Designer outlet: Wow factor in the West End

Colourful interior designs are emanating from the Capital’s William Street

Jessica Buckley.
Jessica Buckley.

Jessica Buckley is an interior designer with premises on William Street in the West End of Edinburgh, known for her vivid style, colours, textures and patterns. Her signature room would be bright and elegant, but the last thing Jessica would do is insist that everything matches.

She insists: “Contrast is important, we do like to make sure that everything isn’t perfectly matched. A slight discord – not so it is jarring. But, we aim to introduce layers that might not necessarily go together.

“It adds more personality in a house with lots of elements.”

Picture: ZAC and ZAC

Jessica started her career in investment, which took her all over the world, but when in Australia, she changed tack to study at Sydney Design School in her 30s.

She says: “You need a portfolio to show clients, but when we moved back [to Edinburgh in 2011] I had to use my own home as an example.

Jessica recalls spreading the word: “I wrote a blog, and fairly early on I got on to Instagram, and we featured in a few magazines which allowed clients to approach me.”

She now has around 20 projects on the go at any one time, and a team of eight staff. Last year, she opened her William Street outlet which features a curated collection of homewares, and has an online offering.

Picture: ZAC and ZAC

The shop is next to her design office, so those coming in to peruse can begin to understand the interior service – there is even a room staged to give an example of Jessica’s style. Typical clients tend to be those with young families, who really appreciate the vibrant yet practical style.

At the moment, Jessica’s team is working on a number of projects in London, three in the Cotswolds, homes in Sydney and Kuwait, as well as all over Scotland.

As part of the process, Jessica first invites clients to send her inspirational images, to get a feel for what they like “whether that is pared-back minimalism or all bells and whistles”.

“A draft plan follows this concept design, and then a more detailed design with exact colours, wallpapers and textiles.”

Picture: ZAC and ZAC

“In the past, we started with a client’s budget but I think that is unfair. If you haven’t used a designer you have no idea what it will cost.

“As you are buying everything in one fell swoop, it can be quite a startling bottom line. If you fixed a budget at the beginning, you would end up with lower quality and a dissatisfied client.

“But, by showing them the items and costing them realistically, it makes more sense.”

For materials, the net is cast wide. Jessica says: “We use very top-end fabric houses – trade-only – but we do mix them with high-street items.

“We source antiques, one-off pieces and we have bespoke furniture or fabrics made to order.

“If you like our look you will see that it is easy to make work in any home. I’d describe it as comfortable, approachable and attractive.”

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