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The Alternative Blog

Interior Designer Terian Tilston

I’m Terian, an interior designer, maker, DIYer and all-round creative sort! I live in St. Andrews, Fife in Scotland with my two kids and husband in our very colourful home. I am the owner and lead designer of design studio Terian Tilston Interior Design, an interior design studio creating happy, functional and affordable spaces.

Alternative Q&A’s

Describe your home and how it makes you feel.

My home is a very colourful fun and inspiring space filled with memories and things which bring us joy. It’s my sanctuary. A space I feel totally at peace in and happy.

Tell us about your renovation project.

We have lived in this house for about four years now and I have been on a mission since we moved in, to create a unique supportive space for our family. I have carried out the majority of the work in the house myself to keep costs down, but also because I just really enjoy being creative in our home. You will mainly find me in the evenings with a paint brush painting something/ everything….

Alternative’s Wool Rock ‘n’ Roll Parklife staircarpet as seen Terian Tilston’s home


What do you like about Alternative?

There is so much I love about Alternative. I have been using Alternative’s products on client projects since I started my interiors business because the quality was exceptional. I love the vast choice of flooring on offer there. There is always something for every project I have and I love that there is an option to build your own rug and stair runner!  It was also important for my business to work with suppliers that shared the same values as me in terms of our responsibility as businesses to do what we can to protect the environment.

Talk to us about flooring choices…

When choosing flooring you really need to think how the space is going to be used on a day-to-day basis and who will be using the space. For instance, in a family home with kids, spaces that have high traffic, such as stairs and hallways, you should consider materials that will be super durable and resilient to heavy use. Ultimately of course you will want something that looks great in the space, but the look alone shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Good quality flooring is an investment after all.

Alternative’s Wool Rock ‘n’ Roll Parklife staircarpet as seen Terian Tilston’s home

Why an Alternative stripe for your stairs?

My signature design style is using neutrals with pops of bold colours. I wanted to create this feel in the hall as well. I deliberately kept our walls neutral with bold accent colours coming from pieces of upcycled furniture art and accessories. I chose a stripe for the stairs as the real show stopper. Each of the stripe colours is a colour from my home colour palette, so when you walk into my hall, the striped carpet is almost like an introduction of the colour scheme you will expect to see in the rest of the house.

I am also a bit of a rebel when it comes to design (Ha!) and love to go against the grain. A striped carpet is a real statement, which pretty much echoes the rest of our home really.

How helpful was Alternative’s online visualiser ‘Show Me My Room’ for your flooring choice?

The online Show Me My Room visualiser was so useful when designing this space especially because I was using a heavily patterned carpet. I needed to see how busy the space would be and to check how the colours sat in the hall. It also helped to convince my husband who was unsure about such a bold choice at first, before seeing it on Show Me My Room.

Show Me My Room – Alternative’s online visualiser

Do you like to make a statement in hallways?

It depends on the client brief really and how they would like to feel when they walk into their home. For my home however, I wanted to feel happy and inspired as soon as I walked into the house. I have used a strong injection of colour pops to achieve this.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

My design inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere that reminds me of fun happy times really, but I would say my love of bold colour comes from my childhood and memories of visiting my granny’s home in Trinidad. I remember her garden always being full of the most beautifully bold and bright tropical flowers with their rounded petals contrasting with the texture of the coconut trees.

How do you put decorating schemes together?

I always start with exploring how the client wants to feel when they are in the space. This will dictate the colours I go to and textures I introduce into the space. I’ll start with pulling together a moodboard, which is usually a collection of inspirational images and colours that represent how we want the space to look and feel. This really helps as well to be able to see if a scheme will flow well.

A digital inspiration moodboard by Terian Tilston Interior Design

Do you find Instagram or Pinterest helpful?

Both Instagram and Pinterest are really helpful when looking for inspirational images and discussing design styles with clients. We are able to look at real homes and clients are able to use these images to explain what styles are they are drawn to.

Why hire an interior designer?

There are so many reasons to hire a designer. We all deserve to have a space around us which makes us feel happy and safe and that functions well for our needs but we lead such busy lives, so often we struggle with finding the time to properly think through a cohesive design which sticks to a budget we are comfortable with and which achieves the feel and look we are wanting. What often happens is money is blindly thrown on a space which hasn’t been thought through and this often leads to waste. An interior designer can save you money in the long term by working with you to work out how you need the space to work for you and how you want to feel when you are in your space. A designer can then pull together a well thought out design scheme within your budget, sourcing items that work well practically for the space rather than just to fill a space.

Alternative’s Wool Rock ‘n’ Roll Parklife staircarpet as seen Terian Tilston’s home

Describe your style in three words…

Fun, happy, colourful!

Next big thing for interiors?

Pattern! For a long time now, we have been shying away from pattern but I really feel it has made a comeback in a big way. Pattern used within design schemes really helps to give schemes depth and life.

Alternative’s Wool Rock ‘n’ Roll Parklife staircarpet as seen Terian Tilston’s home

Alternative Make Me A Rug and Runner


Make Me A Rug is an award-winning online service that lets you create your own personalised rug to enhance your home. This easy-to-use service inspires us all to design a rug that suits our individual space and taste.  If you want to order your rug online, your chosen rug can be delivered to your nearest Alternative Flooring retailer with the

Click ‘n’ Collect option.

1 Comment
  1. amazing article. very useful content .Nourish your home with a beautiful carpet. Get a beautiful carpet for your home that will make your living space more inviting. The carpet will protect your floors and make them easier to clean. It will also make your home feel more comfortable and less cold.

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