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Harlequin Spring/Summer 2021

January is a funny month – there’s the post-Christmas lull, the cold, short days, and there’s the long stretch to payday! Most of us would arguably skip straight to March and the first blossoms of Spring. Here’s a confession though…at McMillan Interiors, we kind of love January….it’s an exhilarating month in the design world – there’s the big fabric, furnishings, and furniture showcases like Maison & Objet, Formex and Paris Deco Off, and design houses all around the world are launching new collections of textiles, wall-coverings, furniture, flooring, decorative items and more.

There’s so much juicy inspiration and beautifully crafted products to soak up and get excited about…..because after all, art & design is more than just pretty things; art, design and beauty are integral for human wellbeing. It’s why we stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset; or frame & hang a painting; or feel satisfied after a beautifully made film. This value for beauty lies at the core of our “why” at McMillan Interiors: we believe beauty – and beautiful, well made things in our home create a space that is safe, comfortable, functional, full of story, and that satiates the part of us that longs for beauty.

And so every January, we eagerly await the new collections from our favourite fabric & wallpaper suppliers. January 2021 sees the launch of Momentum 07 Wallpapers, Momentum 13 Upholstery and Momentum 14 Drapery from British powerhouse Harlequin.

Taking inspiration from contrasting architectural structures and the elegance of organic natural forms, it’s a collection that fuses man-made with the natural to create a captivating collection of wall-coverings and textiles for the modern home.

Head Designer Claire Greenfield sums up the aesthetic and story of the collection with the following: “From dusk til dawn we’ve looked at positive and negative spaces; transposing, refracting and shattering. We’ve taken close up elements from layered leaves and flowers to add a softer, painterly aspect that contrasts against strong edges and contemporary geometrics.”

Patterns include abstract leaves, modern ikats, and small & large scale geometrics in a palette of Tobacco, Rosewood, Saffron, Ink and shimmering Bronze. For years homeowners divulged themselves with the on-trend Scandinavian aesthetic featuring a pared back palette of greys, whites and blues, and while elements of the Scandi look are still popular, homeowners have been embracing a bolder and more vibrant colour palette in their homes. The Momentum colour palette has tapped into this trend but has also pushed the boat with its exciting inky, rich, deeply saturated tones and colourways. Let’s take a closer look:

Tobacco & Cobalt

The curtain fabric in the images below captures the reflection of refracted shapes in water while the upholstery and additional scatter cushions bring in contrasting architectural shapes. Momentum upholstery fabrics are beautifully cut plush velvets providing visual lustre and tactile texture.

Ink & Gold

An opulent and classic palette mixing masculine inky tones with the richness of gold; balanced here by soft calico on scatter cushions & walls, and silvery grey upholstery. Patterns here are predominantly geometric, but never severe. The stand out fabric ‘Transverse’ – seen on the curtains below features sharply angular lines supported by inky brush marks creating pockets of shadows. Beautifully balanced and so elegant.

Bronze

Bronze and Tobacco are new ventures for Harlequin and we foresee these tones gaining traction quickly throughout 2021 and beyond. Moody and full of depth, these tones wrapping around walls (as seen below) add warmth and a luxurious glow. Used on upholstery and scatter cushions, the tobacco and bronze plush velvets provide decadence and richness.

Saffron & Rosewood

Coral and ochre tones have been frequently – and boldly – used in interiors for the last few years. But the sumptuous pairing of these hues in such dramatic fashion creates a truly confident and unforgettable interior. ‘Expose’ fabric – hung as curtains below – depicts translucent, layered leaves; capturing the beauty of light and shade. Supporting players include the bedspread featuring ‘Tessen’ – inspired by iridescent Mother of Pearl and ‘Extensity’ featuring corded appliqué embroidery on a sleek cotton-satin ground.

Truly a collection that will inject saturated colour, smart lines, tactile textures and thoughtful nods to history, architecture and nature into the home. Pair with mid-century modern seating, sleek furniture, adequate streamlined storage (hide the clutter!) and vary your materials and textures to create a layered, rich and sumptuous interior.

Contact us for more information on the Harlequin collection and how to best use it in your home. At McMillan Interiors we’re proud to be an official stockist and supplier of Harlequin fabrics and wallcoverings – and the wider brands under the Sanderson Design Group collective.

For more information on our services & to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. We’d love to talk!

You can find McMillan Interiors on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Airbnb Cabin

Launched in October 2020, The Cabin is a beautiful and luxurious Airbnb retreat for those who need to get away from it all and recharge the batteries. Clad with beautifully knotted timber and looking out onto Slemish Mountain, it’s an idyllic little haven with a bit of a colourful (literally!) history…

The Cabin began life over thirty years ago as the home of Niel & Catherine McMillan’s Interior Design Studio & Workroom. It was a place to meet clients, showcase homewares, and make up bespoke soft furnishings for homes around the UK and Ireland. However, the business quickly expanded and The Cabin was vacated in favour of a more spacious premises in Ballymena Town Centre.

Meanwhile The Cabin became a Recreation room for family & friends until in 2018, it began another metamorphosis. By this stage, McMillan Interiors had been established and plans were made to turn The Cabin into a compact and cosy Studio for the business. In the Autumn of 2018, after having undergone extensive internal and external surgery, The Cabin officially opened as the new home of McMillan Interiors.

September 2018: Renovations almost complete

The story could have ended there….but it didn’t! Just over a year later and The Cabin was itching for another metamorphosis. McMillan Interiors Design Studio was packed up and relocated to a spacious converted barn and The Cabin began its transformation into an Airbnb retreat. It was a transformation we were thrilled to get stuck into!

Exterior of The Cabin featuring beautifully toned timber & contemporary lights flanking the doors

The vision for The Cabin was to create a cosy, moody and super comfortable place for those who needed respite and to recharge the batteries. A place to turn off the phone and hideaway, but equally a springboard for exploring the wilds of Northern Ireland. We prioritised plentiful seating, a decadently comfortable bed, and colour & texture to create a real sense of home comforts. Let us show you around!

LIVING AREA

Plenty of upholstered seating to ensure our guests get comfortable!

We made sure to squeeze in a John Sankey sofa for a supremely comfortable seating experience and upholstered armchairs in fabrics from William Yeoward and Designers Guild for a pop of quirky colour and pattern. A paisley patterned Ted Baker rug creates a lovely moody blue pool on the floor.

Sit back, sip on a drink and play to win!

DINING AREA

Living Area looking into the Dining Area

Superfast Wifi and a full sized dining table allow our guests a space to work – as was the case for our first guest who used The Cabin as a hideaway for a writing retreat! Alternatively, light some candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy an intimate and quiet dinner with a loved one!

The dining area gives you space and quiet for a spot of work or a tasty takeaway!

We clad the partition wall with Pierre Frey wallpaper to add character and interest. A quirky bulls head sculpture and faux foliage add whimsy and colour.We also ensured there is plenty of low-level lighting with floor lamps and table lamps to create a lovely cosy atmosphere.

BEDROOM

Kingsize bed that has guests raving about how comfortable it is!

Walls of soft grey wrap around our guests in the bedroom while the headboard partition wall features a soft pink textured-effect wallpaper from Matthew Williamson. Curtains from Chelsea Textiles add whimsical pattern and ensure the bedroom is dark, cosy and the perfect spot for a good night’s sleep.

KITCHEN & WC

Compact kitchenette to rustle up small meals and snacks

Nina Campbell wallpaper paired with a green and grey fitted kitchen creates a soft and bright corner for grabbing a coffee and a light bite. We’re in Northern Ireland so an abundance of tea on hand was a must! For coffee-lovers, a French Press and Nespresso machine will give you the caffeine kick you need!

Wash away the dust and worries of the day!

Bathrooms can be real hidden gems of the home – a space where you can indulge in a bit of bold colour and pattern and it’ll look amazing! In The Cabin, a bright and warmly lit shower room gives way to a deliciously dark WC. We laid patterned grey tiles from local tile supplier J&R Keys Tiles and wrapped the walls in a beautiful navy blue wallpaper from Matthew Williamson featuring hundreds of softly glinting stars.

Wash & preen yourself under the watch of gently twinkling stars

DETAILS

Fabulously funky Designers Guild cushions

A final flurry of finishing touches and we were done! We ensured our guests had privacy by fitting ivory sheers and soft grey curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the cabin. Sitting areas were softened with cushions, the bookcase was stacked with books, the cupboards filled with boardgames and puzzles, and the basket topped up with firewood for a weekend of lounging, reading, and relaxing by the fire!

Coffee & a book by the fire…what could be better?

It would be remiss of us not to mention the private lake and secluded woodland on the doorstep of The Cabin….not the work of our hands but a real draw of this place! Between coffees and chapters, our guests can pull on their wellie boots and stomp around the trout filled lake and lush woodland featuring native Irish trees and wild critters!

Get some fresh air around the scenic lake

Take a seat and enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature

Transforming The Cabin for guests to call home for a few days has been such a joy and privilege! At McMillan Interiors, it’s long been our heart & vision to create HOME…meaning a safe and welcoming place that is comfortable, functional, and full of personality. A place to make cherished memories. Our wish is that The Cabin will be this type of HOME for many guests and visitors over the next months and years.

You can book The Cabin for yourself here!

If you have any enquiries about your own home renovations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At McMillan Interiors our services include product sourcing – including furniture, hardware, lighting, wallcoverings, soft furnishings and accessories – and fitting. We partner with you to make the design and decorating process as simple as possible. Whether you have a room that needs updating or a whole house renovation, we want to help. Contact us by:

Email: catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk

Phone: 02825 880012

You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Lounge & Dining Area

Homes evolve over the years; perhaps once the soil in which a young couple begins their life, they grow and evolve to accommodate an expanding family. They hear the cries of newborn babies, the walls bear the scrawls of mischievous crayon-wielding toddlers, the stairs become a makeshift hill for children to sled, climb or crawl down and the bathroom may one day be the echoing innards of a submarine, and the next be a proud pirate ship sailing the high seas. So many stories, so many uses, so much evolving and shifting. And as all parents attest, the children grow up so fast. The house evolves again. Moody teenagers now haunt its hallways and retreat into bedrooms. The teenagers become young adults and wade into higher education or venture into the working world. They begin to loosen the home-bound ties and eventually depart the nest and the home evolves again, coming full circle back to two.

This home has recently seen its brood ruffle their feathers and take flight, leaving mum and dad and a host of empty rooms still alive with memories. For the past few years the homeowners have followed the lead of the house into its newest state of evolution – as a home and working space for two, but as a retreat for the visiting children and their own families. We met with the owners to discuss the evolution of a dining room into a dual purpose dining space for the much loved family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and special occasions, whilst also serving as an informal lounge space for work and leisure.

There were special pieces of furniture that the owners were keen to hold onto and use but otherwise, the room was stripped back to its bare walls and flooring. We created a few schemes for the space and worked with the homeowners to select and finalise a look they were happy with. A draft of the moodboard looked like this:

Tones of blues, greys and neutrals created a calm, cocooning space while carefully curated moments of ochre, raspberry, and pink orchid added colour, variety and interest. That showstopping Matthew Williamson embroidery was set to become a pair of statement curtains wrapping around the curved bay window but an evolution of the design saw the embroidery become a roman blind and a beautifully textured linen become the curtain.

We trimmed the linen curtain in an Osborne & Little wide braid featuring the repeated blues and pinks throughout the room, and we ensured privacy for the homeowners through the use of a textured narrow stripe sheer curtain. As well as ensuring privacy, sheer curtains diffuse the glare of sunlight whilst adding softness and cosiness to a space.

We commissioned bespoke mid-century inspired armchairs and a sofa to update the room and provide luxurious and comfortable seating for visiting guests and to serve as an informal lounging area for a spot of quiet reading in the evening. The sofa was wrapped in a softly textured Linen/Cotton mix from Jane Churchill and the armchairs in a contrasting sunny yellow herringbone from Linwood. Beautiful buttoned upholstery, sharp lines, polished legs, and soft fabrics make for a really interesting, comfortable and durable seating area!

Let’s not forget the wallpaper wrapping the walls in sumptuously soft tones and textures. We set the fireplace against a ground of warm teal inlaid with a semi-abstract floral inspired design. On the rest of the walls we used a plain textured vinyl wall covering evoking the texture and warmth of linen. Some of our favourite collections and wallpapers! There’s just something about the warmth, look, and both visual and tactile texture of luxury wall-coverings – they add beautiful layers of colour, pattern, depth and cocooning cosiness to a space that paint alone can’t quite achieve.

And let’s not forget the bespoke scatter cushions adding more layers of softness to the upholstery as well as splashes of colour, pattern and texture. We carried the Matthew Williamson embroidery from the Roman Blind to the scatter cushions and paired it with a small scale chevron weave in a hot pink and fresh white colourway from Sanderson.

Tucked in behind the lounge area was the dining space; reserved for special meals with visiting family. The existing dining table and chairs were in great condition and remained special pieces to the homeowners. We opted to update the upholstery on the dining chairs by commissioning a beautiful Osborne and Little zig-zag cut velvet echoing the colours throughout the room.

And let’s not forget the foundation (literally!) of every room – the floor! We used a beautiful tawny grey and linen coloured loop pile carpet from Wool Classics London to provide a smart and contemporary base for the rest of the room. The two tone colour adds interest and the loop pile cut is comfortable, practical, and long-wearing. A true luxury!

As a final note, a few weeks after we’d finished and photographed the room, we supplied an area rug to help zone the lounge area and break up the expanse of carpet. We chose a lovely persian inspired cotton chenille rug in various tones of warm blue and it has just lifted the room from amazing to AMAZING!

It was such a joy and privilege to work in this room; to honour the homeowners and their story & memories encased in the walls of this home. It was a joy to breathe new life into this room and repurpose it for a new chapter and for many more wonderful stories to be written and memories to be made in the years to come.

Finally, if you’d like help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We offer a service that includes design, supply and manufacture, and fit-out. We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Colourful, Eclectic House

Good morning friends and followers! It’s August already! Anybody wonder where this year has gone? We’re well into the second half of 2018 and we’re excited for what the rest of the year will bring. Have you any plans, goals or things to look forward to in the next few months?

Today we’re showcasing a wonderful house we worked on over the last couple of years, and we finally got our photography through and we’re thrilled to share this colourful, eclectic, contemporary home! Grab a cuppa and swoon over the gorgeous colours, prints and shapes in this bright, spacious home! (we’ve wiled away MANY an hour doing this!)

To give a bit of background, the house was a contemporary new build in a fabulous rural setting in Co. Down. The homeowners were a couple who had recently sold up their family home after their children had flown the nest, but wanted a space for visiting friends, family, and guests. The brief was to create a completely different style from the previous family home which had been much more traditional in its design. What really thrilled us was that this was a couple who weren’t afraid to embrace colour, pattern and a whole new style!

Some of our projects involve a single room or a couple of rooms in a house and the challenge is to maintain cohesion between the “old” rooms and the “new” rooms. We enjoy the challenge of working with what is already there – sometimes boundaries bring out some really creative ideas! But we love whole house projects because they’re a different sort of challenge – to create a unified cohesive look from the front hallway right through to the top room of the house. We don’t really like to stick rigidly to design “rules” but interior design theory dictates that there should be unity and harmony in any space we create – and this is especially important when it’s our home; a space we spend a lot of time in. Nothing worse than an unbalanced, uncohesive space making us feel uncomfortable or uneasy!

But enough design theory for now, let’s crack on with photos!

       

We decked out the hallway in a STUNNING Elitis beaded Panel – it’s essentially a piece of art for your walls painstakingly made up of tiny coloured beads to create an incredibly eye-catching, gorgeously textured, and rich statement piece in your home! Perfect for using in a front entrance hallway to make an epic first impression! The Hall Chair has been covered in a fabulous Christian la Croix cotton featuring a gorgeously detailed digitally printed butterfly print. The Light Fitting (mimicking the lines in the Elitis Wall Panel!) is from our friends at Moy Lighting in Dungannon – they stock a huge range of beautiful lights for all budgets and the service is second to none so be sure to check them out!

  

The Living room is a sumptuous cacophony of aquamarine blue and orange with touches of royal blue, citrus green and warm grey. Blue is a perfect colour for a living space because it creates a soothing, calming and tranquil space – perfect for relaxing in! We’ve knocked it up a notch by using a bright aquamarine textured wallpaper with a vibrant warm yellow stripe though it and paired it with blue’s complementary colour, orange for a bold, vibrant look. Have a look at the details!:

   

      

The Living Room leads into the Dining area and Kitchen where we’ve utilised a similar palette: orange, citrus green and blue to ensure flow and cohesion between the two spaces. How gorgeous is it looking across the living room and picking up the similar tones and hues in the dining space?? We’ve used another stunning textured Elitis Panel on the wall to create a bright, statement-making space! Certain to brighten up any dull morning or gloomy winter evening!

Gorgeous! (..if we do say so ourselves!)

   

In the Study we carried through the orange from the living and dining spaces with two sets of curtains from one of our favourite French designers: Manuel Canovas – particularly renowned for his sumptuous use of colour and quirky designs. We love that embroidered curtain draped across that single window – so rich! We’ve complemented the curtains with tones of violet, crimson and grey in the cushions. An informal but sophisticated space to read, play music or catch up on work!

    

In the Bedrooms, we carried through the violet, blue and citrus green tones from the ground floor rooms to maintain the flow throughout the whole house, but we changed up the style and look to give each room its own character. First up is the decadently cosy violet bedroom!

   

On the Curtains, stool, scatter cushions on the bed, and wrapped around the back of the armchair are the fabrics of ‘Earthed by William Clarke’ – designed, made and printed in the oldest surviving linen factory in Ireland. It’s a real joy for us to find and us local designers, artisans and makers; they add such a special touch for us as interior designers. They’re also a special touch for the client – to essentially have a piece of local history and artistry in their home…it carries so much more weight than a room crammed with mass-produced products. Have a look around their site and explore their work – they fuse traditional and modern design, utilising bold colour and meticulous craftsmanship.

   

We love how fresh but cosy this room is! Purple is a tricky colour to use – it can easily look cheap or dated, but we love how its turned out here: warm, contemporary, bright, sharp and grounded by pops of taupe and icy blue. Once again, our friends at Moy Lighting provided the wall lights which are just the perfect finishing touch to the space!

     

A spare room gets bedecked in fresh florals and velvets from Designers Guild. We love paying attention to small details in design and over the years, many clients have returned to us because of our attention to the details and often-overlooked finishing touches. Note that gorgeous metal pole finished with an acrylic finial and acrylic rings? Just perfect for the curtain and for the look of the room. Note also the fun pom-pom trim around the scatter cushion…you really can’t go wrong with a pom-pom!

    

Another spare room is furnished with Designers Guild, Sanderson, and Osborne & Little (again, picking up the blue, citrus green and purple hues from the rest of the house!). The Designers Guild Floral used throughout the space is so fresh and adds such vibrancy and cheerfulness to the space. It’s a fresh and sharp space but also incredibly soft and cocooning.

    

Note again the trimmings on the scatter cushions and the throw on the bed – they just finish off the pieces impeccably! Details matter!

As you can see, this house is a wonderful cacophony of colour and pattern – but all utilised thoughtfully and cohesively. We love how each space has its own personality and look, but all of the rooms work together and make use of similar tones and hues. Next time you’re redecorating, consider your house or apartment as a whole rather than a lot of separate rooms. Consider how you can create a cohesive, harmonious flow between the rooms, whether that’s using similar colours throughout the house as we have, or utilising the same flooring materials throughout, or using similar artwork throughout the house.

If you’d like any more help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. You can also find us on Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!

All photographs by our wonderful photographer Andrew McMillan. You can find more of his exquisite film and digital work here.

Colourful Contemporary Family Room

A couple of months ago we began work on a family home that was mid-way through an extension and reorganisation of layout. The flow of the rooms wasn’t working for the family and needed to be reconfigured to fit the needs of work, leisure, and growing children. We came on board to help turn the reconfigured space into a warm, colourful and inviting family home!

The brief was for a contemporary and colourful look that was elegant but practical. Long term the plan was to renovate most of the house, but it would be done in stages. Our immediate priority was a new entrance hallway, a family room, a bedroom, and a games/homework/hang-out den. We have an extra soft spot for clients who love – and want – colour in their home, so it was a real thrill to put together mood boards, colour palettes and fabric swatches mixing bold colour, gorgeous textures and beautiful prints and patterns!

When it comes to sumptuous fabrics and bold colour, the French designers are second to none so we recruited the oomph and clout of design heavyweights Pierre Frey, Boussac, Casamance, Christian Lacroix, and Manuel Canovas. Unsurprisingly, these went down a treat with the homeowners. (FYI: Once you’ve seen and touched beautiful fabrics and products, you’re positively ruined for anything else!)

    

As you can see, the first stage of meeting clients is akin to being like children in a toy shop excitedly perusing all of the wonderful colours and shapes and glossy boxes! We presented our ideas and poured over sample cuttings and began to build a better picture of 1. what the clients were drawn to, and 2. what worked in the space. Sometimes we work with clients who are unsure of their style and what kind of space they want to actually live in, and we like to to give a little direction and prompting without losing a sense of their personality and aesthetic. These clients were very sure of what they liked which made the process much easier and quicker!

After a series of meetings with the homeowners and a few tweaks and changes to the schemes, we began to finalise a plan and schedule of work. We’ll be posting about all of the schemes and plans we’ve made, and over the next few months we’ll keep you up to date with how this project is coming to life.

First up is the Family Room. Here are the finalised moodboards and palette for the space:

    

Did we mention that we like colour and pattern?… As you can see, this scheme POPS and we love it! we’re laying a gorgeous, reclaimed parquet wooden floor throughout the space which will add serious warmth and character to the space. We’ll be using some of the client’s existing furniture and we’ll add a few pieces to fill out and finish the room – a bespoke new sofa, an armchair, a couple of tub chairs and we’ll be using a couple of gorgeously rich large rugs to zone and break up the room. The moodboards show all of the fabrics we’ll be using for the chairs, curtains, cushions, rugs and the paint colours we’ll use throughout the space. With a stunning view of the garden and the countryside beyond visible through the large windows and sliding doors, we decided to play up the green in this space with sumptuous shades of blue-green. We’ve combined it with touches of warm yellow, rich purple, and little splashes of red and pink (which is a tint of red).

 

In Colour theory (don’t worry, we’re not going too scientific or theoretical here!), there are basic techniques for combining colours to create a balanced, harmonious look. What we’ve utilised here is a square colour scheme – which basically means using four colours spaced evenly around the colour wheel. Obviously not all colours are used in equal measure – the blue-green is the dominant colour here and the other three colours appear as secondary colours and accents (again, for balance!). With a square colour scheme, you get variety and a mix of both warm and cool colours (yes, again…for balance. It’s all about balance and harmony!).

Here we’ve sketched the basic floor-plan of the Family Room. It’s a large space for watching TV, reading, and relaxing which leads into a space for games, drinks and relaxing. We’ve “zoned” the room (which is basically breaking a large space up into sections or zones for certain uses and tasks. This helps divide up a large space, ensure it’s functional and allows for some fun dispersal of colour and design elements). There’s a natural divide between the lounging space and the games/hang-out area and we’ve utilised rugs in the lounging space to “divide” it into two areas: the TV area and the reading area. We’ve also grouped little units of seating and tables together to facilitate conversation.

Right now, we’re in the midst of getting the work schedule underway and we can’t wait to show you the next stages of the process! Be prepared for oodles of swoon-worthy colour, pattern, texture and sumptuousness coming your way! 

If you’re planning a home renovation – whether that’s just one room or a whole overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to talk and we’d love to discuss ideas and plans! We value family, history, personality and lifestyle and are intentional about drawing out your style and personality and creating a beautiful, functional home for you! You can reach us on: 02825 880012 or email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk.