At home with a Design Hunter

Helen Powell is Design Hunter. Her eye for contemporary, minimal design has earned her awards, plaudits and loyal followers, the latter in their tens of thousands. She’s based just down the road in that there Leamington Spa, so we had a chat with her about all things house, home and dog. Join us for a nose around chez elle and apply her teachings IRL, like some interior design sensei.

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On where to shop

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"I look for considered designs that add quiet style and are built to last — I like what scandi brands such as Hayand Hem are doing at the moment. When I'm in London I love to visit Skandium or The Conran Shop. Closer to home, I'm really excited that Heal's and MADE.com have opened up in the Mailbox."

On decorating and planning

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"A lot of the planning I do happens quite subconsciously, because I'm thinking about interiors all the time. But if I'm embarking on a new project or making a big purchase I do tend to research things quite carefully before making a decision. I'll read up on things, ask for advice on social media or gather inspiration on Pinterest."

On the details

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"I love minimal and understated interiors with warmth and soul. Texture and material is key, particularly in minimal spaces where there is an absence of colour. I like to use tactile natural materials like wood, slate, marble or wool and I think what you leave out is as important as what you choose to put in."

On finding inspiration

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"It's good to step outside of the creative field you work in and look at things from a different perspective. I went to the Rachel Whiteread show at Tate Britain recently and found myself drawing lots of inspiration from that. And in architecture I really admire the purity and minimalism of John Pawson's work."

On the realities of a 'perfect' home

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"I wish I could say that my house was pristine most of the time but the truth is's often full of clutter. There is usually at least one creative project on the go and creativity often involves a degree of chaos. If you have a dog, you can't be too precious about things. There will always be muddy paw prints on the floor and stray hairs on the sofa."

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