Amy Balfour

In Conversation with Amy Balfour 
While being a full-time mother to three beautiful triplets and a gorgeous daughter, Amy's passion is painting beautiful heirlooms to work within the home. Working from home in East Sussex, she hand paints a variety of items from doll houses, lights, boxes and mirrors to large pieces of furniture.
Her work is inspired by the Bloomsbury Group, and her love of antique textiles and traditional folk art. From eclectic prints to bold colours, Amy Fitzgeorge-Balfour’s House in East Sussex is a masterclass in vibrant English decor. She is truly an inspiration to all the working mothers out there!
Q: With the birth of your beautiful triplets and daughter, how do you balance your business and family? What advice would you give to mothers who also juggle between mum and work life? 
A: At the moment I am a full-time mother. My painting is something I keep ticking along in the background so that when Eliza starts school and the triplets go to nursery I have a basis on which to continue building my business. My advice to working mothers would be that if your children are happy, take the opportunity to step away and do something creative for yourself. Even if it’s only for a short time, restyle the bookcase/ pick up a paintbrush/ arrange a vase of flowers. I think fulfilling our own creative needs is an important and healthy example to set for our children.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you take with you (excluding your family)?
 A: My paints and paintbrushes, Some beautiful dresses & a selection of romantic novels.
Q: Your designs are so beautiful and unique, tell us a little more about the techniques you use and your inspiration.
A: My main inspirations are folk art, nature and the Bloomsbury set. I am currently enjoying combining painted flowers often inspired by Swedish folk art with simple repeating shapes like dots and dashes on top of worn-looking, old-painted surfaces.
Q: Tell us more about your dollhouse and your inspiration behind it?
A: My love of dollhouses began as a child. I had a Sylvanian windmill with a little badger family - oh how I adored it. My previous job was as an interior designer and I have always loved 'playing house' - in fact rearranging furniture and cushions or organising my shelves is one of my favourite things to do. It made sense to combine my two loves; painting and interiors to create my perfect miniature home. Whilst looking after four children the doll’s house was also a relatively easy project (on a small scale!) to pick up and put down alongside family life.
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
A: Life is not all about good exam results or being academic. There is so much to do and be good at. Find your niche and be confident with it. If you are passionate and work hard you can do almost anything!
Q: Which Neve & Noor styles will you be wearing this summer and how will you style them?
A: I only ever wear long dresses and Neve and Noor is full of so many beautiful ones. I absolutely love your drawstring waist maxi dresses with puff sleeves. They feel so feminine and romantic whilst also being flattering and comfortable. I'll be styling mine with white canvas shoes, cropped cardigans and big sunglasses.
Q: What is in stall for the future of Amy Balfour?
 A: This year I am launching my painting workshops in my newly restored artist studio at home. I've hosted a few classes in the past and I adore meeting new people and sharing my passion with them. It is always really impressive and inspiring seeing what people create. Alongside this, I will be painting a new doll house to sell. A very talented craftsman has built my design from scratch and it is really something special.

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