Style and sophistication. Those were the key words interior business owner Nikki Brown had in mind when she took to transforming the lounge of her west end home.
An Instagram sensation, Nikki – who now has more than 38,000 followers on her page -– is the owner of the new Aberdeen-based online home interior business Westholme Interiors.
Formally a finance manager, homestyle queen Nikki has not only overhauled her home, but her career, too.
After initially starting her Instagram page as a way to promote properties she and husband Mark had renovated, she later began posting images of her stunning home… and that was when the madness and power of social media truly began.
Now an interior business owner, Nikki has used Instagram to help promote and launch her new business venture. Keen to learn where she gets her inspiration, Society caught up with Nikki to chat about the ideas behind her lounge interior – pictures of which often rack up thousands of likes on Instagram.
“The lounge is definitely hotel chic,” said Nikki. “The room has high ceilings, a mantelpiece, two in-depth walls at the side, and I love mirrors so I had to have mirrored walls at each side of the mantel piece.
“I wanted to keep it very neutral with pale greys, and wanted to add feature accessories and statement furniture to make it a little more modern. “I picked a pale grey suede-effect paper for the room, but I also incorporated a leather textured crocodile print for the mantelpiece wall to give it some real character.”
Taking influences from her travels abroad, it was the idea of using a scheme that would usually sit in a hotel and recreating it in her home that inspired her. Nikki explained: “Most of my inspiration comes from hotels and travelling abroad. I love the grand, finished, chic look that many hotels boast.
“Everything from the hotel room, to the bar and restaurant areas give me a lot of inspiration and always make me think, ‘how can I get something like the statement pieces they have in my house?’”
An avid art lover, Nikki’s passion for painting and artwork is clear with two state-of-the-art commissioned prints – which were customised to suit the theme of her lounge – hanging on her wall. “Because the couch was so low, I wanted to get some dramatic artwork to hang above it,” said Nikki. “I came across the artist called Patrick Eugene on the internet – his work is super modern and cool. He asked me to send pictures of my lounge and I commissioned the two pieces to go with the look of it – it was brilliant.
“I then framed them to give them that extra elegant touch and the two pieces side-by-side make for a great conversation starter.
“Art is one of my biggest passions and can completely change a room, so it was really important for me to get the right pieces in.’
“My advice would be, don’t be afraid to hold off until you find the perfect piece to fit in as it’s totally worth the wait.”
Nikki wanted to change the usual interior of what you would expect in a hotel room – a sofa, two armchairs and a coffee table – and so she decided to mix it up. She said: “The sofa was so low I didn’t feel I could get away with a coffee table – and I didn’t want to put anything on the rug either!
“I went for two statement chaise longue chairs instead, which are a dark blue leather. It totally threw the colour scheme, but by teaming additional cushions with them, it added new textures into the room and brought a really modern feel. “I wanted it to look symmetrical, but not boring. The chaise longue chairs bring a fun, fresh feel into the room.” And it was the black and white geometric rug which Nikki spied in Grazia magazine that was the true culprit in kick-starting the addition of black accents into the space.
“The room started growing arms when I added in the rug,” Nikki said.
“The room was still quite plain and when I saw the rug featured in Grazia, I just had to have it. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it really did. I worked around it and incorporated the black into the room because of it.
“It was the main feature piece in the room. The windows are all pale grey, as is the couch. I incorporated the black into the cushions and the black side tables with glass tops – they also boasted that geometric kind of style which is really in, and they went perfectly with the rug.”
Nikki challenged herself to bring one last “wow” element into the room – a state-of-the-art black laser cut screen with etched swirl design.
She said: “In any room I tend to do artwork first and then always a mirror. I had this big blank space on the side wall, but I already had mirrors and art, so it needed to be something different.
“I came across a company called Miles and Lincoln who do laser cut screens and dividing wall screens. “So I went for it and now have a really grand piece hanging on the wall. I also have one in my dining room.”
One of Nikki’s top interior tips is to always be bold and daring, she said: “Definitely be brave. You can always change things back. Start with a neutral base throughout your home for flow and then take one room at a time. Mirrors are great for making rooms appear bigger and brightening them too.”
Nikki’s Westholme Interiors – which offers home furnishings and exclusively sourced accessories – is set to launch next month. By collaborating with brands including Hubsch, House Doctor, Pad Home, Present Time, Kelly Hoppen and Patrick Eugene to name a few, individuals looking for these bespoke brands will be able to access to them all in one place.
Nikki added: “Everyone loves the pieces we have in our home. I spend a lot of time sourcing accessories and art not only for our properties from our property development business, but for our friends too. So a one-stop shop with great delivery and customer service is the concept, as well as sourcing exclusive and unusual suppliers.”
Photography courtesy of Kami Thomson for Society Aberdeen