anne ditmeyerinterior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: fiona douglas of bluebellgray

by anne

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.

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  • I enjoy the blues– & it’s not dreary whatsoever–the pops of color add that extra happy spirit that too much blue can take away. LOVE the tiles & the black cats, too :)

  • i really like the use of art and pattern in the bathroom. i
    also like that the mirror is just big enough to do all the
    “neck-up” related things. most of the time you see huge mirrors in
    the bathroom. the staircase is phenom.

  • Today has some of my favorite sneak peeks ever! Love all the color in this home, and I’m definitely considering color-coding my bookshelf :)

  • Her textiles and the way she mixes them are really beautiful.

    Also that blue in the living room is amazing. I think I need to paint something that color!

  • I LOVE all the colors in this one and the tiles in the
    bathroom. Also the teacups you can see in the back of the kitchen
    near the stairs are great – where are they from? Probably my
    favorite sneak peek ever!

  • Wow, this is really lovely! Perhaps a little too feminine
    for my personal taste but I love how you have blended different
    styles and colours, and injected a beautiful feeling of

  • I love how you see the same fabrics used throughout the
    house. Even though there is a lot of color it is solidly tied
    together. It doesn’t feel erratic which can happen with such bright
    colors. I love it!

  • I think this is my dream house. I’m a blue and white girl
    all the way, and I love how she incorporated the pops of hot pink
    and vibrant patterns with the overall color scheme. Really

  • This is amazingly beautiful. My favorite photo is the
    second with that beautiful blue painting. I love everything about
    this space and such beautiful photos as well as styling. Lot’s of
    texture and color without being overwhelming. Thank you Design
    Sponge for featuring this and thanks Fiona for such great

  • Wow!! This home is stunning. I adore the names of her favorite shades of blue on the staircase. And the texture in the flowers on the pillows, window treatments and bedding is lovely!

  • its been a long time since looking a pictures of someones house has made me this happy. what a place in which to be content :)

  • This is beautiful home. I love the blue and white themes and I think Fiona’s ceramics are gorgeous. Peggy and Betty are very lucky cats.

  • I’m a blue lover too and I found this house really amazing. I’d like to live in!
    I especially like the contrast between blue wall and white objects and the kitchen stair is pure fun

  • Fiona- I am absolutely smitten with the painting hanging in your living room (as well as with the rest of your charming flat!). Any DIY pointers you might be able to share to recreate the same effect? My living room could use some new artwork; I am officially inspired!

  • This is absolutely gorgeous. I looooove blue rooms! (mine is blue too) And I have always wanted a color coordinated book shelf. I think it looks amazing!

  • loving the staircase, i’ve seen a few variations of words/numbers/colors on stairs lately. such a creative use of an ordinary thing!

  • wow, it’s a cold snowy day and this sneak peek is the perfect burst of color! I love the bright florals and calm blues–what a great combination.

  • What a lovely house, I love blue, I held back from painting the kitchen blue, because I though it might be too much (living room/hall/bedroom are all shades of blue)but Im having second thoughts. I miss my old tenement in Glasgow, the height of the ceilings really makes the difference.

  • this is one of the most inspiring sneak peeks i’ve ever seen. her use of color is brave, bold, and beautiful. i am always impressed by those who fearlessly combine textures, patterns, and colors. bravo!

  • One of my new favorite quotes, what you said, “I feel if you love something, it will in some way work with other pieces in your home.” My house is coming together in a very eclectic way with the things I love, and I can only hope my house will one day resemble yours! So incredibly lovely!

  • …doesn’t it feel like she’s lived there forever? all those lovely layers. gorgeous! my eyes need that pop of “summer” :) thank you for sharing!

  • What a beautiful colour palatte!

    I love the bathroom especially the tiles around the sink.

    I thought the idea to paint and put different names for the shades of blue on the stairs a stroke of genius. It is so simple and yet makes such an impact.

    Love the house!

  • So much floral – I absolutely love it! I could definitely feel “at home” in a house like this, wow!

  • The floral patterns and the vibrant colors are enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. What a perky home. I love it!

  • That is a beautiful home! If I didn’t have such a manly-man husband, I would take a lot of design inspiration from her home to incorporate as we remodel ours. The husband isn’t much of a floral fan.

  • Floor tiles in kitchen…..Mmmmm…This floor tiles are very difficult for cleaning…I wouldn’t use them in high trafficable area, maybe I would go with matte / difficult for cleaning as well… / or polished porcelain …

  • I couldn’t get my off of the Rococo mirror, which I love. I’ve been afraid to dress up anything on my walls, but I think it really compliments the loft, esp with the floor to ceiling windows.

  • sigh… :))))))
    I think I died and didn’t realise it! I am definitely in heaven….
    In my whole life as a blog-watcher/reader I haven’t EVER come across an upload that is so totally ME and to which I can only say – over and over – YESSS, Amen!
    Thank You – you put EVERYTHING I love, own, think, make, feel…. in YOUR post. I love everything, the whites, blues, the wonderful, wonderful designs of flowers and colours, the tiles, the stories, and our house looks a bit like yours because although it is quite well ‘filled’ (not stuffed!!!), EVERY little thing here and there HAS A STORY to tell and everything reminds me of a person, a particular moment, a happening…. and makes me smile and think of the people who were involved in it (like your grandma’s pictures!)
    THANK YOU – I love you….
    Kiki :)

  • this is a random question, but what is the photograph read, the one with the words kind of in the lower leftish middle of the cluster of photos???

    i keep trying to squint and make out what the words say, but i can’t, my curiousity is killing me!

    is it an inspirational quote???

    please let me know!


  • So gorgeous! Love the fact that you can do so much with floral accents without it looking too old fashioned. Love the tile collection in the bath too!

  • Fiona
    I love your idea of the home-made shower curtain out of old linen. It looks beautiful and has totally inspired me to have a go. Do you need to add a waterproof layer underneath and is it simply a layer of linen over a basic shower curtain?

  • you always post about the most inspiring spaces. This one is so harmonious and uplifting, the perfect space to feel like a lady!!! I adore your site, and I really must reblog this post; Can I? Please say yes! aLL MY BEST

  • I love how you have used blue/cool walls yet the room has a warm and inviting feeling. The pops of red and raspberry/warm colors and the patterns create a wonderful balance! I am inspired to try it!

  • When I looked at the pictures, I loved almost every detail in this interior. I do agree with many others above that it’s bold and beautiful. But for me it is so dominated by Fiona’s personality and femininity that there’s almost no visible signs of the other half of the couple. Does he have a say? Or have I overseen anything?
    If I were a man, I do not know if I could survive in a this beautiful space that leaves my own personality numb…

    • arina

      i think you’re assuming an awful lot about her significant other. i don’t think that the decor necessarily means his personality is “numb”…


  • Beautiful and ethereal – Fiona has done a wonderful job personalizing her home. Just from browsing her charming rooms, I get a sense of who she is and what’s important to her – well done!

  • Fantastic arrangement of colours and patterns. I particularly love the wooden floors, never heard about this Swedish floor soap, any one knows where to get it? Thank you!

  • Beautiful. I love how she admits to sometimes buying books simply because of what they look like. I do the same… I can’t resist an old book with fun colors! It must be ok. ;)

  • Thank you so much for all your lovely comments! I am totally bowled over and really touched to hear people love blue and florals as much as I do, thank you :)
    OK I’m going to try and answer your questions!
    Stef- The teacups in the kitchen are vintage and all variations of blue willow pattern, I just pick them up in junk shops when I see them, 52 and counting :)
    Lauren- So glad you like the blue painting! Definitely have a go and create your own, get as big a canvas as you can, sounds scary but it is sometimes more freeing to paint big scale I promise :) I use really big brushes, wallpaper pasting ones are great as they are so soft. I use acrylic paint with lots of water to make lots of thin layers of paint to build the picture up and make it smudge together. Hope this helps, I’m sure you will make something beautiful!

  • The blues, the blues! My kitchen is in two shades of blue, my bedroom in another one, and my daughter’s room in another one, so you could say I like this color scheme very much! And that fuschia pink against the blue is something I would have never thought of, and yet it works so well. Lovely home!

  • Beck B-
    So glad you asked that :) It is a photograph of graffiti taken by my best friend Cait, it says:
    ‘And I loved you in bright orange and in violet and in green, I loved you in such colours that your eyes had never ever seen’
    I love that quote, it is originally song lyrics by The Dresden Dolls.

    Naomi- The linen shower curtain is really easy to do :) I just hung up a simple/normal waterproof shower curtain and just hung the linen over the top of it through the same hooks. No need for sewing :)

  • So much beauty in this home that it’s impossible to love one thing. I love it all. Fiona, you’re a grand talelnt.

  • The floral fabric is killer beautiful! I especially love it with the pompom trim. I love blue and white too. This is one of my favorite sneak peeks ever.

  • Fiona, I love your aesthetic. I am so inspired. Love the William Morris quote. So very true!

  • Fiona, love your house – all that color against the white – just my cup of tea. I love the different names of blue on your stairs – such a lovely idea. I feel inspired.

  • Could quite possibly be my favorite sneak peek ever! The blues are gorgeous! I love the high ceilings and the floral fabrics. The personal touches really help infuse the space with personality. I am inspired…

  • Where didbyou get the blue ikat pillow on the couch in the photo with the painting? Thank you!

  • Oh my goodness, I think I have house-envy! It is absolutely gorgeous! I am a blue and white girl too, and I love the way that you have injected colour into the room- it’s so pretty and fresh!

  • What a gorgeous home, especially the watercolour cushions! The fuschias and blues are so beautiful together and create such a serene atmosphere. Home envy :)

  • Such a happy looking home! Just lovely. Your florals are so alive! Love love your black kitties…I have a black kitten, and he’s just the best little guy ever. :)

  • Your home is beautiful! I was checking my regular interior design blogs, but came to a sudden halt when I found this post. Everything else is dulling in comparison now.

    Where did you find the clock in the kitchen?

    It seems i’m not the only one flocking to your website… Hope it is running again soon.

  • I think Fiona is my new best friend. Her designs are so much like my own…it is like I can see myself in her. I have always loved bright bold colors and a mixture of antiques and modern pieces. I find having a composition of eclectic items in a collage format on a wall is my favorite design theme in my house. Everyone thought I was CRAZY when I painted my bedroom a bold aqua-marine blue with white accents and burgundy touches, with florals, too. So I am amazed to see Fiona have a very similar design at her home too. I don’t feel so different for being so daring! I even have large cutout letters hanging on my walls, as she has with her printer’s blocks. I also made my own lampshade with a large cabbage-rose designed floral print. It was super easy and brings me so much delight. I have even spray painted the lamp bases either silver to go with the floral print or rusted brown (for another room) to repurpose old brass lamps. My hobby is to paint old furniture, but I don’t find enough time to do that much anymore. This will inspire me to pick up a paint brush again! I have painted my dining room furniture in McKenzie-Childs style, with each leg or spindle a different color or pattern and have covered them with crackle finish, stripes and roses! My family laughs because when Christmas comes around they have to check if the seat cushions on the dining chairs are screwed down…most of the time they aren’t, because I have not finished painted one or two of them! My kitchen has a wall in a bright apple green color with a favorite mosaic art piece with a huge white chrysanthemum bordered in a bright yellow trim. It just pops off the wall.
    Thanks Fiona for making me feel that my designs aren’t so crazy after all and for sharing your beautiful home with us! You brought beauty to my life.

  • Hello! The blue colors in rooms are absolutely 5star
    choice! Probably my next project will feature this style (at the
    moment I colored my bedroom light blue and absolutely love it).
    Florals are so adorable! Unfortunately I couldn’t access
    Bluebellgray internet site to look for more infos.. I imagine how
    nice floral motive would look in a country estate-manor my parents
    are owning in deep countryside of Latvia. Thanks for

  • I am lucky enough to have visited this amazing flat many
    times and let me tell you it is even better in real life!…oh and
    the website is back up :)

  • Love it love it love it !!! Blue is my favorite color (sky
    blue, peacock blue, loving teal blue lately) and I love to use blue
    and white in my home. Fiona’s home is so beautiful and offers so
    many wonderful visual ideas – can’t wait to mix things up in my own
    little cottage with a bit of bright pink ! Loved that she
    referenced the same William Morris quote I aspire to as well . . .
    but don’t we all?! (one of her black cats seems to have the same
    small white spot on its chest that my black cat has !)

  • Oh I’m so happy people are feeling inspired!

    Setty- No problem at all from my side :)

    Kiki- Your post made my day thank you, I love it! :)

    Joselo- I got the Swedish floor soap from a company in the UK called ‘Nutshell paints’, they do lots of lovely eco friendly paints etc.

    Marina- The clock in the kitchen is from Habitat in the UK, but I’m not 100% sure if they still sell it as we got it a couple of years ago.

    Morgan- I picked up the Ikat pillow in TJ Maxx, it is by a company called Moltex I think.

    Erin D- Your house and designs sound gorgeous!! The chairs sound amazing! So glad you have followed your design heart :)

    Fiona x

  • I LOVE everything about this sneak peak. The floral cushions immediately caught my eye and when I got into the post I was in heaven. Everything is so amazingly PRETTY! If only I wasn’t on a spending fast!

  • I am so loving the stairs! I can’t stop thinking of words…sayings…that I can paint on my own. Thanks again, Design Sponge, for the inspiration! I think I’m in love…. sigh….

  • I have to add…I just showed the picture to my sweet husband – and he, the retired AF Colonel, wants to write Stop No Admittance Without Proper Authorization. I don’t think he’s quite getting the aesthetics…do you?

  • I’m in love and feel so inspired! What is the color of the dark blue? I want to redo my bedroom!

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • Fellow Glaswegian here. Just stumbled across this today as my husband suggested I sit down and surf for some design stuff as I was feeling blue (!) with all the bad news and even the weather here in the Côte d’Azur is miserable today. I love your home and I do feel perked up so thanks.