Cornwall-based interior design expert, Elaine Skinner of Hops and Camellias (formerly Camellia Interiors), shares her tips for living the Cornish dream. Elaine Skinner is a creative entrepreneur with a head for business and an eye for design. Since 2003 her company has bought a world-class design aesthetic to Cornwall’s most remarkable properties, landing them on the pages of prestigious design, self-build and travel magazines.
However, it’s not all about appearance, as Elaine explains: “We want to help people enjoy the best of the Cornish lifestyle, whether they are on holiday, have just moved here, or have lived here all their lives. Our design schemes express creativity and individuality, but we match that with practical considerations. So there will be somewhere to leave your muddy boots, dry your wetsuit, and curl up in comfort on a drizzly day – because we get plenty of those in Cornwall!”
Elaine has generously shared her thoughts on interior design as we head into 2020 to help all our clients, be they buying or selling.
We also picked Elaine’s brains for inspiration for living beautifully outside the home. Here are her tips for enjoying life in Cornwall, wherever you are on the housing ladder.
Elaine’s favourite walk: “I love the circular walk along Mylor Creek to Restronguet, passing the Pandora Inn before turning back inland and returning to Mylor Bridge. Half way around there is a rope swing over the water – we always persuade one of the family to do this and it invariably ends with a soaking! The Pandora is just such an idyllic spot; having lunch on the jetty in the summer is heaven.”
Elaine’s recommended shopping experience: “Although Truro is a small city it has many great independent shops. I love Busby & Fox for clothes and accessories. The selection is eclectic and offers a nice balance of everyday wear and statement pieces for special occasions. For home furnishings I’m a big fan of Illustrated Living in Lemon Street Market. Again the selection is inspired – quirky and individual without being slavishly trendy – and I love the mix of textures I always find here. The service is also excellent, something I really value.”
Elaine’s favourite spot for a special lunch: “It’s a family tradition to go to Porthminster Beach Cafe in St Ives for Mother’s Day, and at any other time we want to celebrate! The setting is spectacular with great views over the whole of St Ives Bay, and the menu is packed with local seafood and fresh ingredients grown in the coastal kitchen garden behind the restaurant. My favourite dish is the Monkfish Curry; sublime!”
Cornish food and drink Elaine couldn’t do without: “I love Yarg Cheese, which is made by Lynher Dairy near Ponsanooth. We always have a big wheel of this for our cheeseboard at Christmas. With my husband being a Brewer, I couldn’t help but choose one of his many beers! I love Sennen, a session ale (3.8%) which is zesty and refreshing and perfect with seafood. Beer and food pairing is becoming much more prominent but I think there is still a way to go to realise the potential.”
Elaine’s tip for relaxing in the great outdoors: “I have three horses and riding is my down-time. We live close to Truro just off the A30, but it’s very secluded and rural so the riding is fabulous. Running your own business is challenging – I’m always project managing in my head, thinking through concepts and coming up with design solutions. However when I’m with the horses I’m totally focused on that, so my brain has a break from work flows, concept boards and budgets. It’s really important to have this kind of outlet for your mental wellbeing and Cornwall provides endless opportunities for these therapeutic encounters with nature.
We hope you enjoyed this article, and if you want to read more, check out our article 2020 Design Trends with Elaine Skinner.