Designing Dreams

Designing Dreams

Imagine a job where you get to create dream homes every day. Well, that’s just what our one of our regional interior designers, Eileen Kesson gets to do every day.  

With more than 17 years’ experience in the interior design world, Eileen is one of the best in the business. She’s created hundreds of show homes from small mews type homes to large, indulgent mansions.

In this blog Eileen discusses her world with us:  

When it comes to suppliers the world is my oyster.

I am lucky enough to have access to some of the best and most interesting furniture suppliers across the globe. French and Belgian designers feature heavily across our show homes – they offer brilliant quality and often the pieces add a real wow factor to the room.

Like fashion, the design industry has two seasonal launches a year – one in Paris. Maison & Objet and one in London, London Design Festival. These events are packed full of new concepts and are great for helping to predict future trends. I always leave feeling inspired and brimming with ideas.

Lighting is underrated when creating a room.

I really like to keep ahead of the trends when it comes to lighting, whether it’s ceiling lights or floor lamps, a little thought can create a completely different look and feel.

A favourite trend I noticed recently is the idea of bringing together a variety of different ceiling lamps in a cluster and positioning them at different heights, which works really well in a dining room, creating a statement feature.

Two of my favourite show homes of the past year have to be Newton Park in Cambuslang and Polofields in Edinburgh.

I gave the Yeats detached showhome at Newton Park a ski chalet theme and the feedback from viewers has been tremendous. It features beautiful snow whites, warm and cosy fur throws and some really funky detailing, including a set of antique skis which we spotted as they were being used as a prop at a trade event and immediately scooped them up.

By contrast, the premium Heriot detached home in Polofields is the ultimate in opulence. It’s elegant and luxurious fused with family comfort and it even won Best Show Home at the Herald Property Awards 2016.

Each showhome always has a YES! item, which pulls everything together.

In the Polofields showhome the handblocked American wallpaper in the dining room was a particular favourite. Featuring gold foil palm trees, the wallpaper just set that indulgent, opulent tone for the rest of the home.

At Doonholm Meadows in Alloway, there’s a fabulous French inspired cream iron dining table which has a real lived in comfortable feel. This inspired us to go on to create a more comfortable, laid-back, family friendly theme.    

I find some really unusual pieces on my travels.

Last year I found a fabulous super-sized shark tooth which we used as a sculpture for the study in Polofields. It’s a great shape….until you realise what it is.

Interior design isn’t just about having an eye for style.

Organisation, planning, negotiation, budgeting and heavy lifting are equally as important and these are all skills required when you are decorating your own home. My son was once asked at school what I did for a living and his answer was ‘she makes lists and loads lorries,’ which is often an accurate description of my job.

People always ask me how to recreate the showhome look.

The reality is in a family home it’s tricky to always have it looking so pristine and box-fresh  but there are some basic tips which are handy to bear in mind:  

Coco Chanel’s famous advice to women was always to take off the last piece of jewellery you put on. The same applies for interior style. Less is more and you can get more impact from one or two really special pieces.
Items don’t need to match but they should complement and coordinate with different tones and textures. Try to mix things, old and new until you have a unique collection you are happy with.
Enter your room as if you’ve never seen it before, is there an item jarring with you? Take it away or move it around until it feels right.
Don’t spread things out individually like a shop display but group them together to create more interesting accents.

If you’d like to see some of Eileen’s work visit one of our showhomes across central Scotland. From large family detached homes to downsizer apartments we have something to suit everyone. To find your nearest showhome or for further information visit