Award-winning London interiors blogger Geraldine Tan of Little Big Bell uses vibrant colour to create dazzling interior design schemes. With our bright pink Willow ottoman storage bed featuring in her daughter's bedroom, we checked in with Geraldine to chat about the founding of Little Big Bell and to see if she had advice about integrating bold colours into a bedroom setting…
Hi Geraldine, what inspired you to get started as an interior design blogger? Why did you start the Little Big Bell blog?
I started blogging around 8-9 years ago. I've always been interested in interior decorating. When I think back to my childhood, I can still remember rearranging the furniture at home and restyling shelves.
I was inspired to start a blog after reading lifestyle blogs from America (blogging in the U.K. then was at its infancy) but also I felt that life was too short not to try something new. I didn't set out to write about interiors, but it naturally went that way, as I suppose subconsciously that was what I loved best.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I'm a mother, medical consultant and blogger in London. Most of my weekdays are spent doing the school run, seeing patients in the A&E and being with my family. I tend to focus on my blog, creative styling and photography work on the weekend.
Where do you draw inspiration for interior design from?
I love drawing inspiration from visits to design and furniture fairs. I love visiting LA and browsing the indie stores in Abbot Kinney, and also the colourful flea markets of Brooklyn, New York.
How did you develop the interior design scheme for your Daughter's bedroom?
It was easy because we both adore pink. I love the colourful array of pastel coloured fabrics from Linwood's Juno range and the 'Pale Rose' colour was the perfect shade. I just added pops of my favourite sorbet colours of yellow, blues and greens into the decor scheme using accessories, art prints and soft furnishings that I already had at home.
We think our Willow Ottoman storage bed looks fantastic in your home— how did you come to decide on the style of the bed?
I picked the Willow bed because it's beautiful, and also because of its functional element. My daughter's previous bed had a wrought iron headboard. She loves to spend time in bed watching movies, reading or writing essays on her laptop and the Iron headboard was proving very uncomfortable. The plush pillow headboard of the Willow was just what I was looking for, providing her with great support. Also, storage was an important factor for her small room. I love how the Ottoman bed opens up easily to reveal a large space to hide away all the mess.
Yes, the ottoman bed does have a fantastic storage capacity! … What do you keep inside the Ottoman?
My daughter has lots of books and notes from all her recent A-level exams. As her current degree is relevant to the topics she did for her A-levels, she wanted to keep her notes close to hand for reference. I've stored all her books and notes in boxes and placed them inside the Ottoman. Also, the storage space will be good for hiding away Summer clothes as Autumn approaches.
Most people are too timid to use bright colours inside the home. Can you give our readers some advice on integrating bold colour into an everyday setting?
My advice would be to start with a white wall in your room, as it forms a blank canvas against which you can start to add colours. At first, pick 2 to 3 colours that you love, that go well together, and integrate them as small pops of colours, for example in contemporary art prints, books or decor accessories.
This way you can avoid splurging on a colourful patterned sofa, or expensive coloured bedding until you have built up confidence in your chosen colour palette. For example in my daughter's room, I've used plain white linen bedding and just added a few colourful cushions and a throw.
Finally, do you have any tips or tricks for picking up unique pieces that add a finishing touch to a bedroom?
I love the colourful rugs from Pappelina and always use them in my room styling. Also, books with spines in the colours of your chosen palette are great as styling props. I love scouring second-hand shops for those.
Interview conducted by Sophia Freeman