Interview with soft furnishing expert, Morag Roulston

Recently we had the pleasure of visiting local soft furnishing expert, Morag Roulston at her beautiful new studio space on Pains Hill (aka Paines Hill). The gorgeous garden studio, that Morag and husband David have been building over the last couple of years, is full of fabulous sample books, swatches and current client projects, including curtains and pelmets, cushions, covers and newly re-upholstered chairs.

Custom Interiors by Morag, the official name of Morag’s company, is in the grounds of her beautiful and historic home, Chardleigh Cottage, which some may remember for its annual open garden.

Morag, originally from Broughty Ferry, Dundee move south in 1989,  when she moved from Nestle’s Dundee sales office to then marketing team in Croydon.  Following a stint at Arjo Wiggins, Morag decided to return to university to do a PGCE. Having a BA in Product Design from Duncan of Jordanston College of Art (part of the University of Dundee) she was able to enrol to do a PGCE in teaching design and technology.

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Where do you get your love of soft furnishing? 

The practical side of my capabilities came about from my mother teaching me how to sew and knit from a very early age.  I knitted my first school jumper at 5 years old.  My father, being an engineer, taught me many things about woodwork, metal and building things.
These skills were put to good use in gaining my BA, which developed my knowledge of design and technology, of interiors and also developed my practical abilities. They were further put to use in the home renovations I have undertaken since then, and most importantly in starting and continuing to develop my business, Custom Interiors by Morag.

What made you set up your own business?

I was initially talked into it by friends, because I was making curtains and other soft furnishings for friends and it just seem logical. I needed less commuting time and more family time and as well as the curtains and cushions, I had been attending upholstery classes from a master upholsterer for a few years, so by then I also had another skill to add to my bow! I started the business in 2006 and we’ve been growing ever since.

What are your main requests from customers?

We predominately get asked to make curtains and blinds, but we also will make other made-to-measure cushions, scatter cushions, bedding etc and of course we upholster and re-upholster smaller pieces, such as chairs, stools and ottomans.

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What are the main colour trends at the moment?

Today I would say that the grey palette is very popular, but we actually work with a wide range of colours and styles.  It really depends on the customer’s home and personal style.  We work with our customers to find the best solution for them and can recommend style, colour, fabric and solutions to difficult windows.

What makes great quality curtains and blinds?

We rake huge pride in producing the best quality work that we can. Little details make all the difference.  We offer all heading styles for the curtains, because they are all hand sewn to give them a perfect finish.  We also hand piece the fabric pattern, so it looks like there are no joins and do invisible stitching on a minimum of every half width of fabric to stop the layers from separating.  We weight the hems along the full length, so they hang evenly and we offer a full fitting service, normally me with my wood workshop skills being put to use!  We don’t like to be beaten and can generally find solutions for window dressings where they’re difficult.

How can customers choose what they want?

We can go to customers’ houses, but we now have our new larger studio and workroom, where we hold a huge selection of fabric books and where we make all our curtains and blinds, so customers usually come here to see all the different fabric types and styles and choose what they want over a cup of coffee. They can also see what we do and pop in to check on progress, or if we need, to discuss alterations or changes.

What do you love about Limpsfield?

I loved the first time I came to Limpsfield, as it has a Scottish feel to it in a way, so it’s a bit like home and people are very friendly and caring.

How to contact Morag

For curtains, blinds, other soft furnishings and upholstery, call 07773 940422 or 01883 722283; email moragroulston@hotmail.com or visit her Facebook Page, which is regularly updated with photos of current and recent projects .

2 Replies to “Interview with soft furnishing expert, Morag Roulston”

  1. A lovely write up about a local small business.

    I am a cabinet maker based in Caterham, so appreciate the skill involved in what Morag creates.
    Really enjoyed reading this interview and would like to wish Morag good luck for the future.
    Will definitely remember her to my friends and family for future projects.

    Like

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