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The Alternative Blog

Melissa Warnock, aka @honeybeeandhollie, has attracted a devoted following with her love for florals, colour, pattern, wallpaper and a passion for DIY. She describes designing and decorating as her ultimate source of joy, constantly experimenting with new ideas despite making occasional mistakes. For her recent upstairs renovation, she selected our gorgeous Wool Milkshake carpet. We caught up with Melissa to chat about her flooring choices, interior inspiration, and her top decorating tips.

Describe your home and who you share it with. 

I share my home with my husband and two children. We also have two cats, Millie and Megs. I live in a newish build, (a period property is the dream) and so I’m always looking for ways to add character to my very plain and uninspiring home. I try to show people how they can elevate any space by combining elements of classic design, even in a newbuild. I dream of lofty ceilings and original features but right now I use colour, pattern and texture with the aim of creating elegant and pretty spaces that also feel effortless and lived in. I am often asked what my style is and I consider it to be rooted in the classic and traditional with a whole heap of florals thrown in. I love colour, pattern and texture and am passionate about designing spaces that are pretty, but also warm and inviting.

Can you share your background and first steps into interiors? 

I am an English and Drama teacher who likes to dabble in interiors on the side. I love all things creative and have always had a huge passion for decorating and styling. I think I got my love of interiors from my mum. To this day, like me, she is always decorating and changing things around. While our style is very different we both have a huge love of colour and pattern. My mum’s preference is jewel tones, whereas I lean more toward pastels.

Melissa first used our Wool Milkshake on her landing and stairs which fits perfectly with her pastel theme.

How did you hear about Alternative?

I first stumbled across Alternative Flooring while scrolling on Instagram. I had been on the lookout for carpet for my stairs and landing and was immediately struck by the Wool Milkshake range, which is the perfect choice for pastel lovers.

Tell us about the flooring choices in your home.

My home is still a work in progress. Downstairs we have wooden floors and tiles but my preference is for carpet upstairs. I think flooring can make or break a space. At the end of 2022, I decided it was time to give my very dated stairs and landing a makeover. I couldn’t wait to replace the tired brown carpet with something much more in keeping with my colour palette.

Why did you choose Wool Milkshake for your stairs and landing? 

I was initially struck by how the Wool Milkshake collection works so well with pastel decor. It was described as ‘snuggly underfoot’. An added bonus is the carpet is beautifully soft but still hardwearing, which is important for an area like the stairs and landing. I ordered a number of samples to see how the various colours would work with my space. I have to admit I fell in love with a few colours before finally deciding on Raspberry.

Why did you feel it was important to source and buy your new carpet locally?

I feel that when it is possible it is good to support and encourage local businesses. Choosing a new carpet is a complex business and a big investment. At Glasgows of Lisburn I found it helpful to have an expert on hand to ask those all-important questions. It was great to get in-person advice on colour, size and installation.

The two Steveys from S&S Flooring Specialists

Why is it important to use experts when it comes to installation?

While I enjoy trying my hand at DIY, I recognise that when it comes to carpet installation it takes years of experience to perfect the skills and knowledge required to lay a carpet. I was delighted with the professional installation of my carpet by local carpet fitters s_sflooringspecialists It was great to be able to put my trust in experts who would ensure a precise fit and understand the intricacies of working with the material and style of the Wool Milkshake carpet I had chosen for my home. It also helps if your carpet fitters are ultra-professional, helpful and lots of fun. I will most definitely be calling on the services of Glasgows of Lisburn and the two Steveys (s_sflooringspecialists) again.

Why choose wool and is sustainability important to you? 

I was impressed that Alternative Flooring is dedicated to sustainability and has a pledge to make carpets with a conscience. Through my research, I felt assured the Wool Milkshake range was a timeless design that could be trusted to last.

Where does your interior design inspiration come from?

While my passion for interiors is rooted in a classical style I love to experiment, and in that respect, my designs can be quite playful. My design choices have been described as ‘whimsical eclectic meets traditional’. I get lots of inspiration from platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. I also buy lots of interior books and magazines. I have a particular love of colour and love dipping into colour theory, which informs a lot of what I do.
Our Wool Milkshake in Raspberry carpet flows from the landing into the bedroom creating a cohesive scheme.

Have you always had a talent for DIY, considering the amount you showcase on your social channels?

I guess I will have a go at most things and as a result, I tend to learn from trial and error. Often we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. Sometimes a challenge can lead to the most amazing discovery or design. I have always painted but during lockdown, I taught myself to wallpaper and panel and I hope I can keep learning new skills.

How do you put decorating schemes together – any tips?

I generally start with a rough idea of where I want to go and then my schemes tend to evolve along the way. As a drama teacher, I am very in the moment. I think best when I am on my feet doing and then get carried along with an idea. I guess it is the same with interiors. I think one idea begets another. I’m probably frustrated in that respect because I don’t like being restricted by having a fixed plan. I like the plan to be loose so I can add layers as I go.

Any decorating advice to share for those starting a project?

I think the most important thing is to have a go. Perfectionists never get anything done. It’s okay to experiment; do not fear failure. I have repainted over many walls, and removed wallpaper when it didn’t make my heart sing, and that is ok. The creative process is just as important as the final product- it’s the little discoveries we make along the way that can bring such joy and satisfaction.
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The Edit - home style by Alternative