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Boho glam interiors: styled by Melanie Boyden

For the latest in our ‘styled by’ series, we sat down with home-decor obsessed full-time mum Melanie Boyden, who has taken the interior world by storm with her beautifully eclectic and bohemian style. Although Melanie’s style may have changed since her first venture into interior design as a teenager, her passion and enthusiasm has remained, and she now runs a successful blog alongside her stunning Instagram page (@melaniejadedesigns), with plenty of plans for the future too.

Describing her style as “eclectic bohemian glam with a bit of biophilic design thrown in!“, we have long been fans of Melanie’s love for bold prints, floral wallpapers, rich textures and jewel tones so we couldn’t wait to sit down and chat about all things home – from her foray into the world of interiors on Instagram to her advice and style tips on how to style a space, and how she copes with having velvet sofas in a family home! 

Melanie Boyden: the queen of boho glamour

When did you first develop your passion for interior style?

I have always been extremely interested in interior design for as long as I can remember, from being a teenager decorating my own bedroom for the first time to buying our home 3 years ago and taking on a complete renovation. We initially bought it to do up and sell on so it was finished with white walls and very plain interiors, but we fell in love with the property, and over the last 2 years I have completely re-decorated it and added my own style.

You’ve just reached 100k followers on Instagram, when did you decide to start using it to document your interior style?

I had an Instagram account for years but never really used it. When we bought our house, I was a stay at home mum, living in a completely new area, with a renovation to oversee. I was using Pinterest for interiors inspiration, and the images would often take me to Instagram. I discovered a huge community of interior obsessives like myself on there, and I started posting pictures of our renovation process. Being a stay at home mum in a new area can often be extremely lonely, so the friendships I built on Instagram and the wonderful advice people gave me helped me out immensely.

Do you have a favourite room in your home and why?

I do love my kitchen but it would have to be my living room. I absolutely adore our dark green wall in there, the beautiful colour just makes my heart sing. And of course we have our Mabel sofa in Jade smart velvet, and Izzy sofa in Orchid cotton matt velvet in this room too, they both get a lot of compliments! We are lucky enough to have a dedicated playroom in our house so our living room only gets used in the evening. It is wonderful to cosy up in this room once the kids are in bed and there is no kids paraphernalia (lego, I’m looking at you!) to tidy up.

What made you choose these particular styles and fabrics from sofa.com?

When looking for my first sofa.com sofa, I was looking for a button back style. I ended up choosing the Mabel design, which not only has the button back I was looking for, but is also extremely comfortable. When it came to choosing a fabric, I knew that the sofa would be sat in our living room, and we have a gorgeous green wall there, so the sofa needed to complement this. I chose the Jade smart velvet in the end, I’ve always loved green velvet sofas and they are extremely popular on Instagram too!

Mabel 3 seat sofa in our clever Jade smart velvet

We decided it was time to replace our old sofa, which was still in the lounge. The sofa would need to fit in a smaller space, and I knew immediately that Izzy was the style I wanted – a beautifully classic design. At first, I was considering the Olive cotton matt velvet, as its one of my favourite colours, but decided that there would be too much green in the room. I visited the Guildford sofa.com showroom to look at fabrics in more details, where I was tempted by the Butterscotch cotton matt velvet, because it would complement our sunflower tile hearth. However, with the help of the wonderful showroom team, we paired the Orchid cotton matt velvet with the Jade smart velvet (the fabric on our existing Mabel sofa), added a couple of wonderful Lucy Tiffney cushions, and I was sold! 

Izzy sofa in Orchid cotton matt velvet, styled with Lucy Tiffney scatter cushions

I was still completely in love with the Olive cotton matt velvet, so started looking for a way in which I could incorporate it into my home. I thought about updating our current bed in the master bedroom, but we desperately needed a new sofabed for our playroom – an essential for the occasional guests and sleepovers! The Bluebell range of sofas is one of my favourite designs, with its classic yet extremely comfortable design, and once I discovered that the Bluebell sofa was also available as a sofabed, I was sold! 

Bluebell 2 seat sofa bed in Olive cotton matt velvet

How do you typically approach styling a space?

It’s all about the features! My first step is to look at a room and decide what the main feature of the room is going to be, and then build my design around that. For example, we have a working fireplace in there with a sunflower tiled hearth, so initially I knew the room was going to be green and yellow to complement this. I love emerald green, so I painted the wall this colour and the rest of the room was built around that, including an injection of green from a number of houseplants. The best way to approach a room is to work out what is your favourite piece in the room and build everything up around that – it could be a sofa, rug or even something as simple as a framed print.

Start with a key feature that you love, and style the rest of the room around that

Do you have any styling tips for adding velvet to a family home?

Lots of throws! We have a strict rule of no food on the sofas (for the kids, anyway!) and if they want to have a drink whilst watching TV, we always put it in a water bottle. My daughter is absolutely notorious for spilling things so I tend to put her in the bathtub if she wants to have anything to eat and drink…. Ha, only kidding! If anything does spill, velvet is actually really easy to clean, particularly if you opt for sofa.com’s smart velvets, such as the Jade smart velvet on our Mabel sofa – they have a special durable coating that ensures spillages don’t soak into the material as quickly. I tend to use a tea towel to blot the water and it dries up pretty quickly. 

Velvet sofas aren’t off limits for families… just ask our smart velvets!

Do you think you’ll ever switch to a career in interiors full time?

I am actually in the process of doing the switch! Now that my children are in full time education, I am studying a Diploma in Interior Design, and I am just about to launch an Interior Design and Styling service on my blog. This has been my aim for about 2 years, but confidence kept pushing me back! I’ve spoken to several professional Interior Designers, who have all said I definitely have the eye for interior design and they’re all just winging it – so what am I waiting for? 

What does 2020 have in store for you?

This year has already been quite an exciting one for me and I have lots of projects in the house coming up. I am creating a room set for Emma J Shipley with her new Wilderie collection – this will be showcased at the Style Library in Chelsea Harbour and will then move to the London Design Show, and I am extremely excited! It shows how far I have come, as I think if I had been asked to do this only a year ago, I would probably have lacked the confidence to do it!

I am also going to concentrate on finishing my interior design course and photography skills – I would like to get my Interior Design business up and running as soon as possible. But mainly, I just want to keep learning, having fun and chatting to all my fabulous followers and friends on Instagram!


Love Melanie’s Boho Glamour interior style? Get the look!

1. Lucy Tiffney Frond scatter cushion in Dusk, 2. Lucy Tiffney Palm Tree scatter cushion in Dawn, 3. Izzy 2 seat sofa in Orchid cotton matt velvet, 4. Chaplin coffee table, 5. Gable TV unit, 6. Beaumont rug in Grey Marl, 7. Fez rug in Orion, 8. Mabel 3 seat sofa in Jade smart velvet.

Follow Melanie’s Instagram account @melaniejadedesigns to keep up to date on her latest interior style.

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