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Colour consultant Siobhan Doherty has built a career and a large social following helping home makers choose the right colours for their homes. We caught up with her to talk about her journey into colour and the Instagram  mood board series she’s created exclusively for Arlo & Jacob.

Tell us a little about your background

I’ve always been creative. I studied for a degree in graphic design but I wasn’t completely satisfied, so I studied for another degree in fashion and textiles.

After studying I rented a small studio in Edinburgh and began making screen prints for wall hangings and other interiors. Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live but it’s very crowded in terms of artists and makers, so it was difficult to make a mark. 

A stint training as an assistant for an interiors company ignited my love of colour schemes for homes. I trained in colour consultation and spent the next seven years helping clients find the perfect schemes.

What pushed you to work independently?

Maternity leave, or rather three periods of maternity leave, if you count the one I’m on now! I love what I do and didn’t want to stop. Covid and the subsequent lockdowns brought the opportunity to promote virtual consultations, which opened up the world. As everyone focused on making their homes more homely, I found myself consulting clients as far away as the US.  

I began to get more requests for help via my Instagram account and the business took off.

How do you help clients with their interior dilemmas?

I begin by getting them to send videos and pictures of the room. Once we’ve determined what the space is for and how it works within the home I build the layers of colour, create a digital mood board and then supply a list of sources to complete the scheme. 

My service has proved popular with people who are perhaps intimidated by interior designers or have inspiration fatigue - access to too many styles, making them flounder with all the options. I start from the beginning by getting them to take a step back. I ask my clients to share something they love; this could be a piece of art or clothing and then we work from there.

What do you recommend investing in when designing a room?

Furniture! If you’re not staying in that space you can take it with you. It gets the most use and wear so quality is always worth investing in. Buy the best that your budget will allow for. 

Get into stores and showrooms armed with questions. I ordered fabric samples for my Henry sofa and spent time talking with a consultant. It made all the difference to my final choice. 

Follow Siobhan @home__stead and keep an eye on our IG stories for her mood board creation series.

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