If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to lift your spirits on a dreary day, it’s Siobhan Murphy’s house. Built to resemble the front of a ship, this Art Deco design, named ‘streamlined moderne’ is not something you come across in Castleford often . . . if ever. And the surprises don’t stop there.

Stepping over the threshold is like tumbling down the rabbit hole straight into Wonderland. It’s a vibe you might expect if you’ve seen interior designer Siobhan at work. She was a finalist on the hit BBC show Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr and since then has become a familiar face on TV and social media.

Life has always been colourful for the former Leeds College of Art student and at home she surrounds herself with an explosion of colour that's accented by monochrome touches and stripes of gold in keeping with the property’s Art Deco roots.

It could be chaotic, but is strangely calming, which Siobhan thanks to its friendly bones: ‘When people come, they get a feeling about the house – it makes them feel happy and joyful. It’s got a really nice feeling and vibe.’

A visit to Chatelaine should be prescribed as it’s impossible to feel anything other than happy within its walls, which is fitting given the history of the house. It was built by a woman doctor who came to Castleford under mysterious circumstances back in the 1930s.

Great British Life: Chatealine means lady in charge of a large house, which Siobhan thinks is rather fittingChatealine means lady in charge of a large house, which Siobhan thinks is rather fitting (Image: Siobhan Murphy)

She used the bottom half of the house as a doctor’s surgery while the top half served as her home. In the 50s it took on a new life as a hair salon until becoming derelict in the 70s when it was very nearly knocked down, only for a local architect to step in and save it.

Now it’s home to Siobhan, her husband Nick, and their ragdoll cat Benji. ‘I feel like I’m the custodian of this house, and I’m so glad I got it. Yes, the décor isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I feel I’ve breathed new life into it, and I think the original owner would have fully approved,’ explains Siobhan, who’s loved the house ever since she drove past with her mum as a little girl. ‘I walked through the door and just started crying as I just felt so emotional, I just had this connection with it instantly – I knew it was my destiny.’ And what a journey it’s taken her on.

Unleashing her creativity within its walls since 2019, Siobhan’s home is very much Siobhan personified – joyful, playful, open, and a burst of joyful colour. Totally opposite to her first home which she painted black after attending an Abigail Ahern masterclass where she was told to throw the rulebook out, this ‘house has been a catalyst for everything that has come ever since.’

Sharing her tongue-in-cheek and fun style on Instagram amassed a large following where the BBC found her and asked her to apply for Interior Design Masters which saw her designing everything from beach huts to pet shops. This led to her leaving her job in the NHS, publishing her first book More is More Decor, TV appearances, global brand collaborations, collections with Freemans, Habitat, 247 Blinds, and much more. And it’s all thanks to Chatelaine.

‘Chatelaine actually means a lady in charge of a large house which I thought was very fitting as it’s always been owned by powerful, businesswomen’ and with an interior empire in the making, there couldn’t be a more perfect custodian for Chatelaine.

Great British Life: Secrets of the Ginger Jars - part of Siobhan's collection of wallpapersSecrets of the Ginger Jars - part of Siobhan's collection of wallpapers (Image: Siobhan Murphy)

Wallpaper collection

Making every space a canvas for creativity and joy, Siobhan has created her own collection of wallpapers and fabrics which she debuted at

London Art Fair last year. Designing 80 wallpapers that encapsulate Siobhan’s aesthetic of ‘Beverley Hills/Palm Springs, tropical maximalism’ allow people to ditch the drab and add some sparkle into their lives. Each design is full of imagination and joy, such as the next release – Poodletini – which features poodles dancing around cocktails.

Not only does Siobhan use these in her own home, as well as in her client’s, but they’ve donned the walls of Harvey Nichols in Leeds where she used to work many years ago. ‘I love seeing my designs in people’s homes’ but this year her intention is to take it internationally and bring them into more commercial spaces.


Grand designs

Siobhan works with private and commercial clients to help them achieve their dream aesthetic. Her largest project this year is designing a 17-room art deco mansion that has its own hangar, swimming pool, and helipad. Similar to Chatelaine, it was built in the 1930s and owned by a bit of a maverick - the inventor of the supersonic aircraft. It’s a ‘dream project full of colour and joy’ where she will unleash her art deco, maximalist style, bring in artists to create murals and bespoke signage, as well as adding in aviation touches. Siobhan who likes to work on the project from start to finish particularly loves the styling at the end : ‘the styling is the treat after all the hard work – it’s like the jewellery of a room, you put the outfit on and it’s not complete until you’ve done those finishing touches.’ With a desire to create spaces that people can enjoy and don’t want to leave, Siobhan has her sights set on designing more commercial spaces in the future.

Great British Life: The pink cocktail bar of dreamsThe pink cocktail bar of dreams (Image: Siobhan Murphy)

The Tower Room

What was once used as a solarium by the doctor and her friends as they bathed in the healing properties of the sun (completely nude says local legend), is now dedicated to fun and frivolity. With a nod to the prohibition times of the 30s, this room is hidden to the untrained eye, but push one of the books on the ‘bookcase’ and a whole other part of the house is revealed. ‘Anyone visiting would just think it’s a little bookcase, but you open it up and it’s the pink cocktail bar of dreams,’ exclaims Siobhan. And indeed, hidden behind a beautiful bookcase lies a set of perfectly pink steps which take you up to the most fantastical bar with far-reaching views. ‘Even though it’s the least used, the bar is my favourite room – it’s just so fun!’ And we couldn’t agree more. We just hope poodle-tinis will be on the menu next time we pay a visit!

Great British Life: Siobhan says that everyone who comes to Chatelaine feels full of joySiobhan says that everyone who comes to Chatelaine feels full of joy (Image: Siobhan Murphy)

Hallway/reception room

Stepping into Siobhan’s house you are met with a decadent hallway of black and white stripes that cover the ceiling accentuating its curves, a handmade resin floor commissioned by a friend, and elegant swans that cast light onto the scene. Within the cloakroom to the left hangs a painting of the doctor, sitting in a pair of trousers, her painted red lips smoking a cigarette, not giving two hoots what anyone else thinks. In fact, when she owned the house, she employed a pageboy to announce the patients that were sitting in the waiting room. Leading on from the hallway, this now serves as a reception room, as well as a vision of the spaces Siobhan wants to create more of with it very much feeling like a hotel lobby. ‘The reception room was my favourite room to do,’ explains Siobhan. ‘I’ve redecorated it a few times, and recently with my own wallpaper – The Secrets of the Ginger Jars.’ If you look at them closely, they have their own little worlds inside of them, many of which are Siobhan’s favourite places.

The bathroom

Wishing to respect the hard work that went into this room, it’s quite different to the others in the house. Keeping the original 1930s design, Siobhan has just made small tweaks to help emphasise its features such as the sunken black bathtub and imported Italian tiles. ‘For the woman who owned this house in the thirties to have come up with this design, and source all the tiles from Italy, well, it was a big feat in those days. I just love it, it’s so ornate with the arches.’ When she met the people who owned it before her, she was shocked to learn that the woman hated this bathroom and was planning on ripping it out: ‘That would have broken my heart. I get a bath every day, and when the water is coming out of the lion’s head - it’s just fabulous.’

Great British Life: Siobhan loves to immerse herself in the design processSiobhan loves to immerse herself in the design process (Image: Siobhan Murphy)

Siobhan’s top tips

‘People don’t know where to start as there’s just so much choice and it’s totally overwhelming,’ explains Siobhan who wrote her book More is More Décor to help those looking to introduce more colour into their home. Here are some of her top tips –

Chunk it down - If you’re restyling or redoing a room, rather than thinking of it all in one go, simply chunk it down into little areas. So, start with maybe the coffee table, a bookcase, the fireplace – make it look nice. Just seeing things as separate little spaces, and when you have those little areas, it starts coming together. Little pockets make a big difference.

Find inspiration in things that bring you joy - It could be a silk scarf that someone loves and what it means to them – is it the pattern, the colour, the design? Or take inspiration from your favourite place you’ve ever been. Or a collection of something that could be boxed away. Or a photograph – literally everything.

Mix it up – Layers make it interesting – create different heights with piles of books, lighting, and candles, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. I like to mix designer pieces with vintage, car boot finds, and things from the high street – Habitat for Argos and some of the supermarkets have great things.

Start off small - you don’t need to do everything at once. Maybe start with a small room like a downstairs loo. If you really love a particular wallpaper or colour, why not use it on the inside of a cupboard or doorframe. It’s all about dipping your and testing the water.