Jacqueline Mercer (@tinyandthehouse) is a fashion designer and interior stylist living in North London with her family and cat Tiny. As an eclectic maximalist who buys what she loves, not what she thinks is on trend, she finds joy in decorating, rearranging, and gardening both indoors and outdoors. Read on for Jacqueline's take on planterior design and her essential advice for sprucing up your home!
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
I work in the fashion industry as a shoe designer. I design and produce ladies' shoes for the UK high street. I’ve been doing this for the last 15 years and I love it. It's a great job that has allowed me to travel the world for both shopping and production. Travelling so much has really opened up my mind in regards to design, not just in fashion but also interiors. I got to shop London, Paris, New York, and Hong Kong, so I’ve been exposed to amazing shops, restaurants and hotel interiors. For me, fashion and interiors go hand in hand. I get inspiration for shoes and interiors from each other, as well as ideas for colour palettes, materials, finishes - it just happens naturally. I have always been really passionate about interiors so now I'm trying make time to turn my attention to offering interior design/styling. I now offer interior styling and interior design and I would love this to be a big part of my job going forward. And perhaps my sole job when I’m too old for the fashion industry haha.
I’m not sure why I love plants so much; I’m going to put it down to growing up in Northern Ireland. I’m from the west of the island where it’s especially lush and green. Greenery just seems to make me feel relaxed. I love looking at plants and caring for them. It feels like you are really nurturing something. I like to add greenery to spaces that need a bit of life, and it’s also a really great way to decorate without decorating. You don’t have to paint, make a mess, and you can move them about, change the pots - it’s a really easy way to change up your room. I move my plants around a lot, sometimes because of the time of year, sometimes because I just feel like it.
I love all the Wally products, and I was tempted to go for the Wally Pro Pockets because I am obsessed with making a living wall; it’s a project I’ve been working on in my mind since we moved in. I went for the Wally Eco in the end because of the fact it would not leak water onto the wall, it’s really simple to water, and it’s really easy to install. I would love to start a kitchen garden inside all year round so I think these pots will be perfect for that. I also love the advice given on how to space the pots on the wall depending on the look or the coverage you are going for. I’m wondering if I can fit more in my kitchen next, or maybe even my bathroom….
Haha good question. Since Martha has arrived, I’ve hit pause on some work I want to do to the house and there is an element of thinking about practicality. I love colour, I love pattern, I love lots of art in the house so I think it’s a good house for a child. It’s quite sensory if you think about it. She loves all the artwork and the ornaments I've collected and we regularly walk around the house together looking and talking about it. I hope it will be good for her observational skills, she might even be a designer herself one day. So if anything it might encourage me to embrace it more. We papered her room in an amazing woodland wallpaper which was 100% me indulging myself, but now I can see her starting to look at it and smile and wave at the animals which is really lovely. I have designed our house to be practical as well as stylish, you can’t live in a home which is magazine ready all the time, so we have really thought about our storage in the living areas so all the toys can be put away. I am guilty of also buying toys I find aesthetically pleasing, so let’s see how long I can get away with that.
What works for me is a neutral background, and adding detail with colour pops. If your walls and floors are simple, you can really play with what’s in your home so it doesn’t have to be such a commitment. Colourful cushions, vases, artwork and, of course, plants - these can be changed with the seasons if I want to change it as frequently as that. I’m also really into “shopping” my home as people call it - I move things around from room to room. These little things can really help if you are on a budget but just feel like a change.
Thanks to Jacqueline for sharing her story and her methods with us! See her work on social media: