Name: Sooz Gordon
Location: Dundee; Scotland, UK
Size: 2 bedroom flat
Years lived in: 3 1/2 years; Owned
When I went to visit Sooz Gordon (and her excellent cat, Winnie) in a little 1920’s ex council flat in Dundee, the beautiful and dramatic way she’d transformed an ordinary space into such an exciting and dynamic home exceeded all my expectations.
Her homemade truffles were pretty nice too.
The space was one Sooz had been familiar with for a long time as it had been her Granny's home for 25 years. Since moving in, Sooz has gradually worked her way around the flat, transforming every inch. While being totally unrecognizable from its former days, it still holds wonderful family memories and sentimental reminders, with special features and belongings kept and lovingly incorporated into a new setting.
Sooz is an interior designer by trade and passionately insists that you don’t have to have a lot of money to create a wonderful home that expresses something of who you are – really it comes down to confidence, something that she hopes to encourage in individuals looking for inspiration at the interior ‘style surgeries’ she has recently developed in the city. History is important to Sooz. The new homewares range she has begun to develop play on the idea of telling a new story using old things – old maps, photographs, architecture – creating a beautiful selection of textiles and prints.
She tells me she puts together rooms in the same way she would an outfit – her home is always changing and evolving and she is often experimenting with ideas, colours and shapes. A couple of nights ago she spontaneously painted the floorboards in her kitchen checkerboard - she's bold and brave and her home looks ever more fabulous for it!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I wouldn’t say I was faithful to any one style, I genuinely have a love for so many styles and influenced by so many references. In terms of sourced items I combine inherited, found, borrowed, commissions, souvenirs and presents. I am drawn to pieces that have character. Ultimately I want to create a home that tells a story and also creates a lasting experience.
Inspiration: I am very much inspired by my home City of Dundee, there is a great creative community here. I rent a studio space at WASPS that has panoramic views of the city, so it is hard not to be inspired. My job as an interior designer means I get to look at inspirational images everyday. I love sourcing, it is I big part of what I do, I am quite happy to spend hours trawling websites, blogs, local independent shops, high street shops and auction houses. It is one of the best things about my job.
Favorite Element: At the moment it would be my bathroom, it is the only room that seems remotely completed. I think it helped being the smallest room in my flat, so I didn’t have much scope in terms of what could put in apart from the essentials. I feel my style is continuing to evolve, so there is always room for change and development. That’s what keeps your interior interesting, continuing to add, edit, source and curate.
Biggest Challenge: Having to wait till I have saved up to start on another room.
What Friends Say: They feel at home and it inspires them to make changes and be bolder in their own houses.
Biggest Embarrassment: So far I have been lucky and don’t think I have had any major embarrassments. However, recently I left a key for an electrician I know, to fit a new pendant light. He spent ages putting this massive wire fitting up only to find out he had put it in the wrong room. We had a laugh about but it is good to know I can give him stick for ever more.
Proudest DIY: Painted a checkerboard design on my kitchen floor, I am notorious for taking a notion to do something in my flat that has to be done there and then. Guaranteed this urge tends to happen late at night and I have been known to be painting at 2 in the morning. I enjoy DIY, and happy to give it a try, if it doesn’t work out I will get the professionals in!
Biggest Indulgence: I recently bought a new floor lamp, I have a thing about lights and don’t think you can have too many in a room. It is one of the easiest ways to create atmosphere and interest as you can highlight a painting or an object. I don’t think good design or style is about how much money you spend. It is all about making do with what you have and experimenting to achieve a home that represents you.
Best Advice: I always carry round a notebook and camera (my phone) to record any inspiration/ideas. Could be to take a note of a new shop, a website or an interesting colour paring. I keep a note of room dimensions, samples of fabrics and paint colours I have used. As guaranteed when you least expect it you find something that think might work, and to save impulse buys or mistakes you will have the information you need to hand.
Dream Sources: Anthropologie, Rocket St. George, TK Maxx, Urban outfitters, John Derian, H&M home, Curr & Dewar and Re Found.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
Farrow & Ball – downpipe, lamp room grey, brinjal and Hague Blue
• Fired Earth – Wild Olive
Wallpaper from Cole and Sons, Vivienne Westwood Squiggle design
• Lamp room grey paint - Farrow and Ball
• Art work fabric prints – Sooz Gordon
• Art work on stairwell – various postcards, old photographs, posters I collect everything as I know I will display it somewhere
Downpipe grey walls – Farrow & Ball
• Rug - Ikea
• Sofa – Sofa.com
• Cushions – H&M and /Sooz Gordon
• Table lamps – TK Maxx
• Floor lamp – vintage
• Table & chairs – Tayside recyclers
• Art work – Katie ward, Aimee Henderson, Sooz Gordon
• Clock – Westport Gallery
Walls Brinjal – Farrow & Ball
• Radio – Groucho’s
• Art work – Lovely Pigeon,
• School desk – from aunts old school
• Ammunitions Chest – Granda’s from WW2
• Table & Stools – Ikea (painted them ‘railings’ by Farrow & Ball)
Walls Hague Blue – Farrow & Ball
• Rug – TK Maxx
• Headboard fabric – Ikea (made the headboard with foam and mdf)
• Chest of drawers – Lovely Things
• Oversized whit task lamp – TK Maxx
• Parker Knoll chair (red) reupholstered – given by a friend
Walls – Wild Olive by Fired Earth
• Console Unit – TK Maxx
• Wall lights – French House
• Storage baskets – TK Maxx
• Chemist bottle – Curr & Dewar
(Images: Lizzie Ford )
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(Image credits: Lizzie Ford; Lizzie Ford)