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Pushing the interior design boundaries with Abigail Ahern

Known for her dark inky hues and fabulous faux flowers Abigail Ahern is a master at pushing the boundaries of interior design. The high priestess of interiors encourages us to rip up the design rule book and embrace our own style. Abigail founded her business in 2003 and her London boutique is now regarded as one of the coolest places to shop by none other than Elle Decoration.  Today, Abigail has amassed followers from all over the globe who love her eclectic interior accessories, faux plants (you really can’t tell the difference from the real thing), bestselling books and highly regarded blog (a great read for insider tips). 

You have been asked this probably a thousand times before but how would you describe your style?

In a nutshell, a bit of grit and a dollop of glamour. I’m obsessed with interiors and push the boundaries to totally reinvent spaces to inspire. Dark colours have transformed my home (and my life!) forever. They’re cocooning, glamorous, flattering, masculine and edgy. Once you convert to the dark side, there’s no going back. 

Dark colours feature heavily in your signature style, has that always been the case? What first inspired you to use a darker palette?

Dark colours are certainly my thing. However, moody hues were not always my first colours of choice. I was instantly hooked when I painted one of the walls in my office space, and I haven’t looked back.  

 Many people are nervous of dark colours. Do you have any hints or tips for the decorator who is thinking of moving over to the dark side of interiors?

Colour is so very personal. So, if you have no idea where to start on your colour scheme, the best, simplest advice I can give you is to follow your gut. My advice would be to paint out a whole wall, and live with that for a few days to see how you feel about it, and how it looks in every light. 

How did Abigail Ahern the person become Abigail Ahern the brand?

It kind of grew organically. The AA brand is all me – it’s all the things I love in one, and then I got these amazing followers who gave me the chance to grow the business. 

Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections?

Lots of my inspiration comes from everything around me. Mostly, I would say it comes from my travels. 

What has been your proudest moment so far?

Tough one. I think one of them was certainly me when I opened my first ever store – such a proud moment. October 2017 was also a big month of change here at AA. We’ve opened in Shanghai and both London stores have had massive revamps and now look cooler and more enticing than ever.

What can we expect to see from Abigail Ahern in the future?

Lots! We have SO much going on at the moment. We are opening a new store in China and have lots of exciting new ideas for our fabulous faux botanicals range. Watch this space. 

Finally, as 2017 draws to a close, what’s your biggest interior trend prediction for 2018?

I’ve never been one to follow trends, but I think there is going to be a lot more focus on how interior design makes you feel, rather than exactly what it looks like. You don’t necessarily have to follow trends or worry about what is hot or not just follow your heart. I  think that pushing the boundaries will totally reinvent your pad, turning it into a space you will never want to leave.

Interview by: Rachel Edmonds

This article was first published in ESTILA Vol 5/2017.

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