Jo Aynsley

Interior Designer


I always knew Interior design was for me but when I was studying my Art foundation course at Newcastle College I fell in love with the textiles side so decided to come at it from a different perspective. It’s imperative in our line of design to understand colour and texture and this has given me a very strong foundation. 

Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with a Printed Textiles degree, I aimed my final year collection towards interiors, focusing on a country house boutique hotel that wanted to modernize itself rather than play it safe. The collection was based around the beautiful wildlife and scenery of Northumberland.  It is vibrant in colour, playful in scale and I was not afraid to mix pattern on pattern. I have to say the collection is probably a far cry from my style now! 

As a designer today I prefer things to be more clean cut, detailed with trims and embroidery – and despite my training I actually don’t like that many prints! Having exhibited in Edinburgh and London as a fabrics designer I then decided to take the jump and approached various interior design houses.

My training epitomizes why starting at the bottom is so important - because you literally learn everything on the way up!



What are your greatest influences?

My Dad. With no disrespect to my mum if she’s reading this! But he always knows what to say – or at least he has an opinion on everything! And to be fair, he’s not usually far wrong. Unless it’s anything design based of course because the artist gene did not come from him  – that advice I would usually chose to ignore!

My favourite place is a spot on our old farm, back in Northumberland. At the very top of one of the fields where my Grandad used to stand and watch us exercise the racehorses from the bottom gate a mile up the hill. You can see for miles across the coquet valley. Nothing seems to matter up there. 

My first bedroom was a very awkward shape, with a combed ceiling, a built in wardrobe in the wrong place and a post keeping the house up! I loved rearranging this room.


What is your favourite icon, image, or object?

El Nacional, Barcelona - The Interior Design throughout the bar restaurant is gorgeous; using installations to create divides between the different areas yet allowing them to work as a whole. Clever.

At the moment, I love walking into the saloon in Yester House and marvelling the ceiling. 

What is the most challenging project you have worked on and why?

The beautiful Yester House - due to its period, size and amount of admin! A 17 century stately home, previously belonging to the Marqueeses of Tweedale in East Lothian, we have been involved in this project from the outset.  The enormity of the project makes it challenging as well as its history and heritage, the fact that it’s a listed historic building. 

The house is being fully renovated. It is most inspiring to go through every part of this house as it is today – a mere shell, and imagine how we are going to revive it. Working with the client the throughout, we are aiming to modernize this period property into a family home without losing any of its magnificence. Its amazing to find relics buried within the house from other who have worked on it - such as a Bell - installed on a sunny day in the 1800's.

It is inspiring to work on something for so long and to be part of the Journey, we are all really excited for installation day...(weeks!)