At the heart of my work is a personal story of a life lived in colour

My own aesthetic narrative

At the heart of my work is a personal story — the confluence of my English-Italian heritage, design, culture, history — and a desire to put these into a body of work that celebrates emotion through colour and form. I call this celebration an ‘aesthetic narrative’.

When I’m working, I bring a multi-disciplined and intuitive approach to understanding and reading colour — relative to light, purpose and intention, and how a colour combination can best work for you.

I aim to help you find the right colours for your own aesthetic narrative.

Fiona de Lys upstairs landing
Fiona de Lys bathroom colour

Experiencing colour

Although ever-present throughout my life, the influence of colour has never been felt more than when at home.

For over three decades, I have renovated homes, and it was during the loving restoration of my dilapidated Grade II Georgian cottage, that I learned to observe, listen to and understand the soul of the space.

This time spent restoring taught me how to commune with a building, and read the movement of light and shade. An intuitive feel for the relationship between colour, light and atmosphere began to emerge.

The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter in the eye.”

Charlotte Brontë

Harnessing colour

My aesthetic naturally gravitates to an experience beyond the purely visual — incorporating depth, art and place — and so I look to influences outside my immediate environment to research and observe the use of colour. This has gifted me the ability to harness colour in an immersive, 3D way. I am particularly interested in sculpture, painting, trompe l’œil and De Stijl.

Eastern traditions, the precepts of wabi sabi, shadow and light, and Kinsugi, deepen my approach to aesthetics and atmosphere.

Trompe l’oeil colour palette
Floral bouquet

Nourished by nature

As a former florist, the ebb and flow of seasonal colours remain a constant source of inspiration for me, as do skies, seas, and landscapes, but my grasp of the synergy between colour, nature and design began in my childhood Arts & Crafts home, rich with vernacular textiles, patterns and handicrafts.

Colourful collaborations

Establishing my creative practice has meant combining years of industry experience and research, resulting in working partnerships with interior designers, and the UK press, including House & Garden, The English Home, Homes & Gardens, Marie Claire and The Times Magazine.

Parallel to my colour work is my passion for antique preserving vessels — a signature style — whilst my former career as an event florist saw my work used at some of North London’s most historic venues that include The Ritz, The Langham, Kenwood House and Burgh House.

Fiona de Lys, interior colour consultant, holding a range of paint colour cards

Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

Thrival Interiors

“Fiona has an innate, highly developed and deep understanding of aesthetics and colour curation. It’s always a pleasure collaborating with her when styling a project or creating a colour scheme.”

Rachael Smith photography

“Fiona really gets the essence of the home she’s in. I have worked with her on several magazine shoots and each one has been an absolute pleasure. A calm, fabulous stylist who adds the finishing touches perfectly. She is an absolute gem!”

Claudia, private client

“Your understanding of how I wanted to connect with the rooms in my home exceeded my expectations. The observations you made about what is important to me in my life, based on my decor, was spot on. Somehow you managed to bring everything together for a fully considered look after our interior designer finished her work!”

Davina, client of Edward Bulmer Natural Paint

“Fiona’s knowledge of colours and how they work in a room was astounding and beyond helpful. We love the selection she’s made and are really looking forward to the paint cards, as well as starting the paint job.”

Mary Ann & Amy, private clients

“Fiona was so amazing to work with. She helped transform a rather dull and plain Hampstead flat. Her creativity and ingenuity, knowing just what to do and where, was spectacular to witness!”

Andrea Galer, The London Film Fashion Centre

“Wonderful work and I very much enjoy collaborating on projects with her.”

Chantal Gelb

“We were thrilled with Fiona’s service. She unlocked our aesthetic narrative and guided us toward a palette of colours we wouldn’t have had the confidence to choose, and we absolutely love it. She brings an innate perceptiveness, attention to detail and understanding of colour, with extensive knowhow and experience.”

Jo Elliot

“Within an hour of arriving at the house, Fiona had analysed the structural detailing and lighting plan of our cottage. After listening patiently to my haphazard thoughts, she helped plan the entire paint scheme brilliantly, whilst considering how colours respond to light throughout the morning. I was thrilled with her choices. Her help was invaluable.”

Josephine Corbett

“Joy. Thank you so much for today. It really was such a treat for me and I feel so excited getting it all done. I’m even warming to the lavender in the kitchen — the sky was full of it this evening, and I started noticing it everywhere! All so exciting. Thank you.”

Private client

“Fiona is a marvel. Her colours come together in a beautiful symphony. She really takes the time to consider the narrative of a home and its inhabitants to conjure a beautiful palette fit for their story. We had such a fun morning building the layers; it was a treat to see it all come together under her expert eye.”