For the last few months we’ve been working with the Wood Window Alliance to highlight the benefit of having wooden windows, as opposed to uVPC. Today we’re catching up with Andrea McLean, an ambassador for the company, to hear how she got into interior design.
How did you get into interior design?
It started out as a need rather than a vocation; I could only afford to live in places that needed doing up and redecorating. I didn’t have much money so I had to do it myself. So in my first flat I bought an end of line carpet off-cut and underlay and laid it myself. I painted the whole place, re-tiled the bathroom (I cut myself to shreds!), made pelmets for above the windows, and got a friend to help me lay new patio.
What are you currently working on?
I’m revamping my bedroom. It’s been a girly pale pink for 4 years, and its time for a change! I’m looking into painting my windows and having duo-colour – different colour on the outside to the inside. It always looks so chic.
Can you tell us a bit about your home?
I live in a medium sized home. I have kept things simple, lots of grey and white and natural colours. I like the look of New England style homes, with shabby chic, white washed colours and big beautiful wood windows to let in lots of light.
What’s your favourite feature about your home?
My American-style porch. It was the best money I’ve ever spent as it makes me happy every day. It’s a wide wooden veranda painted in pale grey with up-cycled wicker furniture. I love it. I’m a fan of natural products in the home and I will always incorporate wood over plastic. It looks so much more beautiful; you really can’t get better, which is why I’m working with the Wood Window Alliance.
Why do you think wood windows are special?
They finish it off like a pair of beautiful shoes complete a wonderful outfit. They can last twice as long as plastic alternatives and they are just stunning. I love that you can repaint them to match your interior design as and when you please.
How do you like to dress your windows?
I have white wooden shutters in every window. Some of my windows I’ve left with just the shutters, and others I’ve put curtains on poles over the top to finish the look. There is so much you can do with them, they’re incredibly versatile.
What are your tips for maximising light in the home?
Use light colours where possible, especially in areas with little natural light like the hall. It will make the room instantly bigger and brighter.
What design trends do you think are most popular this year?
Right now, festival chic, with its bright pops of colour, embroidery and beading. I love all of those quirky designs.
Have you got any styling tips for making a small space look bigger?
Keep it simple and get de-cluttering! Mess instantly makes somewhere look claustrophobic. Clever use of mirrors also works.
What are your interior design no-no’s?
The worst thing I’ve seen was a bathroom that the home owner had painted gloss black. Everything, the floor, walls and ceiling were badly painted, poorly applied gloss black. It also had these horrible plastic windows that looked so dirty. I was convinced it had spiders in every corner – my worst fear – I never went back in there again!
~ Andrea is an ambassador for the Wood Window Alliance, which is committed to enhancing homes with beautiful energy-saving windows that you can rely on. For more information, visit www.woodwindowalliance.com.1