellgray collection called “Secret Garden” — I love the watercolour on the grey coloured linen; I think it just tempers the colours really beautifully.

Image above: The painting in the background is from my art school days. I love painting really large scale. I like the aesthetic contrast of florals with abstract pieces. I find it difficult to do “matchy matchy,” so I like things to sit together in a kind of haphazard manner. I feel if you love something, it will in some way work with other pieces in your home. The sofa is an old antique sofa given to be by my mum and dad. My mum wanted to chuck it out but after pleading with her I managed to persuade her to hold onto it until I had the space for it. It needed a lot of TLC, but is now happily covered in a beautiful linen that I got from one of the last linen mills in Scotland. The cushions are a mix; the white one is made from an old tablecloth to give contrast against the deep blue wall and the floral is my “Poppy” design which gives a lovely splash of colour.

Image above: I’ve always colour-coded my bookcases in all my flats; I think Phil was quite impressed when he met me as he thought it was some kind of organisational thing (he is very neat and organised) but actually I have to confess, it is purely for aesthetics! The bookcases were made by a designer friend. I wanted something that looked like it was an original feature of the flat and he interpreted my idea perfectly and did a really beautiful job. The chair is the matching one for the sofa and great for relaxing on and dipping into a book. The cushion is my “Secret Garden” cushion.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Fiona’s home tour after the jump!

Image above: This is the view from my kitchen to upstairs. My little cats Peggy and Betty can’t resist getting in the picture! I absolutely love all shades of blue. On the stairs, I have written all my favourite tones of blue. The stair kickboards are painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Pitch Blue.” The words are made from laser-cut decals. It’s really easy to get customised ones like these on the Internet. The walls in the kitchen are painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Dix Blue” and the lampshade is my “Magnolia” lampshade. I have a thing for blue and white china in any shape or form; I think it may be a lifetime thing, as my collection is continually growing!

Image above: The walls in our lounge are painted “Pitch Blue” by Farrow & Ball, quite possibly my all-time favourite paint colour. The sofa is covered in one of my own designs and it is my favourite thing in the whole flat. I printed the fabric purely for the sofa but will be adding the design to my Bluebellgray range in the spring. I love the contrast of the modern boxy shape with the large florals. The small landscape was done by my grandmother and is one of my most treasured possessions. I love the original frame, too; I’ve never wanted to change it, as I like the fact she chose it all those years ago. The flat is a Georgian conversion so we have gorgeous high windows upstairs. The curtains are made from cotton muslin edged with a real ikat shipped over from Uzbekistan. The white lamp base is from Habitat. The linen sofa is filled with all sorts of cushions — my own designs mixed with others I have picked up on my travels. The pink flower one is “Peony” from my own collection. The floor boards are oak that used to be stained an orange colour but I sanded them and put Swedish floor soap on them to give them a light Scandinavian look. I love the contrast the dark blue walls give. I love white walls, too, but the blue just felt right for this room.

Image above: The blue and white pot was brought back from Morocco, and the little white pot was made by me. I love making ceramics but have a lot to learn! The books and little box are all things picked up in junk shops over the years. I have to admit to sometimes buying old books just because I love the dust jacket.

Image above: I love the contrast of the clean gloss white sideboard against the blue wall. The wall hanging is one of the first designs I did for Bluebellgray; I wanted to design something full to the brim with colours and flowers. I try to keep all my designs limited editions — I sign each one and number them so they have a history and a sense of the designer behind them. The swirly green and dark blue pot is one of a pair that was shipped back from a trip to Morocco; I think they ended up costing us more in shipping and handling than it did to buy them! The pink pouffe was picked up in a shop in Glasgow.

Image above: This plate is by one of my favourite designers, Robert Dawson, from the collection he did for Wedgwood a few years ago.

Image above: Our kitchen walls are painted in “Dix Blue” by Farrow & Ball. The kitchen units and floor were put in by the previous owners; I love the slate floor. In an ideal world, I’d take down the top units and replace them with open shelving but I’m not sure Phil could cope with everything being on display. He loves things being neatly tidied away! The chairs are by Ercol. The yellow chair is an antique one I covered in one of my own designs, great for sitting in with a cup of tea and a magazine. The paintings are some of my originals for my designs and the blackboard is painted with blue blackboard paint — it makes me so much happier than a black one.

Image above: I love white for bedroom walls. I love to clear my head and have a bit of thinking time when I go to bed, and white walls definitely help add a sense of calm. The bed and bedside table used to be stained wood, and I know some people don’t like it, but I really love painted wood. My cushions add a splash of colour; the ones on the bed are called “Barbara” and “Poppy” after my grandma and her best friend when she was a little girl. The quilt on the bed was picked up in TJ Maxx and the blue and white floral design is one of mine.

Image above: The lampshade is a product that I sold to Liberty in London. The little white bird is Royal Copenhagen and was brought back by Phil on a recent trip. The white pot is one I made, and the tile, which I love, is from a salvage yard in Glasgow.

Image above: This is our bedroom; I really love mixing different textures and patterns. The mannequin was from when I was at art school and I had it recovered in a lovely woven pink and white fabric. It is great for hanging scarves (a real weakness of mine — I have far too many). The chair is covered in a vintage-style fabric, and the curtains are my own design.

Image above: These antique silk threads under the cloche are some of the most beautiful things I have ever owned. I picked them up really cheaply at an antique fair and they are the most gorgeous subtle shades of faded silk — inspiration for a collection one day. The bag is from Camden Market, and I picked up the necklaces on holidays to Turkey (they have the most incredible jewelry there). The mirror is from a shop in Glasgow.

Image above: The bathroom was put in by the previous owners and has a lovely lime stone floor. The shower curtain is made from an old linen tablecloth (you can’t beat old French or Irish linen in my opinion!). The painting is another one by my grandmother.

Image above: I’ve resisted permanently sticking these tiles to the wall as I love them so much and want to take them with me when we leave this flat one day. The blue and white ones are from a salvage yard mixed with ones I’ve made, and the stunning floral tiles and the tiles that look like old postcards are from Welbeck Tiles — love them. The hamman bowl used as a soap dish was brought back from a trip to Turkey.

More on Fiona’s home and style:
I live in Glasgow in Scotland with my fiancé
, Phil, and our two little black cats, Peggy and Betty. I love our home and it has been a real labour of love! Phil is a minimalist in the true sense of the word and I think I’m quite far the other way! When I met him the flat was a real bachelor pad and consisted of not much more than a black leather sofa, plasma TV and a lot of CDs and books. There may have been a brown cushion somewhere. His favourite hobby is chucking out things when I don’t realise he’s done it! But I am incredibly lucky as he is so laid back and lets me pretty much do all the decorating; he now just rolls his eyes and laughs when I suggest painting another room for the third time and he keeps my junk-shop buying in check!

The flat is a Georgian conversion on ground and garden level. We wish the downstairs had the same proportions as upstairs. I’m a big fan of Farrow and Ball paint colours; I think paint can really transform a space for not a lot of money. I also love painted furniture for adding colour into an interior. I love finding old junk shop pieces and transforming them with a lick of paint.

I try to go by the William Morris idea of “having nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Everything we have has a reason behind it or is something we just really love, and I like looking at something and it reminding me of a time in our lives.

I definitely go for an eclectic style in my flat; I prefer things to loosely hang together rather than match perfectly. I love white and colour in equal measure, and I’m a big believer in doing what feels right for the space/house. I’m a real summer person — I love sunshine and warmth, which we don’t get a lot of in Scotland, so summer colours in my designs and my flat give a little bit of summer all year round.

  1. ¡Qué colores! ¡Qué flores!

  2. Dominique Savidge says:

    absolutely in love and so inspired!

  3. Suzanne says:

    This is truly lovely…thanks for the peek!

  4. Fara says:

    One of the best sneek peeks I’ve seen. I LOVE the combo of blue and magenta – it is so uplifting to me

  5. yara says:

    oh my god the perfect color combination, i just love it and want it for my house right now!!!!

  6. casamos says:

    This is by far my favorite sneak peek. U read every paragraph and soaked in every picture. Thanks so much for sharing this. It has really given me some true inspiration. Not to mention the fact that the couple’s dynamic is EXACTLY like mine and my husband’s! Haha.

  7. Bin G. says:

    In a “small world” moment, the names of your cats are the exact names of my mom and her only sister – Betty and Peggy!
    I LOVE your home. You do color right! As we are moving soon, I find myself so inspired by your creativity. I plan to revisit your pages often during the next few months.

  8. draeger says:

    way 2 keut.

  9. Ufuoma says:

    My all time favourite Sneak Peek! Glorious use of colour and florals without being to prissy, the textures, modern rustic and world prints…brings joy and calm in the same breath. Bella, bellaaaa!

  10. grit engelmann says:

    what a stunning home, I love all of it, especially the colours nand the cats picture, gorgeous. xx

  11. Nazia Khan says:

    I’m absolutely absolutely in love with this house, it’s such a charming place to live in.

  12. Kim B. says:

    Oh Fiona — I don’t know what to say but that I positively luxuriated in the photos of your space this morning and have been thinking about it all day. It’s so warm and welcoming and smart . . .love that so much is your own creation, and somehow knowing that it’s in Scotland makes it even cooler!! Thanks for bringing some sunshine into this gray Paris day.

  13. Mavi says:

    I just found this page while googling and i couldn’t resist not to comment, this is amazing so lovely colors and design, would love to have same house very comfortable and warm and sure very fresh i just love it <3

  14. Debbi Burnie says:

    Beautiful I wanted to Pin all of the rooms on my pinterest boards they are just amazing. Do you have a Pinterest account that I could follow? The Floral colours and designs are wonderful and your decorating style is unique and breath taking. thank you for sharing.

  15. Mercedes says:

    Where did you get your flower bedding from?

  16. Mr. and Mrs. says:

    Just awesome! I want those tiles around the sink! And thanks for listing all the colors you used!

  17. Ru says:

    Gorgeous! Let me know if you leave this flat one day :-)

  18. joy says:

    your images just affirmed my love for blue and white and florals and junk finds and family and history. Thank you for your post. Although I’m not a designer by profession, I have just been inspired to create magic in our home with the things that I love.

  19. Liz says:

    Love your florals! I had to laugh when I realized YOUR “Habitat” is a home decor place; in the US “Habitat” is Habitat for Humanity, which is an organization that builds homes for the underprivileged.(They have a store where people can donate used and usable architectural salvage, lighting, etc.)


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