Kim Farrant is a Tauranga based interior stylist and owner of the interior styling company, Tilly and Tiffen. Founded in 2011, Tilly and Tiffen started off as an interior store filled with Kim’s favourite treasures, two retail spaces later and Kim has branched fully into interior styling. Drawing inspiration from her British roots in East Sussex and other British and European designers, Kim’s style brings together old and new pieces to create spaces not only to be lived in but that bring joy everyday. We caught up with Kim to find out about the trends she’s enjoying, her top tips for creating a design scheme and her favourite project.
Asked to describe your design style, what would you say?
I love Traditional Glam and the conscious layering of natural products with antiques, fine bed linens, silks, coppers, suede and leather. It’s all about comfort but with a certain level of formality and order. That said, everything is adapted to the client’s wishes and their space. I always like to see a room first so I can see where the light reflects and the space it sits in so I can create a continuous indoor -outdoor flow. The only style I tend not to do is minimalist - it’s not a great passion of mine and there are already enough brilliant interior designers who are offering this. What’s the latest trend or style you are enjoying? The deep colours that are coming through have really caught my attention. We’re starting to see more dark fabric with lighter prints on wallpapers in kitchens and bathrooms and mists and sages are slowly starting to replace grey tones. In accessories and trims we’re seeing plenty of checks and more autumnal colours like pheasant, rust, fern green and my favourite, galaxy and deep night tones -think dark blues and moodier greys. The other trend I’m seeing lots of is travel inspired wallpapers, which I think is mainly because a lot of people can’t travel at the moment, so they’re bringing travelling into their homes.
What are your top tips when creating a design scheme?
Don’t Rush If there was one tip I could give it would be don’t rush. Use sampling within your space, whether that’s flooring, fabric, tiles, metals, wallpapers or cushions - the key is to take time and use samples to see what works before committing. Likewise don’t guesstimate when measuring, you might think you can measure with your arm span but don’t wing it! Even if you do have advice from an interior designer - always use a tape measure.
How Do You Want The Room to Feel? It’s always important to think about how you want the space to feel when you walk in. Do you want to be stimulated or do you want to be relaxed? What’s the purpose of the room? Is it to entertain in or is it more private? I always encourage clients to come to me with plenty of images - save what you like from social media, bring printouts or visuals from magazines so that we can make sure our interpretation of an idea both matches! Once I know the purpose of the space and your budget then we can get working on creating the perfect room.
Consider Your Finishing Touches From the Start If you have a favourite piece of art that you want to display or a family heirloom like your grandfather’s antique binoculars that’s great! Let’s get them out on display and then we can pull tones and colours from the piece when we’re considering the colour palette. They might be the finishing touches - but they’re not an afterthought, they’re definitely part of the design process.
Favourite recent project or design item you are coveting?
My favourite project would have to be when I styled the entirety of my good friend’s house. It really did include a bit of everything, from choosing the paint colours and wallpapers and sourcing the furniture, to the window treatments and curtains, placing the art and helping to achieve spacial correctness in each room. And that really is how I like to work - nothing is off limits.
If you want some help dusting off old bookcases and dressing them with family treasures or you want me to help place your existing furniture then I can. One of my favourite pieces in my friend’s home was the spectacular Eunice Taylor bespoke K9 crystal feature chandelier that was 2 m long and 1.5m wide. We hung it from the staircase in the entrance - it looks incredible!
What are your top flooring picks at the moment in soft and hard flooring?
Carpet: I love Wools of New Zealand’s Melford Hills range - it’s a really squidgy, soft and sumptuous loop and my favourite colour has to be ETALVALE, which is a mid-grey with highlights of blonde. Plus it’s great that it is 100% owned by New Zealand farmers and the wool is traceable from the farm gate to the store. Where I can I always support New Zealand made and manufactured products - not only because they are local and reduce carbon footprint but because it cuts down the stress of shipping and reduces time frames!
Timber flooring: My favourite engineered timber flooring is from Creative Flooring’s Euro Series in Arctic and with an oiled finish.
View Kim's portfolio or get in touch...
To view Kim Farrant’s portfolio of projects and find out more about her Interior Design service visit her website here.
Tilly & Tiffen facebook page here