Interview With Molly Coath
In this week’s blog, I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Molly Coath. Molly is a very special Interior Designer, who has recently been a contestant on Series 3 of the Interior Design Masters show on BBC1.
Molly’s style is very much aligned with Proven-Salle’s values as she loves to find special, unique and sustainable pieces. Molly has bought from Proven-Salle in the past and has kindly allowed us to share some of her designs with you in this interview.
Read on to find out more about Molly and her work, along with her experience as a contestant on BBC1’s Interior Design Masters in Spring 2022….
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Molly, anyone who knows me calls me Moll. I am a professional interior designer and I have been running my own freelance company for over 3 years. I have a passion for all things creative and believe that making someone’s home their haven is the most important thing. My design style is classic eccentric: I love traditional, opulent design with a bold, botanical edge.
2. Did you always think you would be an Interior Designer?
I have known since a young age that I wanted to be an interior designer. However when I was really young (back in school) I always wanted to be a fashion designer. More specifically, costume design. I have always LOVED the art of extravagant clothing and how you can express yourself through a garment. I couldn’t think of anything finer than designing pieces of outlandish, crazy art that people could wear. However, after a short time working in fashion for a luxury handbag company in London, I decided it wasn’t for me and at the age of 18 I got my first full-time job as a professional interior designer. At that point, I realised it was what I was supposed to do. I was lucky enough to get my dream job and discover my true passion and natural talent at such a young age. Plus, I can still express myself through fashion - just by wearing crazy clothes myself!
3. What made you decide to go on the BBC’s Interior Design Masters?
They were taking applicants for Season 3 of Interior Design Masters during the pandemic and at this time my full-time job in interiors had gone bust and all of my freelance projects and renovations had also concluded. So, I found myself, like many of us at this difficult time, taking a temporary job in an office (not exactly my passion). Several friends and strangers messaged me and encouraged me to apply and I simply thought, “what have I got to lose!?”.
4. What was your response when they said you’d got through to the show (and how did you keep it a secret for so long)?
After applying, I never thought I’d actually get on the show in a million years as thousands of people apply. Then, one day, when I was depressingly stamping relentless invoices, I got THE CALL from a producer who said, “Well Molly Coath from MoCo Interior, welcome to Series 3 of Interior Design Masters”. The shock and joy was a feeling I will never forget. I told my nearest and dearest (so close friends and family) and the majority of them cried. We're a very emotional "wear your heart on your sleeve" sort of bunch. I have such supportive people around me and they were all so delighted and proud. It was very hard to keep quiet as it was such a huge part of our lives. The day we could share the new contestants on social media felt like a weight had been lifted.
5. Were you nervous about meeting so much interior design royalty and who was your favourite judge?
To be honest, I was in a constant state of shock and felt like it was all such a whirlwind that I didn’t have time to be nervous or worry. Plus they’re all just people at the end of the day and LOVELY people at that. I’m afraid it’s too difficult to choose a guest judge but I can narrow it down to 3! Matthew Williamson was a wonderful, genuine and honest man – he gave us exceptional advise and was super down-to-earth and personable. I have always admired Sophie Robinson and had her on a bit of a pedestal (so when I met her I had a slight ‘fan girl’ moment!). And it’s safe to say her personality is as fun and colourful as her vibrant Interior taste. And finally, I have been watching Mary Portas on my TV since I was a kid so to meet her, and for her to be so complimentary of my branding and shop design behind the scenes, meant the world.
6. How would you describe your design style?
Eccentric. Eclectic. Classic. I like traditional, characterful design with bold botanical, rich and opulent elements. I tend to edge on dark and moody wallpapers and enjoy anything with a bit of an unexpected edge.
7. What did you learn from the show and has your design style changed as a result?
I learned TONNES from the show. Not only from a design style perspective but from a practical and personal perspective too. When it comes to my design style, it has certainly evolved: I learned to stick with my gut and how to enhance and better my designs with more warmth, layering and texture. I have always thrifted and sourced one-of-a-kind, eclectic antique pieces for my own home but often refrained from doing this in my clients' spaces. I don’t know why! So now I bring that into my professional work, too. Aside from that, I learned how to upholster, tightened up my practical sewing and painting skills and emotionally grew as a person. I learned to not put myself down all the time and trust that I am a talented designer through the supportive words of my fellow contestants. For that I am forever grateful.
8. What are your key interior style principles?
My main priority when designing is creating a comfortable, cosy and layered space for my client, which is personal and bespoke to just them. At the end of the day, the one thing we all have in common is the fact that we’re all different and we should embrace that and I like to reflect that in each individual project that I do.
9. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Here, there and everywhere. It sounds very ‘hippy’ of me but my mum has always taught me that there is beauty everywhere and you’ve just got to look for it. For colour palettes, I look to nature A LOT as if it’s good enough for Mother Nature, it’s good enough for me. Other than that I tend to base my initial inspiration around my client. For example, I find a personal piece of art or interest that is unique to them and then build my design around that one piece of print and pattern. The design then tends to naturally evolve from there.
10. What are the 3 main trends that you predict over the next year?
I’ll be honest – I tend to not follow trends as generally they are temporary and I like to design from a more ‘timeless’ perspective and choose things that never date BUT I will share 3 tends that I HOPE to see over the next year:
- COLOUR: Bring more colour and vibrancy into our homes. "India Yellow" from Farrow and Ball is one paint colour I expect (and hope!) to see EVERYWHERE to bring some sunshine into our homes;
- BUSY WALLPAPER: I hope people stop being afraid of that bold feature wall they’re always tempted by and just go for it – enough blank walls; and
- NATURAL TEXTURES: Bring the outside in with organic woods, rustic baskets, natural woven materials. This simply elevates and gives depth, warmth, texture and a cosy feel to any space.
11. What would your dream design project be?
I prefer residential design to commercial design as you get to have a one-on-one connection with your direct client. Aside from doing a super-extravagant characterful house for someone quirky, like Noel Fielding or Paloma Faith, I have dreams and desires to renovate huge, stylish cocktail bars, restaurants and pubs all over the country.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring interior designers, who currently have another full-time job but dare not fully take the leap into design?
I would say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have been there and it is super daunting. Plus, it's quite a crowded, competitive market. You will only know whether you have the true drive and passion when you are completely dedicated to it in ANY spare time that you have. For years I worked other jobs and every single evening I worked until the early hours, creating mood boards and designs for pretend clients, teaching myself how to use CAD, Photoshop, Sketchup and any other packages I could get my hands on. I'd contact everyone or anyone who could give me advise or whom I could potentially work with. Once you start doing that then my advice would be COMMIT and take that jump. Anything worthwhile is worth the gamble. High risk equals high reward!
13. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ve pretty much just covered it. It’s difficult when your job is your passion. The famous phrase is, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, which is absolutely true. However, this also means that when your most-loved hobby is also your job, you never stop working! I don’t mind this and I do break it up with time spent with friends and family, going to arty events, thrift shopping and sourcing around reclamation yards. And going to the pub with friends.
14. What current Proven-Salle product is your favourite?
Easy question: a chair that I’m absolutely IN LOVE with AND am hoping to use in a project I’m currently working on. It's the Nordic Style Rattan Chair. It is all the things I love: the shape of it is cool, relaxed, deep and low. The rattan material is a gorgeous texture and it is a lovely piece, which I picture in a cosy snug corner with a squishy cushion and soft throw draped over the arm.
15. Name 3 Proven-Salle products you would feature in an upcoming project.
Aside from the rattan chair mentioned above, I intend on purchasing the botanical velvet cushion, the botanical Eden cushion and the stone table lamp. These are all for a traditional town house that I’m currently working on.
16. What's next for you?
I have a lot of bits and pieces in the pipe line: some fun Interior Design jobs, product and fabric collaborations and I have recently launched my first product range on my website . I'm also developing a digital mood board course for fellow designers.
You can find Molly Coath here: