Home Tour - Lucy Tiffney from GIDC

Lucy Tiffney aka the whirling dervish to those who watched series 3 of the Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2 this year, is ready to share her home style with Seasons in Colour and I am very excited to have her featured on the blog. Lucy, a textile design lecturer and rug designer, made it all the way to the final and along the way produced some of the best rooms we have seen in the GIDC, including the Swedish boxed bed room below.

Lucy's home


Lucy lives with husband Tiff and their two teenage boys, Leo and Frank.

About three years ago they realised that they were fast outgrowing their small, Victorian semi. They had extended it every which way to within an inch of its life and really needed more space. Luckily, a detached, 4 bed house, built around 1910 came into the market close to where they lived.

"This wreck of a house around the corner came on the market at a great price" says Lucy. "We knew we needed to act fast if we were going to get it! A colleague of mine, and now great friend, Heather, mentioned that she was looking to buy in our area. That evening I rang her and she and her partner Michael came to view our house. They were instantly smitten and snapped it up".

The new house was in need of TLC and as is usually the case, there was no budget for immediate renovations, so Lucy and her husband have spent the last 2 years doing what they can themselves. The kitchen and bathroom are stuck in the 80’s but the builders are coming to fix that at beginning of April! And according to Lucy, this moment cannot come soon enough!

"It’s now time to call in the experts to knock the kitchen breakfast room in to one big open space and treat ourselves to a new bathroom!", she says.

What? No DIY?!! But given her busy schedule following the show, who can blame her.

How do you describe your style and how did you put your own stamp around the house?

"My style is modern, colourful, an eclectic harmony. As to how I put my stamp around the house, I have used my own instinctive style. For example, all the original panelled doors were covered with hardboard and I’ve stripped that back to reveal original, battered 1950’s green painted pitch pine underneath, which I love. Floors are sanded, but some rooms have painted boards. Walls are painted with white matt emulsion to act as a clean, crisp backdrop to my designs and furnishings. I have also hand painted the tiled hall floor in a stunning geometric design".

And your favourite room is...

"My studio! It is large and light and sits at the front of the house with an original box bay window. The sun pours in on a sunny day. This room also acts as our dining room when friends and family come for supper".

Lucy is a keen upcycler and this is clear in her home which is full of vintage treasures.

"I look for objects and pieces of furniture that don't necessarily have huge monetary value, but which have a history and provenance and can be updated to fit in our contemporary home. Its hard to choose which have been my best finds, because there have been so many, but what spring to mind first are …. Slate fireplace and mantelpiece I found in off skip, lime green angle poise lamp which was a street find in Japan and a huge enamel GASOIL sign found at the side of the road in France almost 30 years ago!"

But what do friends and family think of Lucy's home?

"My friends and family love my house. It’s an ever-changing canvas on which I experiment with design ideas, but also a light, warm and comfortable home".

Get Lucy's style


Lucy has some vintage chairs in her studio but if you cannot find what you are looking for head for the Meccano Bistrot Chair (via Amara.com). Search for metal pegboard sheet if you want to create an inexpensive mood board on your wall. For similar Michelin prints, head to Etsy.com. This one on the left will set you back £7.85 plus shipping for the A3 size.

Tissue paper pom poms are fun and inexpensive. You can find them on Ebay or Etsy.com. Try this trio of pom poms for £6.50. For a similar style mid-centrury tripod style side table, head to Utopia Gallery, £65 plus shipping. A vintage wooden large letter can cost between £8-20 depending on the size and you can find them here.

Lucy's tips

in designing a long-lasting scheme.

What we should

and should not splash out on


"There are definitely things that are worth investing more money in and they make up the bones of each space", she says.

  • Good quality paints and wall finishes/wallpapers, for example, from Farrow & Ball, Dulux, Cole & Son or HouseofHackney are crucial and save time and money in the long term, as the coverage and finish is so much better.