Francesca Rowan-Plowden is an interior designer, TV presenter and owner of a homestore ( who’s dream project would be a French chateau hotel; she’s well equipped for a job of that profile, having won best Historic Home Interior Design Firm and being nominated for Homes & Gardens Best Commercial Interiors for her design at Elmley Nature Reserve.

I’m currently working with BBC producers on an upcoming project…”

Francesca Rowan Plowden

Based in the South East of England, Francesca fell into the interiors business through having lived in a National Trust property; her own home interiors received a great deal of press leading to contacts approaching her to design their homes, projects and developments. Her most notable schemes to date have been The Georgian Stately Home, Goodnestone Park, Battel Hall – a 14th Century Manor House at Leeds Castle – plus Kingshill Farmhouse Hotel at Elmley Nature Reserve which was recently featured in Channel 4’s ‘Extraordinary Escapes’. Occasionally Francesca will work overseas, either in the United States or France. Here we discuss inspirations, challenges and goals for the future…

I love working with Fenwick & Tilbrook paints, Farrow & Ball, Lewis & Wood, Colefax & Fowler, Morris & Co, Romo Linens, Zoe Glencross, Jim Lawrence lighting, Corston Architectural and Fired Earth…“

Francesca Rowan Plowden

NS: “When decorating a traditional property, where do you most often find inspiration?”

FRP: “I grew up in a house full of beautiful fabrics as my mother was a fashion textile designer, so I always refer to fashions old and new for inspiration, both in interiors and clothes.  The two I believe are so intwined, history often repeating itself in styles and trends. The beautiful prints, fashions and architecture of Libertys in London is also a first stop if I’m looking for a burst of inspiration. I do enjoy telling a story, bringing a property into it’s next chapter…”

Inspirations: Interiors wise, I’m a huge fan of John Fowler, Ben Pentreath, Nicola Harding and Kit Kemp – and one day, I’d love to work with Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs…“

Francesca Rowan Plowden

NS: “You’ve undertaken quite a few major renovations and historical properties generally come with quite a few issues to overcome; which would you say has been your most challenging project?”

FRP: “The Leeds Castle project was rather challenging considering the age and extraordinary history of the project; as we restored and renovated, we kept discovering aspects like old fireplaces and medieval niches, and hence kept having to redesign schemes to incorporate them…”  

My children keep me going through tough times; I have four sons who are my reasons for everything…“

Francesca Rowan Plowden

NS: “What advice would you give an up and coming designer?“

FRP: “Find your own unique style.  People need to be inspired; they want to see something they like that stands out yet they can still relate to. Understand your client and show them how you can create what they want through your style…”


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