How a Blank Canvas Ignites Inspiration to Completion

October 22nd, 2021

We got in touch with Imogen Sibley to chat all things Interior Design, one of the talented people behind Blank Canvas Design and one of our #ProudDecorator winners!

1. How did you become Blank Canvas Design?

“I graduated as a Furniture/Product Designer at Nottingham Trent University in 1990 then went on to work in the design industry most specifically designing bespoke kitchens for a cabinetmaker in Nottingham. 

I had experience working in an architect’s office and for a bed manufacturer in the design department during my time at Uni. I also had some time working with a graphic designer later. All these experiences have helped my career path over the years, using many aspects of the different disciplines that I’ve learnt, in my work today.  

Following that I went into teaching Interior Design and Decor at City and Guilds level. This was really inspiring. I learnt a lot at this time. When I had a family, I decided I wanted to work for myself to fit the hours in around my young children. Initially painting quite a lot of furniture, this quickly escalated into doing more design and decorating work. 

Caroline Edwards was a Volcanologist and researcher before she had children. She wanted to fit working around her young family, so started a business hand making and hand painting screens and memory boxes for hospitals, schools, and nurseries. 

Caroline and I met when she took the interior design course I taught at Grantham college. We have children of similar ages, and we became friends. After both working on these different careers, I set up Blank Canvas Design and Caroline joined me to continue growing the business with her business Caroline Edward’s Design. 

Along the way we have built up quite a client base of very loyal customers, some of whom have been there from the outset. We base our business ethics on always being reliable, tidy, getting back to customers promptly and using good quality paints and materials.

I have been a customer of Brewers in Grantham since the mid-1990s when they were known as Grantham Paints and Papers. Over the years we have been really well looked after by Carl and his team and we get the majority of our paint and papers through them. Having a reliable team to back us up is one of the most important things we could wish for. They’re always happy to support us and can nearly always get the items that we need into the store for us as quickly as possible!”

2. What’s your favourite part about being interior designers/painters and decorators?

“We nearly always provide design and colour inspiration for our customers, talking through colours, wallpapers and designs is what we really enjoy the most! We often produce design boards which include not just paint and wallpaper ideas, but also samples for flooring lighting furniture and other aspects of decor. 

We can also supply scale and plan drawings for customers if they want to visualise better how a scheme will work, seeing their items of furniture in situ in a room then becomes far easier to imagine.”

3. What’s been one of your favourite/most memorable projects you’ve worked on?

“We have worked on a huge variety of projects. No two days are ever the same! We worked on large-scale projects such as the designs for Grantham Tennis Club, working on multiple aspects of the interior design for this building. We’ve also worked on design and decor for pubs, which has been exciting as it tends to be slightly more theatrical in the nature of the design work. What makes these jobs really interesting for us is that having done the design work we can then go forward and do the decorating work for the client as well. This gives a real sense of achievement when you see the finished results and know that you’ve been involved from start to finish. 

We have some wonderful clients all of whom are very loyal to us. We love working on bespoke schemes that sit perfectly in their homes and bring their ideas to life.  We don’t tend to advertise much at all. The majority of our work comes from word-of-mouth, and via the photos of some of our projects that we put on Facebook and Instagram.”

4. How did it feel winning our Proud Decorator Competition?

“Winning the Proud Decorator Prize was a lovely surprise and nice recognition of our work and would like to thank Brewers for this. We spent our vouchers on a smart new Vacuum to take with us to jobs, plus some new decorating sheets and lovely new paintbrushes!”

“If you would like to see more of our work, there are lots of projects with before and after photos on our Facebook page.”