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A flourish of style and insight

Words by Rebecca Hawkey


Refurbishing your home needn’t be daunting when you have an expert team beside you.


The concept of interior design is one that harks back to way beyond our time. If we strip it back to something simple, the idea of creating functional and comfortable living spaces using the resources available has been around since the first Stone Age, if not before. The placement of the firepit, where families would sleep, and where to keep cooking pots and utensils, are all such basic notions of day-to-day life that have now evolved into what we call interior design today.

It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that interior design began to emerge as a potential career path, mostly, if not solely, for women. Fast-forward to the present day and such professions have saturated modern life. Interior designers today are seen as artists, crafters and makers that transform a once dull and lifeless space into a room that is bursting with colour, texture and pattern whilst still retaining remarkable functionality.


Emphasis is placed on seemingly unimportant elements of the home, areas that one wouldn’t usually think to elaborate on. A plethora of questions are now asked of homeowners, like do you have carpet, tile or wood flooring? Do you want a rug to go with that? Will it be wallpaper, paint or tiled walls? Will you have art on the walls, sculptures on the floor, and trinkets adorning shelves and window sills? How will you dress these windows, as you can choose from curtains, blinds, shutters or nothing at all! The choices are now endless, and can seem like a daunting task for anyone, let alone those who have little to no design eye. Luckily for Cornwall, we have the Cotton Mills Design House on hand to help with at least one element of this process, not to mention their expertise in all areas of interior design.

Located in the heart of Truro city centre here in Cornwall, this highly regarded design house specialises in the production of predominantly bespoke, hand-sewn curtains and window dressings. The range includes blinds as well as shutters and all of our window treatments are made in local work rooms. Because of this, they are able to support local businesses and creatives, it also means their finish standard is exceptionally high. The quality of the products and materials that the team source is only the best, and this is something that is so very important to Owner and Creative Director Helen Grundy-Smith.

Helen started her career as a stewardess, working aboard superyachts from the age of just 18. She is no stranger to luxury abodes, be it on sea or on land, and after 12 years on the water Helen created a home on terra firma to begin her career in interior design. Her love for soft furnishings made from rich, stunning fabrics from across the world, paired with her keen eye for detail, led her to manage several private interior projects. After building up her portfolio of clients, this inevitably inspired her to purchase Cotton Mills Design House, which she runs to this day, supplying homes across the Duchy with the highest-quality soft furnishings for every room.

The tight-knit team at Cotton Mills is made up of four dedicated individuals, each with their own speciality and interest within the world of interior design. Their ability to collaborate alongside external interior designers means their range of curtains, blinds and soft furnishings are being paired with a theme that works holistically across the home, from room to room, really accentuating the properties natural talking points. Combined, the team have worked on quite an array of projects, so their unique insight is respected and welcomed by independent interior designers.


In her own words, Helen explains that “bespoke curtains, blinds and shutters requires meticulous knowledge, and skill, in the design, manufacture and fitting process. When it comes to windows, none are the same and will need a different approach every time. Time frames are one of the biggest considerations when it comes to home furnishing. Typical lead times for bespoke drapery and blinds can be between seven to ten weeks, so decisions and workrooms need to be in place at least two weeks prior to this lead time. We like to ensure our clients understand this, and our experts are always on hand to help organise and manage these factors to ensure all projects are finished impeccably, on time and on budget.”


The talented team at Cotton Mills Design House know better than anyone how daunting such home refurbishments can be. They are dedicated and passionate about supporting other designers and businesses during this journey. Helen states that “most interior projects of any scale can be particularly stressful, with so many plates to spin at any one time. We aim to ease some of the worry and support a smooth, organised and uncomplicated completion.”


When working with this design house, you can expect nothing short of perfection whilst knowing they have the planet in mind. Over the last few years, the team have taken a much more considered approach in curating environmentally conscious and sustainable materials. Helen says, “I love to work with linens, cottons and plant-based materials like hemp. Having said that, it is preferred to have a small mix of man-made fibres such as polyester or nylon for example, this is due to their hardwearing qualities and adds to the durability of a fabric. Minimising the wear and tear, and the need to replace said fabrics over a shorter period. We tend to look for recycled man-made fibres nowadays, to do what we can for the environment.”


At Cotton Mills Design House, their combined experience exceeds what anyone could dream of having, on board a refurbishment project. Their ability to advise, collaborate and arrange interior projects on a varied scale, with any number of external contractors, make them an enviable team to have on your journey, not to mention their impressive range of curtains, fabrics, shutters, soft furnishings, and their ability to create some truly stunning pieces. Their passion for quality material, and dedication to a job well done, is why they are so sought after. Investing in any home refresh is worth doing so with the Cotton Mills Design House by your side.




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