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Welcome home

Written by Kate Thompson

In the tradition of ‘Through the Keyhole,’ we are encouraging residents with beautiful, different and downright quirky abodes to throw open their doors to Southsea Lifestyle readers and share how they have made their mark on their home…

ECLECTIC is a tricky look to pull-off, but interior designer Lesley Taylor’s practised eye ensures her Southsea home is the perfect backdrop for her ‘60s and ‘70s design artefacts.

“There are no right angles in this house – the whole top end of the road is on a skew. When I moved here I needed more space and that meant I had to buy more furniture.

“Luckily Southsea is great for picking up bargains. I went to Fawcett Road and Highland Road and got some really quirky bits and the look has just evolved from there,” she explained.

Put ting old with new and overlaying a smattering of treasured items is key to creating rooms that have harmony and Lesley admits she likes to encourage her clients to inject some personality into their living space.

“Some people just want a white box (although there aren’t that many in Southsea). I work with commercial clients such as the Seacrest Hotel and I like to think I help them to bring their character into the interior,” she said.

More than just making rooms look perfect, Lesley’s study of interior design has helped her to embrace the concept of material culture and how you can understand so much about a person through the clothes they wear and the space they call home.

Ask Lesley what’s the one article she would save in (God forbid) the event of fire and without missing a beat she replies. “My framed photo of Leslie Phillips.

“He was appearing at the Kings Theatre in the 50s and my mum snuck up the back stairs and knocked on his dressing room door.

“He opened it and stood there in his dressing gown, while my Mum (who’s sadly no longer with us) took his photo,” she said.


“Eclectic can be quite boring if you put 12 empty frames on the wall – so I advise people to put some personality into their rooms. Mix new and second hand frames and include a photo or drawing that really means something to you.”

Posted in: Articles, Home & Garden