This month we invited Pandora Maxton to share her passion for all things interior. We share a love of colour and believe the kitchen need not be limited to bold designs.
1. Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am married and a mother of three. Our house is set just outside York and sits within six acres. Our house isn’t period, it was built in the late 60s. It doesn’t have any period features, but we have put our stamp on it and given it lots of character. We are trying to live the good life by growing our own vegetables and rearing lambs and pigs.
I am an interiors product stylist and content creator and work mainly on Instagram. I have run several Christmas styling workshops and this year will open my house up for my first pop up vintage/reclaimed shop.
2. Where did your passion for interior design come from?
I have always loved and appreciated interior design. My degree was actually in fine art and printmaking, however, if you are creative and a creator, it doesn’t matter whether it’s expressing yourself through two or three-dimensional design, you have that incessant drive to create. My aunt always inspired me. She lived and renovated many properties in London and no matter what or where they were, be it a small terrace in Chelsea or flat in Knightsbridge she always had a bright red Aga, it was her thing. I loved it as it stood out from the crowd. She always used big pattern in small rooms or totally overdressed the tiniest space, basically, she broke the rules and her interiors were always so unique.
3. What is your design mantra?
If it works for you it works! Admittedly some have more design flair than others, BUT your home is your palace and should represent you/your family and what you like and do. I feel so strongly about this. Make your home your own not from a catalogue, it should have personality. Oh, and always use plenty of plants!
4. How does this reflect in the design of your house?
I designed my kitchen several years back with a lovely old carpenter. I wanted deep shaker style units with a really deep recess. Our kitchen is the hub of our home, it’s where we cook, create and party so I wanted open shelving with quick access to all our cookbooks etc. I am also a firm believer in showing off all your lovely bits and pieces like coffee cups, bowls, teapots and jars so, therefore, I decided to opt for plate racks and glass-fronted cupboards. My kitchen cupboards have been painted pea green, cream and now are Farrow & Ball 'Down Pipe' which is by far my favourite. The dark striking grey which changes colour depending on the time of day, against the bright red aga looks great and a little different.
5. Have you noticed any new trends in the kitchen?
In my opinion, I think there seems a little more boldness out there. I think grey is still going strong as are the dark blues. I have noticed a little pinker and pastel colours creeping in too. Industrial I think will stay with us as it is timeless and fresh. I am a real lover of brick, metal and wood. I have seen quite a lot of two-tone which I like and adds more interest to your kitchen. It took me ages to pluck up the courage to change my units from old white to Farrow & Ball 'Down Pipe' and I’m so glad I did it. I still kept Old White on the top units because I think dark on top would be too much. My kitchen is punchier and I’m getting so much love from it now.
6. If you had £250 to spend in the kitchen, what would you buy?
Really good large pan with a lid, preferably non-stick but really heavy duty, and a great knife.
7. What colour(s) should we be using in the kitchen?
Well if you want to be bang on trend then 'Ultra Violet' (Pantone colour of the year) but I don’t believe in following fashion when it comes to your home unless you are that way inclined. What do you love? Grey is and will always be fabulous as is navy. What makes you feel happy when you see it? You also have to consider the boring little things like light, size and style and choose what works for you as long as it isn’t magnolia!!
8. What are your three top tips for decorating shelves in the kitchen?
Plants, pictures, lovely pottery, coffee cups and bowls. I personally don’t like bare as I am a maximalist so give them life, texture, colour and personality. I always have a little accent of black and white, whether it be a plate or bowl, which brings another dimension to the arrangement in the same way as a plant does.
9. What are your kitchen must-haves?
Light, storage, easy access to a calendar or somewhere to write or remind everyone where they need to be (family of five), surface space (one can never have enough surface space!). Also, lots of chopping boards.
10. Where do you go for design inspiration?
Pinterest is by far my greatest visual library, in a few clicks its image overload, I use Instagram a lot and also magazines but not so much now. Friends inspire me too. I’m lucky enough to have some super creative friends that inspire me...
1. Pastels or primaries? Primaries
2. Plain or patterned? Plain unless cushions or blinds
3. Chairs or stools? Chairs
4. Wood or stone? Both
5. Aga or oven? Aga every time
6. Industrial pendants or decadent chandelier? Pendants
7. Larder or utility room? Tricky I guess it has to be a utility, but I did convert the cupboard under my stairs into a larder (waster space)
8. Cooking or eating? Cooking
9. Instagram or Pinterest? Instagram
10. Minimalist or maximalist? Maximalist
Keep up to date with Pandora's take on all things design related via her blog and Instagram page.
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Feel inspired by Pandora’s interiors advice? Speak to one of our expert designers to discuss your kitchen project. Call 0800 389 6938, book a design consultation here or visit your local Harvey Jones showroom.