Edward Robinson is a London based interior designer, stylist and TV presenter. Edward has an extensive knowledge of interiors and has worked with well-established interior magazines as well as designing sets for interior campaigns. Edward has also graced our TV screens on shows such as Hollywood Me, 60 Minute Makeover and Cowboy Builders. More recently Edward was appointed as head interior designer on the hit TV show Cowboy Builders & Bodge Jobs currently airing on Channel5.

We worked with Edward on the latest series of Cowboy Builders as he used a range of our mirrors for the interior styling of the makeovers and renovated properties he and his team were tackling. Edward has kindly taken time out of filming to answer some interior design based questions and share his expert knowledge and advice.

Edward Robinson

 1.Ed, we loved your work on Cowboy Builders & Bodge Jobs. Generally where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to the interior styling of these properties?

I’m always on the lookout for different ideas and looks to inspire me. A great source of inspiration can always be found online visiting various websites and interior blogs. My favorite is Pinterest, It’s like a colossal image bank of magazine articles, photography, articles and links to interior blogs. At just the click of my mouse I can create many virtual mood boards, which are so easily accessible and easy to refer back to.

I occasionally buy the odd interior magazine, but again nowadays these can be subscribed to and viewed on my iPad so no hassle of finding somewhere to store piles and piles of reference material. I also love scouring local markets and antique fairs at weekends. Living in London your spoilt for choice as there is a plethora of museums and galleries, trendy bars, boutique hotels and restaurants, which are always a great resource for ideas to explore.  

2. Which makeover/transformation on this series of Cowboy Builders & Bodge Jobs would you say was your favourite and why?

That’s a really tricky question I get asked all the time. All the makeovers I’ve worked on have had their own uniqueness but Id have to say the ones that stick in my memory are when we filmed in Portsmouth. The homeowner had a room at the back of the house that was used for studying, sewing and for occasional guests, but it was really not working as a multifunctional room.

I painted the walls in a vibrant Cerise pink, which gave a dramatic backdrop to the room. I bought a metal daybed online and spray-painted it a gorgeous turquoise blue and added colourful cushions and soft furnishings to tie in the two colours making a bright summer cohesive scheme. The piece de resistance was hanging this gorgeous Aztec Design mirror from Exclusive Mirrors, which really look fab set against the cerise backdrop.

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Another great makeover when we filmed up in Halifax. The homeowner’s country cottage had been completely wrecked by their dodgy builder. Not one room was habitable. It was a great pleasure to hand over a fabulous new cream shaker style kitchen with solid oak block worktops and brand new stainless steel appliances.

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The walls were painted in summer time buttermilk yellow with accents of cobalt blue and green added in from ceramics and crockery. I hung a large statement antler chandelier over the dining table and an oak framed mirror was added opposite to tie in the natural woods of the kitchen and dining area.  

While filming up in Yorkshire recently I had a client who wanted something completely and totally out of her comfort zone. She wanted colour and pattern in the bucket loads… and that’s what I delivered. I chose the P.L.U.T.O. Lido and Copper wallpaper which is a classic mid century design from www.minimoderns.com.

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The other walls were painted in a colour matched from the wallpaper to bring the rest of the room together. Clashing circle bed linen and gorgeous woolen striped and geometric cushions with accents of red, turquoise, green and copper tied everything in. Another great mirror used in the room was the Wood and Copper framed mirror from Exclusive Mirrors which gave a gently nod to the local industry in the area.

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3.You used lots of mirrors and other fabulous home accessories in the interiors of those homes, in your opinion how important are these to the overall feel of a room? The look and feel of a room is hugely important when redesigning a scheme for someone. As an Interior Designer I have to listen to my client and understand how they want the space to work for them. Of course I use my expert knowledge and style to offer up things that perhaps they have overlooked or wouldn’t have the confidence to do themselves.

Anyone can fill a house with furniture but making it look good and work for the room takes some time and patience. Spatial planning is vital when kitting out a room or home. I recommend it’s a good idea to invest well in the staple items for a room, i.e. a decent sofa, armchair and perhaps a coffee table that will last the test of time. Most of us don’t have the luxury to have a room completely redesigned so its important to buy items that wont date too quickly.

Then when you get bored of your scheme its easy to change things up by adding soft furnishings like cushions, throws, rugs, a statement mirror perhaps or a small piece of furniture. By doing this its really easy to change the look and style of a room without having to buy completely new furniture and it won’t break the bank. Small changes can make a massive difference. Here are a few ideas and alternative ways of using mirrors.

Sunburst mirror over a fireplace. There are very few decorating dilemmas that a good sunburst mirror can't help with. One example is that big, blank space above your fireplace. Wondering what to put there? I find hanging a fabulous sunburst mirror in gold or silver should do the trick. On a recent makeover I used the gorgeous Abellona wall mirror in Silver from Exclusive Mirrors to add this dramatic statement.

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Striking mirrors behind table lamps. No, you won't be able to look into them, but that is not the point really. Placing mirrors behind your tableside lamps is a great way to ramp up the glow of your lamplight. Opting for something ornate or with patterned frames is the icing on the cake.

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Statement mirrors in bathrooms. Bathroom and Medicine cabinets are out! Bring on the statement mirrors. You could use a large ornate Rococo style mirror for dramatic effect, thick wooden framed mirrors, backlit mirror or some kind of ornate vintage find. I quite like a round mirror in the bathroom. It’s curves break up all of those sharp angles and straight lines and boost style and sophistication into any bathroom.

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4. Do you have any quotes or phrases linked to interior design that you otherwise live by?

“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works” – Steve Jobs “A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy” – Juan Montoya “Doctors save lives by constructing a healthy life, Designers save lives by constructing a life worth living” – Mark W.Perret. 

Check out part 2 of Ed's Interview where he lets us take a sneak peek into his London house and discusses 2016 design trends!