We chat to Hortons client, Nicky Keen, a gifted interior designer & founder of Joy Interiors, about herself, her home, what interior design means to her and how powerful it can be.
Nicky is a very family orientated person and currently lives with her husband Dave and their 3 boys.
“We live in our 400 year old cottage in rural Appleby Magna and have done for 14 years now. Over that time we have completely renovated and refurbished the property, transforming it from a dark, dated cottage with black painted beams and damp, to a bright, modern, cosy family home.”
The property has since been rewarded with features in two national home magazines.
Nicky has had a passion for interiors since being a young girl, often spending time cleaning, tidying and rearranging her bedroom at home. As a teenager, whilst most of her friends were spending money on clothes and make-up, Nicky was saving enough money to update her bedroom with a new bed, bedding, painted walls and stylish accessories.
“I always thought of my love of interiors as a hobby, and never in my dreams thought I could make a living from it.”
12 years ago, whilst holding a full time job, Nicky studied an interior design qualification remotely and 2 years later founded Joy Interiors.
“I feel so lucky to be able to work within an industry I feel very passionate about, and work with such amazing clients too.”
Nicky creates stunning interior designs for her clients that are full of warmth and character. Joy Interiors launched on Instagram in 2015 after a friend recommended that she do so to showcase her interior projects.
“If I am honest – I hadn’t really heard of Instagram and was unsure what it was all about. I did quite enjoy taking my photos and popping them on there, it also felt like a bit of a portfolio for me to keep all my projects in one place, in real time.”
Exposing her design work and pictures of her little cottage has led to @joy_interiors now having just shy of 60,000 followers. This has presented Nicky with countless opportunities including being able to work with some of her dream companies such as AGA, Roberts Radio, Garden Trading and Plum & Ashby.
“I guess I kind of grew the account so big quite by accident, and actually that means a lot to me as it feels very true to who I am and my brand.”
“The Joy Events are beautiful country home and lifestyle events that I co-host with Klara from Birds in The Attic.”
This year The Joy Events (www.thejoyevents.co.uk)are working with Coppice (Near Sutton Coldfield) to create an intimate and special event showcasing over 35 stallholders including a mix of decorative vintage, brocante treasures, home & interior wares and more. The event takes place on September 5th from 10am-5pm and tickets can be purchased on their website.
“I absolutely love to support small creatives and businesses. When I design people’s homes, I create schemes that are completely bespoke to my clients and always try to source the products from smaller, unique companies to really achieve a look that is personal to them and cannot be easily replicated.”
Some of Nicky’s favourite fabric designers are Peony & Sage, Zoe Glencross and Sarah Hardaker who all produce designs that work exceptionally well within the interiors that she schemes. Other favourites include Cabbages & Roses and Kate Formane who both feature in Nicky’s own home for Roman Blinds and upholstery.
Around 6 years ago Nicky was approached by The Co-operative Funeralcare to work on transforming a funeral home to help change people’s perceptions and expectations when dealing with them.
“At the start, this was a huge challenge for me and felt like a great responsibility – to be able to help people at the worst time of their lives whilst not only making sure it looked nice, but also creating an atmosphere where people felt calm and were able to relax.”
Having embraced the challenge, Nicky received wonderful feedback and has now managed over 15 funeral home renovation projects across both Heart of England and Mid Counties Co-operatives.
“My absolutely favourite part is their reaction – as soon as I get the ‘wow’ or ‘I absolutely love it’, I completely relax and know I have achieved what I set out to do.”
Nicky adores producing interiors that make people say ‘wow’, getting great satisfaction when successfully interpreting her clients wishes and delivering designs that they love. She believes that the key to her success is in her tendency to spend a lot of time getting to know her clients, so that she can pick up on little nuggets of information about their characters and lifestyles.
“Homes are so important to everyone, it is most people’s sanctuary away from their busy lives and a place I want them to love being within.”
Find out more about Joy Interiors here.