‘When renovating, I want my buildings to retain their quirky characters but develop a stylish edge’

At just 28, Amy Gardner is the young gun of the design trio. With her ‘get-it-done’ attitude and drive for success, she is the perfect example of a modern entrepreneur combining what she loves into her career, relishing every moment whilst paving the way to a successful future. Amy summed up this life outlook in an interview with The Guardian, ‘I once read an article titled ‘Work hard now, relax hard later’. It sounded good to me.’  Co-owner of Mulberry’s Bells Cottage with partner Tom, this was the third renovation project for the dynamic pair but the first they were able to keep and use for an income. Kent-based Amy is now the owner of three properties and an interior design business after much hard work, being focussed on saving and pushing through innovative ideas.

Passion is what lies at the heart of Amy Gardner’s designs and it is this that compels her to carry out her interior transformations to the very best of her ability, even if that does mean waiting for the perfect parts, pieces or paydays. After starting work on Bells Cottage, it became quite usual for Amy to run out of money and have to wait to resume work, but patience was key. Her houses focus heavily on the combination of on-trend furnishings and themes mixed with the original features of an old English home. The clean Scandinavian vibe that runs through Bells Cottage is an example of these modern twists on quirky features, such as the painted grey beams or the large rustic china basin completed with a sleek black mixer tap. Elements that are clearly selected with much attention and research behind them. Lighting is also a well-chosen and emphasized element throughout Amy’s houses. Glowing orange filament glass bulbs, oversized industrial lamps and factory style shades in smooth reflective materials bring warmth and space to smaller rooms by illuminating every nook and corner.  

Amy’s interior design career began when she and partner Tom snapped up a property in Sissinghurst, featured in a local magazine for a very reasonable price. Doing all the work themselves, Amy and Tom went on a journey that allowed them to discover and build upon carpentry skills, renovating techniques and decorating. It is apparent in Amy’s houses that they have been designed by an innovative, modern young woman experiencing all the requirements of a busy life. Ingenious storage which doubles as eye-catching features fits this need and the desire for a clutter-free, practical house. Modern geometric shapes and state-of-the-art appliances juxtapose with the quaintness of her properties. They complement her vogue use of cool colour palettes, steely blues, greys and slate interrupted with pops of bright greens and yellows, creating dimension and the illusion of space. This is reflected in Amy’s claim that she wanted her properties to be ‘uplifting and fun-filled places to stay whilst retaining their quirky character and having a stylish edge’.

Amy’s shrewd and inventive nature allows her to be both a new-age businesswoman and a talented, resourceful interior designer. She is the youngest owner at Mulberry Cottages and is not only an example to present and prospective Mulberry owners, but an inspiration to talented young women and girls that want to follow and develop a passion of their own and make whatever that may be, a success. Mulberry Cottages is proud to have an asset such as Amy and her unique properties that make for stylish and idyllic stays.

Beautiful whitewashed oak flooring, whites and greys, sumptuous soft furnishings, quirky clever lighting, indulgent carpets, personal objects d'art and attention to detail is Bells Cottage motto. View Amy's property, Bells Cottage.


Design Insider

The go-to place for design inspiration. 
Featuring a trio of accomplished female design professionals, all with a huge amount of experience to share. Alongside Amy Gardner, also meet Francesca Rowan-Plowden, and Fiona Naylor.