“When I lived in Indonesia I felt like an alien,” she confesses.
“It’s different being a tourist than actually trying to root yourself somewhere. I never felt part of it.
“When I came back to Scotland, it was amazing how heightened that feeling of connection was.
“I really felt so connected to the landscape.
“As you get older these things seem to matter more to you.”
Now, seven years on, Niki – who also lived for many years in London – has her own interiors business in Glasgow. It sees her work between Scotland and India.
The business has gone from strength to strength and her products are sold around the world from Le Bon Marché in Paris to Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and used in deluxe hotels like the Crosby Street Hotel in New York and the Ham Yard Hotel in London.
Her beautiful home is a springboard for her ideas and she often uses it as a testing point for new projects.
Niki studied at The Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels and at the Royal College of Art in London, after which she worked for both Habitat and Wedgwood.
A single mother who lives with her 10-year-old son Gilli, she also sells her work online.
“I was really delighted to have such a great response to the business in such a short time,” she says.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs.
“It is hard work being a mum running your own business but I love design so much, I would feel strange not doing it.”
To help fund her business, Niki sold her flat in London and moved to Glasgow where she could also be close to family.
She says: “It was in an ideal location. I’ve always loved the West End.
“The first thing I did was to put down an oak floor throughout the hall, living room and kitchen.
“The space now has a great flow to it.
“After I laid new carpets in the bedrooms and changed the wall colours, it felt a lot fresher.”
Her sitting room has an eclectic modern feel with the addition of cult classics like a Grasshopper lamp by Gubi and Robin Day chairs from Habitat, bought when she worked there.
“I have one of my own rugs in the centre and also a precious marble table designed by my friend, Bethan Gray,” she says.
“The bold monochrome of the rug adds a bit of zest to the otherwise wooden feel.
“My bedroom is painted a light grey colour and I have a huge free standing mirror from Morocco against the wall. I have an ensuite bathroom next to it.”
Niki’s varied style is reflected in her art collection. A signed Henry Moore print sits above a leather Moroccan chair in the hallway.
Pieces from Niki’s travels are dotted around her home – an Aboriginal painting hangs above the door and a leather cushion from Morocco takes pride of place on the sitting room
Although she may have journeyed the world over – and still travels for work – Niki is resolutely glad to have finally re-rooted herself in her beloved native Scotland.
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