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The Greatest Showman

Whether you’re a fan of musicals or not, it’s hard to deny the sweeping success of ‘The Greatest Showman’, starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams. It’s a dazzling extravaganza based on the life of P.T. Barnum and his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The Greatest Showman

Who doesn’t love a bit of old-time razzle-dazzle? Such fun especially in the midst of a dark, cold and wet winter! I’m sure we can all agree that visually this film is gorgeous. Designers, craftsmen and tech crew have painstakingly created and captured the old world grit and glamour of 19th Century New York City and the opulence and wonder of theatre.

Inspiration comes in many forms and I have found ideas in literature, art, theatre and film to be a huge resource for styling my home. So we’re looking at the old-world glamour of ‘The Greatest Showman’ to inspire some ideas for home styling and decoration.

The Greatest Showman

Curiouser & curiouser!!

Here, we’ve pulled a fabulous wallpaper from Manuel Canovas with a bit of a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ feel to it – bell jars of butterflies, shelves of trinkets, and botanical specimens. Alongside it sits a textured linen paper recalling the canvas of the Big-Top Circus tent. Other fun additions include the world map printed on fabric as an homage to 19th century explorers, a Persian-style velvet hinting at the Magician’s old faithful carpet-bag of tricks, exotic kilims, tribal prints and stripes of course!….we’re in a circus after all! And for a final flourish of quirkiness, we’ve thrown in a hair hide as a nod of respect to the bizarre bearded lady.

What do you think?

We think this is rich, textured, and both fun and sophisticated!


For a brighter pop of colour, we’ve pulled together another scheme inspired by big-top vintage balloons.

The Greatest Showman

We’ve featured that distinctive Hot Air Balloon wallcovering from Manuel Canovas sitting alongside a metallic and citrus yellow paper for oodles of colour and zing on the walls. Why stop there? Include a bright yellow geometric silk for a curtain and an unusual ombre linen, perfect for brightening up dreary days. To counterbalance all of the yellow we’ve included crisp black and white stripes and geometrics, with a dark green leather for a vintage hit.

Hope you enjoy these visuals. All available separately or as a complete scheme at McMillan Interiors, The Outpost, Loan Rd, Cullybackey. Phone Niel – 07970 991131 or Catherine – 07808 959212 for an appointment.

A Day In The Life Of A Pair Of Scissors!

One item which we couldn’t be without in the McMillan Interiors workroom is scissors!

Some days are all about picking up the scissors and making bold sweeps through widths of fabric!

Great for releasing a bit of aggression but not advisable unless your head is clear enough to compute pattern matches as you go.

Every fabric handles differently and mistakes are easy to make but costly to rectify. Cotton sateen is robust and fairly dependable, wool is soft and slower cutting is advised. Silk is delicate and can move all over the place so care is required. As for sheer fabrics…..!!!

I was taught more than 25 years ago by a lady named Greta Simpson who worked with us in our workroom. She was retired from Hillmount factory in Cullybackey where she had learned her considerable skills with sewing machines and cutting out. Her advice on cutting straight –

  • “Keep your eye on the point of the scissors”
  • “Don’t look at your hand or you will swerve”
  • “Measure twice – cut once!!”  Anyone you cuts anything will concur with this!

I think of Greta every time I pick up my scissors and her simple words of advice have been invaluable.

I’ve included some photos of the finished projects from that particular Cutting Day.

If you need some interior design advice or intend to redecorate soon get in touch with us.  Make an appointment and come and see us at our McMillan Interiors studio at The Outpost, 53a Loan Road, Cullybackey, BT42 1PS. Phone 07808959212 or email  – or 

Our Design Tips 2017

Blue is here!  Green is coming! Specifically dark emeralds and bottle greens. I love these colour palettes!



I’ve also included a Steven Hanna Photography landscape which picks up on the same palette.

You’ll see a lot more of these tones in the year to come.


Geometrics are here!  But the fluid organic designs of water, mercury and randomness of paint

spatter art will be also be used in fabrics and wallcoverings in homes coming into next year.

Designers Guild and Zoffany have great examples.  And a newcomer on the scene –

homegrown in Northern Ireland!  William Clarke, Earthed, The Upperlands Collection.

So exciting and such a relief to see the industry of linen production and finishing being revived

here in the province.



Watch out for the same influences in carpets and lighting. 

Keep up to date with our design tips for 2017 as they happen. New trends, new colours, new fabrics and much more on our Facebook page here. Check out the Steven Hanna Photography website here to see more of his latest stunning landscape photography. 

If this has whetted your appetite your appetite, and you’re now thinking it’s time for some decorating, please get in touch. You can make an appointment and come and see us at our McMillan Interiors studio – The Outpost, 53a Loan Road, Cullybackey, BT42 1PS. Phone 07808959212 to make an appointment or email either of the following – or

Coffee Morning With Lime Tree Cakes

Our next event at McMillan Interiors is a Coffee Morning with Lime Tree Cakes. Roz Bowyer, owner of Lime Tree Cakes, Ahoghill will be demonstrating some of the latest exquisite cake decorating skills which she is widely known and admired for.  The person to know for the next family wedding!

Coffee morning with Lime Tree Cakes

“It’s All in The Detail” at McMillan Interiors Coffee Morning at The Outpost, 53A Loan Road, Cullybackey, Ballymena, Co Antrim BT42 1PS.

Saturday 11th June 2016 10.30am – 12.30pm.

“I will be looking at the latest trends in the world of Passementerie.  Fabulous trimmings both contemporary and traditional.  It truly is all about the detail!”

Lots to feast your eyes on; inspiration for the next decoration project; coffee and cakes to satisfy.

coffee morning with lime tree cakes

“It’s All In The Detail” Coffee Morning with Lime Tree Cakes is being held at The Outpost on Saturday 11th June from 10.30am – 12.30pm. Please confirm your place if you intend coming along to see some amazing cake decorating skills demonstrated by Roz Bowyer.

Spaces limited to 20 persons.  £5 entrance.  We need 12 confirmations for the event to go ahead.

Tel Catherine on 07808959212 to secure your place.

Check out our Facebook page here and for more cake inspiration check out the Lime Tree Cakes website here.

Great News

Having travelled a bit, I have noticed how various people groups incorporate the colour blue as a predominant shade in their folk art.  What about the great French artist Monet, for instance, or Norwegian traditional designs, and Maltese fishing boats?

great news - blue

The colours of Malta’s harbours.

great news - blue

Monet’s Blue Water Lillies.


Norwegian traditional design.


“Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones… it will always stay blue;”          Raoul Dufy, French Fauvist Painter, 1877-1953.


I read this:

Blue is the favorite colour of all people. It’s nature’s colour for water and sky, but is rarely found in fruits and vegetables. Today, blue is embraced as the color of heaven and authority, denim jeans and corporate logos.

It’s so good to see this colour in it’s many tones and shades coming back into the new collections of the top fabric houses.  Here’s some of my current favourites.



With all the aesthetic benefits of living with this colour, remember that in our northern light in Northern Ireland, certain tones will reflect better than others.  Combined with other colours the effect will vary immensely.   Nature does “blue” perfectly – a reflection of our Creator.


great news - blue

Would you like to introduce blue into your home decor? Or discuss interior design in general, whatever the colour! Please get in touch with us. Our studio is at The Outpost, 53a Loan Road, Cullybackey, Ballymena. Here we can discuss with you what you would like for your home and show you fabrics and give you ideas which will work.

Keep up-to-date with us on our McMillan Interiors Facebook page here.