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Rewinding the clock to a couple of years ago; first client meetings are a bit like first dates, you’re slightly nervous whether you’ll get on well and whether they’ll even like you. But from the moment I met Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo on the first consultation call, I knew they were my kind of people. With infectious personalities; they were kind, friendly and really fun to be around. We seemed to hit it off straight away.

They excitedly shared their plans for their new home and how they wanted Natalie Holden Interiors to help them make it happen. They recently moved back up North from London; after Bowie, the most recent addition to the family arrived (all within the space of a month), and so understandably were sleep deprived and running on adrenaline. They quickly realised that they had a mammoth task of making their new house a home, whilst juggling the demands of a new born baby. Here’s where we came into the rescue 😉

Fast forward to now, and the house looking amazing if I do say so myself; keep on scrolling to see the pictures yourself, but first lets speak to Dan and Marilou about their experience.

Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo, The Wombats, Sunship Balloon
Left to right: Marilou Malo, Dan Haggis. Photography by Jamie Thomson Photography

Interview with Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo

Natalie Holden: It’s so lovely to see you both again after what must be a year now?! It feels like so long ago since we worked with you on your home. How are you settling in now it’s very nearly complete?

Dan Haggis: Ah we’re so happy with how it turned out and feel very settled and lucky to be here. We’d never worked with an interior designer before but we’re so glad we did. The kitchen/lounge area and the ‘snug/Bowie’s playroom’ are where we spend most of our time and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo, The Wombats, Sunship Balloon. ol;iive green sofa, vintage mid century sideboard, reclaimed wooden dining table. panoramic sliding doors
Interior Design by Natalie Holden Interiors. Photography by Jamie Thomson Photography

Natalie HoldenHow does it feel to be back home after The Wombats tour in Oz?

Marilou Malo: We had such an amazing time but it’s so lovely to come back home! Travelling with a toddler to the other side of the world is a lot. It feels so cosy to be inside when it is freezing in Liverpool after being under the Aussie sun! I am from France so I love the heat, but Dan is and will always be a Northerner! He loves the rain and chilly temperatures.

Boucle chair, oliver bonas, vintage sideboard
Interior Design by Natalie Holden Interiors. Photography by Jamie Thomson Photography

Natalie Holden: Which space is your favourite and why? (including Bowie and Indy the cat!) 

Dan Haggis: The kitchen/lounge area are my favourite.

Marilou Malo: Yes I agree. The fact that we created 3 different spaces into 1 makes the kitchen/lounge my favourite room. 

It feels so modern and yet nice and comfy. Indy the cat thinks the house is his and we’re just his subjects, but his throne is definitely the cosy white bouclé chair from Oliver Bonas. (Indy keeps curling up on the chair whilst we’re doing the photoshoot!)

Bowie loves his playroom so much, and we love it too as it is child friendly with an edge; adults feel happy playing games in there too!

Natalie Holden: Both spaces turned out just as we envisioned, what have the reactions been from friends and family on the transformation?

Dan Haggis: All positive reactions! We love having people around and we worked with you around this idea of sharing this precious time with our friends and family.

We play music in the music corner, chill in the lounge area and the long wooden table is perfect for sharing homemade meals and a few glasses of natural wine.

Natalie Holden: Yeh, it definitely is a real social space that all fits together so nicely.

I love that you use the music corner too, I keep seeing it pop up on your instagram!

Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo, The Wombats, Sunship Balloon. Olive green sofa
Dan, Marilou and Indy the Cat! Photography by Jamie Thomson Photography

Natalie Holden: I’m just thinking about when we first met, I couldn’t believe you’d both recently got married, had a baby and moved into your house, all within such a short space of time! How did you find the process of working with us during this hectic period?

Dan Haggis: It was such a crazy few months! We knew we wanted the house to feel full of personality and really homely but it’s overwhelming enough moving house and choosing all the new furniture required let alone doing all that with a new born baby! Having you working with us helped so much from a practical time saving point of view but also the creative side, we wouldn’t have been able to come up with the layout and details the way you did. Also having such amazing plans and mood boards so easy to see, and therefore envision, helped massively.

Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo, The Wombats, Sunship Balloon, olive green sofa, record player, music corner
Interior Design by Natalie Holden Interiors. Photography by Jamie Thomson Photography
Dan Haggis and Marilou Malo, The Wombats, Sunship Balloon

Marilou Malo: Everything is a blur from this period ! I remember meeting you (Natalie ) for the first time and we had just moved to a new city, with a 4 week old baby! I had a lot of hope you were going to help us sort our life out haha! I was quite anxious about the process as decision-making is not our best skill but everything went so smoothly and we now feel at home thanks to you!

Natalie Holden: Ahh I’m so glad we were able to help you make your house into a home. It really does feel like the spaces reflect both of your personalities. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule, as I know you have been so busy. It was so lovely to catch up!

For any music fans out there, Dan Haggis is 1/3 of The Wombats, and is also 1/2 of Sunship Balloon, who have recently released their latest album ‘Real Human’s’. You can listen to their album here!

Project Brief

Dan and Marilou live in a ‘secret house’, hidden at the back of a beautiful period property. With gorgeous views into their jungle like garden, the full height panoramic sliding doors span the full width of the building providing the perfect indoor/outdoor connection, whilst overlooking Dan’s music studio at the back of the garden. In the summer when everything is in full bloom, the variety of greenery and layered up tropical style planting looks incredible.

Sustainability was key, and they both expressed how important it was for them to incorporate some pieces of furniture and art they already own. They also wanted to utilise existing aspects of the property that was already there such as the log burning fire, the flooring throughout and the kitchen, whilst mixing in hand picked reclaimed or vintage items giving a relaxed LA, boho vibe. See more photos here

Categories: interior design, Interviews