Suszi Saunders: Interior blogger gives a glimpse inside her 100% vegan home

A hypnotherapist turned interior designer has become an online sensation thanks to her exceptional taste in furnishings, which are 100 per cent vegan.

Suzsi Saunders, 39, from London, who lives with her comedy writer husband Nat and their four-year-old son Teddy, has documented the refurbishment of her Victorian terrace house in Lewisham since purchasing it in 2016.

And Suzsi, who is currently expecting her second child, has seen her Instagram following rocket to over 30,000 in just a short time, with her army of fans keen to emulate her Gothic-inspired home.

More important is the message behind her cruelty-free home, in which everything from the paint, to the faux leather furniture, fair-trade cotton rugs and feather-free cushions is vegan.

Speaking to FEMAIL, Suszi revealed just how her fascination with animal-friendly interiors began, as well as giving her top tips to making the most of your home.

Hypnotherapist turned interior designer, Suzsi Saunders, has become an online sensation thanks to her exceptional taste in furnishings, which are 100 per cent vegan. Her teal themed hallway and staircase adorned with flowers and a chandelier are pictured

Hypnotherapist turned interior designer, Suzsi Saunders, has become an online sensation thanks to her exceptional taste in furnishings, which are 100 per cent vegan. Her teal themed hallway and staircase adorned with flowers and a chandelier are pictured

Hypnotherapist turned interior designer, Suzsi Saunders, has become an online sensation thanks to her exceptional taste in furnishings, which are 100 per cent vegan. Her teal themed hallway and staircase adorned with flowers and a chandelier are pictured

Suszi's living room is seen, which boats a statement mirror adorned with fairy lights, an array of plants and a faux zebra print rug.  She said: 'I seek out fair-trade cotton rugs instead of wool ones and buy faux leather and sheepskins'

Suszi's living room is seen, which boats a statement mirror adorned with fairy lights, an array of plants and a faux zebra print rug.  She said: 'I seek out fair-trade cotton rugs instead of wool ones and buy faux leather and sheepskins'

Suszi’s living room is seen, which boats a statement mirror adorned with fairy lights, an array of plants and a faux zebra print rug.  She said: ‘I seek out fair-trade cotton rugs instead of wool ones and buy faux leather and sheepskins’

‘I became vegan almost three years ago and we bought our house very soon after. As it needed renovating it made sense to ensure that all new decisions and purchases were in line with my vegan lifestyle,’ she explained.

Revealing the inspiration behind her ‘dark’ theme, which she says does not feel oppressive, she said: ‘I love dark interiors and using reclaimed materials and vintage lighting. Most of my inspiration comes from Pinterest and Instagram.’

Suszi recalled the journey to making her furnishings vegan, which means avoiding wool, silk, animal skins and feathers.

‘I seek out fair-trade cotton rugs instead of wool ones, choose paint that has not been tested on animals and has no animal derived ingredients, select sofas, duvets and cushions that aren’t stuffed with feathers, and buy faux leather and sheepskins.

‘I couldn’t afford to throw out all existing purchases at first but gradually I was able to start replacing my sheepskins, wool rugs and feather duvets,’ she said.

‘I reupholstered my two vintage leather chairs in gorgeous velvet fabrics from Linwood Fabrics and chose vegan-friendly paint from Farrow and Ball.’

Suzsi Saunders, 39, from London, who lives with her comedy writer husband Nat and their four-year-old son Teddy, (seen) has documented the refurbishment of her Victorian terrace house in Lewisham since purchasing it in 2016

Suzsi Saunders, 39, from London, who lives with her comedy writer husband Nat and their four-year-old son Teddy, (seen) has documented the refurbishment of her Victorian terrace house in Lewisham since purchasing it in 2016

Suzsi Saunders, 39, from London, who lives with her comedy writer husband Nat and their four-year-old son Teddy, (seen) has documented the refurbishment of her Victorian terrace house in Lewisham since purchasing it in 2016

Suzsi, who is currently expecting her second child, has seen he r Instagram following rocket to over 30,000 in just a short time, with her army of fans keen to emulate her Gothic-inspired home. Pictured: Her tableware in the open plan kitchen

Suzsi, who is currently expecting her second child, has seen he r Instagram following rocket to over 30,000 in just a short time, with her army of fans keen to emulate her Gothic-inspired home. Pictured: Her tableware in the open plan kitchen

Suzsi, who is currently expecting her second child, has seen he r Instagram following rocket to over 30,000 in just a short time, with her army of fans keen to emulate her Gothic-inspired home. Pictured: Her tableware in the open plan kitchen

Seen: Suszi's bahtroom features a claw-foot bathrub, lively tiles, tropical wallpaper and an arry of plants. She advises that paint is the most affordable way to update your interiors

Seen: Suszi's bahtroom features a claw-foot bathrub, lively tiles, tropical wallpaper and an arry of plants. She advises that paint is the most affordable way to update your interiors

Seen: Suszi’s bahtroom features a claw-foot bathrub, lively tiles, tropical wallpaper and an arry of plants. She advises that paint is the most affordable way to update your interiors

Suszi admits that it was initially harder to source vegan materials, but concedes it is slowly getting easier.

‘Veganism is on the rise so it’s slowly becoming a little easier to find ethical homewares,’ she said.

Listing her own favourites, she said: ‘Ian Snow, House of Kind and Weaver Green are great places to start. But even more mainstream shops will often have vegan options.

‘My favourite faux sheepskin rug was found at La Redoute, and you can find lovely vegan friendly rugs, duvets, throws and cushions in Monsoon, Zara Home, French Connection, Ikea, Habitat, Homesense and The White Company.’

And for those searching for further options, she added: ‘I’ve found that many brands are willing to modify certain products if you ask.

‘I was able to get my dream sofa from Sweetpea and Willow because the shop was able to swap out the feather fillings, and Graham and Green were able sell me their cotton cushion covers without the feather pads.’

Everything from the teal paint, seen in Suszi's bedroom, to the faux leather furniture, fair-trade cotton rugs and feather-free cushions is vegan

Everything from the teal paint, seen in Suszi's bedroom, to the faux leather furniture, fair-trade cotton rugs and feather-free cushions is vegan

Everything from the teal paint, seen in Suszi’s bedroom, to the faux leather furniture, fair-trade cotton rugs and feather-free cushions is vegan

Suzi's toilet features a traditional porcelain tolet and sink, and is livened up with tropical-themed wallpaper and a sprinkling of houseplants- as well as a bar of soap in a nod to her plastic-free lifestyle

Suzi's toilet features a traditional porcelain tolet and sink, and is livened up with tropical-themed wallpaper and a sprinkling of houseplants- as well as a bar of soap in a nod to her plastic-free lifestyle

Suzi’s toilet features a traditional porcelain tolet and sink, and is livened up with tropical-themed wallpaper and a sprinkling of houseplants- as well as a bar of soap in a nod to her plastic-free lifestyle

'A lot of our home is open plan and I love that we can all be pottering about doing our own thing but still be together and see what each of us is up to'. Pictured: Suszi's open plan kitchen and dining area which looks out into the garden though floor-to-ceiling glass doors

'A lot of our home is open plan and I love that we can all be pottering about doing our own thing but still be together and see what each of us is up to'. Pictured: Suszi's open plan kitchen and dining area which looks out into the garden though floor-to-ceiling glass doors

‘A lot of our home is open plan and I love that we can all be pottering about doing our own thing but still be together and see what each of us is up to’. Pictured: Suszi’s open plan kitchen and dining area which looks out into the garden though floor-to-ceiling glass doors

Speaking about the inspiration behind her dark interior theme, she said: ‘I went to one of [British designer] Abigail Ahern’s workshops at her beautiful home in East London and I instantly fell in love with her dark home.

Suszi’s top interior tips

Texture and layer

    • Add a mix of layers and textures
    • Combine smooth, shiny materials with cosy cushions and throws

Add dimension

    • When styling your shelves, play around with scale and height to stop the room looking one dimensional

Make it homely

    • Add plants and artwork to make the space more homely

Consider lighting

    • Consider different forms of lighting; table lamps, floor lamps, fairy lights and pendants, to give definition to your room
    • Create pockets of light around the room rather than just having one ceiling light illuminating the whole space
    • You can buy plug in dimmer switches so that any lamp can become dimmable

Colour theme 

    • Paint is one of the cheapest ways you can completely transform a space so be adventurous

‘I knew then that I wanted to turn my magnolia flat into a dark, inky hued pad and I’ve been stuck to this theme ever since.’

And her family has easily adapted to their stylish home, with Suszi admitting: ‘Thankfully, my husband has little interest in interiors so I never have to run anything by him, and my four-year-old son said he wanted a black bedroom so it I lucked out there.

‘There’s a misconception that dark paint means a gloomy home but that has not been my experience.

‘We have plenty of light coming through the windows and bouncing off the chandeliers, metallic furnishings and colourful homewares so I don’t feel it’s oppressive in the least.’

In fact Suszi argues that she feels more cosy among the dark interiors.

Speaking about how it affects her mood, she said: ‘When I get home and open the front door I feel cocooned by the dark walls.

‘Downstairs we have one room that’s all enclosed where we can snug up together as a family and watch a film, but everywhere else is open plan and I love that we can all be pottering about doing our own thing but still be together and see what each of us is up to.

‘We certainly don’t have a minimalist home and seeing all our things around us and on display makes me happy. It definitely feels like a home rather than a house.’

Suszi brightens up her rooms with an array of textures and vegan rugs, as well as adding warmth with a chandelier and shabby chic furniture. Pictured: Her bedroom

Suszi brightens up her rooms with an array of textures and vegan rugs, as well as adding warmth with a chandelier and shabby chic furniture. Pictured: Her bedroom

Suszi brightens up her rooms with an array of textures and vegan rugs, as well as adding warmth with a chandelier and shabby chic furniture. Pictured: Her bedroom

Suszi's darker walls are brightened up by the natural light flowing through the house from the French doors to the back of the home. Pictured: The view from her sitting room into the kitchen/ diner area

Suszi's darker walls are brightened up by the natural light flowing through the house from the French doors to the back of the home. Pictured: The view from her sitting room into the kitchen/ diner area

Suszi’s darker walls are brightened up by the natural light flowing through the house from the French doors to the back of the home. Pictured: The view from her sitting room into the kitchen/ diner area

Suszi also shared her advice with those keen to improve their home with a few cheap and easy tweaks.

‘Layers make such a difference!’, she said. ‘Even if you prefer a minimalist look, your home will instantly be more appealing if you add a mix of layers and textures.

‘Combine smooth, shiny materials with cosy cushions and throws. When styling your shelves, play around with scale and height to stop the room looking one dimensional.

‘Add plants and artwork to make the space more homely, and consider different forms of lighting: table lamps, floor lamps, fairy lights and pendants, to give definition to your room.’

What makes furniture vegan?

The Vegan Society defines veganism as ‘a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose’.

Suszi says: ‘It is virtually impossible to avoid all forms of animal exploitation but there are some simple changes we can all make, such as avoiding wool, silk, animal skins and feathers.

‘Seek out fair-trade cotton rugs instead of wool ones, choose paint that has not been tested on animals and has no animal derived ingredients, select sofas, duvets and cushions that aren’t stuffed with feathers, and buy faux leather and sheepskins’

She added: ‘You want to create pockets of light around the room rather than just having one ceiling light illuminating the whole space. You can buy plug in dimmer switches so that any lamp can become dimmable. I have loads all over the house.’

And giving her top tip on how to transform your interiors on a budget, Suszi advised that colour themes make all the difference.

‘Paint is one of the cheapest ways you can completely transform a space so be adventurous.

‘Painting out the walls, ceilings and woodwork in the same colour can create a lovely streamlined look. I’m biased, but going for dark colours creates a beautiful backdrop to all your furnishings and makes an otherwise bland room look more luxe.’

The interior blogger also revealed that vegan products don’t necessarily have to be more expensive.

‘Many vegan products are accidentally vegan, so they won’t be any more expensive’, she said.

‘Search in your normal go-to shops and you’ll most likely find products that are vegan-friendly.

‘Of course, if you choose to go down the eco / sustainable route as well then it can be more pricey, so be selective and work with your budget.’

The interior blogger also revealed that vegan products don't necessarily have to be more expensive. Pictured: Suszi's hallway and a glimpse into the sitting room

The interior blogger also revealed that vegan products don't necessarily have to be more expensive. Pictured: Suszi's hallway and a glimpse into the sitting room

The interior blogger also revealed that vegan products don’t necessarily have to be more expensive. Pictured: Suszi’s hallway and a glimpse into the sitting room

Suszi's house features a teal theme throughout- even reflected in her shelves which add to the cosy feel of the home

Suszi's house features a teal theme throughout- even reflected in her shelves which add to the cosy feel of the home

Suszi’s house features a teal theme throughout- even reflected in her shelves which add to the cosy feel of the home

Speaking about her rise to Instagram fame, Suszi admitted it came as a surprise.

‘I started my Instagram account to document our house renovation. It was mainly so I could get inspiration and share the nail-biting experience with others who were at a similar stage,’ she said.

‘Eighteen months and 250 posts later I’ve somehow managed to achieve over 30,000 followers which is hugely flattering.

‘I don’t feel under pressure to keep posting as for me growing my account isn’t what it’s all about, although I can’t deny it’s lovely to see people engaging with my posts and I have been very lucky to work with some incredible brands.’

And her work isn’t done yet as lucky followers will soon be able follow a new extension to her home.

‘I’ve also got a lot more to do with the house,’ she said. ‘We’ve just secured planning for two further bedrooms and a bathroom in the loft so now we just need to save up enough to get started on this next project. I can’t wait!’.

Pictured: Suszi's bathroom which shows just how well she clashes textures and patterns- with her geometric coal tiles the perfect contrast to the copper pipe radiators and teal wall

Pictured: Suszi's bathroom which shows just how well she clashes textures and patterns- with her geometric coal tiles the perfect contrast to the copper pipe radiators and teal wall

Pictured: Suszi’s bathroom which shows just how well she clashes textures and patterns- with her geometric coal tiles the perfect contrast to the copper pipe radiators and teal wall

'My four-year-old son said he wanted a black bedroom so it I lucked out there', Suszi said of Teddy's sweet bedroom, pictured above

'My four-year-old son said he wanted a black bedroom so it I lucked out there', Suszi said of Teddy's sweet bedroom, pictured above

‘My four-year-old son said he wanted a black bedroom so it I lucked out there’, Suszi said of Teddy’s sweet bedroom, pictured above

And her work isn't done yet as lucky followers will soon be able follow a new extension to her home- pictured from the back garden

And her work isn't done yet as lucky followers will soon be able follow a new extension to her home- pictured from the back garden

And her work isn’t done yet as lucky followers will soon be able follow a new extension to her home- pictured from the back garden

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