Nikki McWilliams is creative director, founder and self-acclaimed chief biscuit sampler at Nikki McWilliams Ltd.
Image source: Doug Gibb
Nikki studied fine art at Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, before going on to create her own homeware and accessories label in 2009.
From making keyrings to sell to class-mates to co-founding a series of hand-made markets; Nikki has always had a passion for creative business and aspired to be her own boss from a young age.
Nikki’s designs are inspired by a love of British culture, contemporary pop-art and her fascination with the ritual of the tea break. Always a little nostalgic, her work has been described as bright & playful with an attention to detail that’s made to last.
Being the kitchen enthusiasts we are, we just had to catch up with her about her style and how she used our Fearne by Swan range to incorporate that pop of colour in her culinary ventures.
Hi Nikki, we absolutely love your kitchen! Why do you feel it is important to have a great looking kitchen?
I love waking up to a pretty kitchen. The mornings (and all other mealtimes!) are really busy times for us and having somewhere that’s designed well and that makes me smile is so valuable. When you have 15 minutes to eat breakfast- I feel like it tastes better when the bread pops up from our jolly bright toaster!
What was your original vision for the kitchen? What theme did you have in mind before you decorated?
When we started work on the kitchen I knew that I wanted to keep the decor fresh and neutral. The kitchen is within an extension on our Victorian conversion- so the ceilings are a little lower than in the rest of our home. I chose white cabinets- glossy subway tiles and light coloured walls to maximise the feeling of space in the room.
What challenges did you come across once you got started?
The room is a long rectangle- so we didn’t have many options when it came to laying out the units and main appliances to make sure everything fit well and looked spacious too. We kept our appliances (fridge, cooker, etc) white so that they’d blend in with the kitchen units seamlessly. We hid an old ugly boiler in a tall cupboard so it’s out of sight too- that made such a difference!
Did you have any requirements for your appliances? How did you make sure they looked good in your kitchen?
I kept our big appliances white and then let myself go a bit crazy with colour for the smaller pieces! I knew that I wanted a combination of bright and pastel appliances that would be useful in the kitchen- but would also look great displayed out on the worktop. Tea and toast is one of my quick go-to breakfasts in the morning- so having a joyous toaster and kettle combo was high up on my list!
What were your bargain buys?
The animal masks that I have on the wall in our little dining area have got to be one of my favourite kitchen bargains. These were plain white kid’s play masks that I painted solid pastel colours to compliment some of the appliances we have in the room- they’re super playful and they make me happy when I see them every day!
What did you splurge on?
I didn’t realise that you could fall in love with taps until I found the ones for our kitchen. They were far more expensive than I’d budgeted for- but the design was excellent and I knew that I’d appreciate them on a daily basis.
What is your favourite thing about your kitchen?
I love our kitchen as it’s a practical space that’s full of colour and inspiration. It’s a place to grab a quick bite to eat when I’m busy and working from home, but it’s also a place to relax and spend time cooking.
How do you feel about the finished project?
I’m really pleased with how the kitchen turned out- I love that I have the flexibility to shake things up and re-style sections by rearranging the objects and appliances that we use on a daily basis. The white decor is the perfect playground for me when it comes to adding extra pops of colour.
What advice would you give to those decorating their kitchens
Think about how you use the space and take your design from there. If you’re unsure of what kind of style you’d like to go for- create a Pinterest board to collect ideas for decor, materials you might like to use and any appliances or utensils that stand out for you. Seeing all of these things together can help you consolidate your ideas to go forward.