We had the privilege of seeing inside Kel's former beautiful 3-story new build townhouse near Bristol and learning about her extraordinary award-winning business, Oh So Kel! If this excites you as much as it does us, go grab yourself a cup of tea and read on for more details. Plus, we were able to secure an exclusive discount code for you to use when shopping at Oh So Kel — don't miss out!
Step Inside Kel's New Build Townhouse
Shop Kel's Look
Rockingham Cambridge Blue Sofa
Bamboo/Rattan Oval Pendant Lampshade
Luna Rustic Vase Large
Antique Brass Wall Lights
Please could you tell us a bit about you and your home?
We just moved to our home two months ago, a 1930s renovation project which we hope to complete (downstairs) over the next two years. We’ve lived in Portishead, a beautiful town by the sea on the outskirts of Bristol, for 10 years and previously lived in a 3-storey new build townhouse. I live with my husband, two girls and a Goldendoodle pup.
What motivated you to buy this property?
This (1930s renovation) is our forever home, our dream! Because I’m fairly specific about my interior design, doing what I do for a living with ohsokel.com, we always wanted our forever home to be a project where we could create something beautiful and truly us, rather than pay more for a ready to move in house that we’d still want to change.
How would you define your interior design style?
I think my style is a transitional mix of Californian Casual with boho and modern farmhouse touches. My style has always been heavily influenced by the American style and I’ve experimented with a few over the years!
One of the reasons I expanded my business from Interior Styling for brands and home styling for local clients to curating my own homeware collection is that I could never find accessories I really loved here in the UK.
Are there any unique features that make it special?
What we made special in our last home which we plan to bring into our new one, is utilising affordable furniture in creative ways, such as our Billy Bookcase hack which we used to create a media wall with a hidden bookcase door which led to our coats and shoes storage (and a beer fridge!).
The plan I’ve drawn up for our new kitchen also has a secret door which will lead to a pantry. It’s a really great way to prevent a break in a wall or run of units for a more streamlined look.
Have you renovated any part of your home and if so, what was the most challenging part?
The challenge in our last house was ultimately storage as new build properties aren’t designed with practical storage solutions in mind! As well as our hidden bookcase, named the Narnia Cupboard by our children, we had lift-up bench seats and cupboard storage, which looked like a panelled wall in our kitchen banquette and Ikea units that ran up and over our Master Bedroom bed.
The challenge with our new house is that it was built in the 1930’s so the walls are solid and we’ll want to maintain the character of the house whilst making it purposeful for us as a modern family.
Do you have any advice for others looking to update their homes?
I personally always keep the foundation / expensive or hard to change choices for a room really classic, neutral and not too crazy, then if you want to throw in something bold that you may get bored of further down the line you can do this with soft furnishings, artwork and wallpaper which are much easier and cheaper to change.
Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration for me and I not only use it to collate looks that I love to notice a trend in what appeals to me, but I also use it to find room layouts and advice from experts such as lighting designers too.
Are there any other accounts/people's homes you get inspiration from?
Since I love the American influence it’s no surprise that I love accounts and homes based in the USA! Erin Gates, McGee & Co, Amber Interiors, Pure Salt Interiors. I also adore the work of photographer Gray Malin.
Which room do you love most and why?
In our last home, my favourite room was definitely our kitchen diner which opened out onto the garden. It was so light, airy and definitely the hub/party room of the house. In our new house plans we plan to have a big open plan kitchen, dining and living space, also opening out onto the garden so this will absolutely become our favourite space here!
About Oh So Kel
My homeware collection brings unique chic pieces to interior lovers that aren’t seen on the high street, helping them to love their home every day. Made by artisans that are carefully sourced from across the globe, my homeware embraces a neutral palette with touches of rustic boho elements, creating exciting and individual yet classic collections that will stand the test of time and be loved through generations.
What's the story behind Oh So Kel?
With a lifelong love for all things styling and interiors, OSK was born in 2018, initially as a blog which has won multiple awards and has led to styling jobs with brands including Wayfair, Dunelm, Now TV, Ronseal and Yankee Candle.
After losing my best friend Rachel, who left behind two young children the same age as my own, I decided that life really is too short to not pursue your dreams and so I turned my passion into my business in 2021.
My vision has always been to offer inspiration for beautiful living in a unique, accessible way, and I’m so delighted to share my homeware collection as well as continuing to write inspirational blog posts.
When sourcing products from artisans, are there any specific criteria/values that need to be met?
I try as much as possible to order direct from the source from the artisan themselves, which has allowed me to build up strong relationships with them and develop some bespoke products too. That way I also know that the profit is going where it deserved.
What are your top homeware styling/interior design tips?
Enjoy trends and being playful, but always keep your own unique style and preferences at the heart of your schemes. For me, this goes back to keeping neutral transitional foundations which I then build upon. Pinterest and Instagram are your friends and it definitely pays to create boards and bookmarks!
What are some of your proudest moments when it comes to Oh So Kel?
Reaching the shortlist for the Amara Interior Blog Awards as ‘Best Design Inspiration’, featuring in the Business Insider SW #42under42 list of entrepreneurs, launching my own collection during covid by a mention in Vogue and turning it from a hobby into my full-time career. I ADORE it!
How do you hope Oh So Kel will develop in the future?
I would like to create more exclusive collections that are unique to Oh So Kel, potentially then be stocked by large retailers, and curate a collection of furniture too.
By becoming an OSK (Oh So Kel) Insider via ohsokel.com readers can gain access to interior design e-books written by me, plus receive weekly inspiration, news about my latest collections and interior design tips. If readers use the code LOVETOHOME15 at the checkout they can also claim 15% off their first purchase, excluding the sale.
We've been honoured to learn more about you, Kel and the captivating story behind Oh So Kel. We can't wait to stay updated on your next 1930s renovation project! Follow Kel on social media for all of the fascinating updates – it could make a remarkable part two feature in our Home Tours section!
Wishing you nothing but success and good luck!