Colourful patterns, fresh natural tones and eclectic artworks bring the outside in to Saffron Hodgson’s garden apartment. 

Now living and working in London with a new baby, Saffron and her husband Nick decorated this Edinburgh apartment after visiting Rajasthan for their honeymoon. ‘I love to travel and have been to a lot of places but we were totally blown away by the beauty of the scenery and the colours of the saris and the fabrics. We did a tour of the palaces and I came home determined to inject the spirit of our trip into our home,’ Saffron explains. ‘We framed and hung the beautiful prints that we bought and have displayed lots of the fabrics.’

When they bought the property, the bones were all in place, and Saffron only needed to decorate. Being a basement, the period features are not as grand as you will find on the upper floors of a Victorian terrace. ‘We sacrificed the grander proportions available in a property on an upper floor for a garden,’ Saffron admits, but the simplicity suited her. She knew she wanted to create a colourful backdrop for her beloved finds and collections. ‘When I travel, I find I absorb colours and ideas and bring home a sense of the place,’ she reflects. 

The conservatory links the apartment to the outside beautifully. ‘We spend all our time in there when it is just the two of us, honestly, winter and summer,’ Saffron claims. ‘Thanks to the underfloor heating it is never too chilly. We share our home with our Jack Russell, Lego, who loves the garden as well of course!’

The joy of having a garden, I will never not have one again.

The main space is perfect for entertaining. The wood-burning stove in the inglenook fireplace makes a wonderful centre-piece. ‘I wanted to create the feel of a Parisian apartment if I am honest, Paris is a place I love to visit. The home serves as a personal gallery as well, my mum is an artist and I am a keen collector,’ Saffron shares. Artworks and souvenirs from exotic destinations line the walls. She was also given some family heirlooms as wedding presents from relatives, so has added some beautiful antique furniture to the mix. Saffron has successfully layered her highly personal possessions with furniture bought from high street stores resulting in a wonderfully eclectic tapestry-like display of colour and pattern.

Saffron studied textiles and has always loved printing and uses images of animals and birds in her designs. ‘Another source of inspiration was always my parents’ garden, it is just full of flowers and now having a garden of my own, my interest is stronger than ever,’ she says. Following her studies, she launched her own range of fabrics called Crocus Designs.

My favourite restaurant in London, Berners Tavern, is lined with paintings and the décor is hugely inspiring to me.

She completed her education more recently with a postgraduate course in interior architecture at the Inchbald School of Design. Her style is bold and colourful. ‘I love playing with scale: oversizing is a very effective trick,’ Saffron advises, ‘despite this being a relatively modest apartment, I have deliberately avoided choosing small furniture. Big lamps are a favourite guilty pleasure of mine!’ she admits.

Saffron’s favourite fabric and wallpaper range is William Yeoward, ‘I love his blue and white collections,’ she shares. ‘Interior designers that I admire include Kit Kemp and David Hicks. David’s name has been around for a long time, but he is still so influential,’ Saffron asserts. 

There is clearly a classical influence on Saffron’s interior: her use of symmetry and the vivid displays of art and antiques as a way to add colour and pattern to a fresh, neutral backdrop clearly indicate her thorough training and expertise. 

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